While many professional athletes use eye training exercises to improve their performance, vision therapy isn't limited to them. Whatever stage of baseball you are in – just off the tee, playing club sports, or hoping to get into an amateur league – you can strengthen your eyesight and improve your own abilities. Vision training exercises will help you focus better on moving objects while at bat. They will also help you pitch more accurately and judge distance more easily, as well.
Improving Your Focus on the Ball
One of the biggest difficulties young athletes face is the ability to focus on a moving object. Vision training exercises will help baseball players see the ball clearly, no matter what speed it is moving at. It also improves your ability to judge distance, which is helpful both at bat and on the field. Some exercises that you can do at home between eye therapy sessions include:
- Call the Ball: To do this exercise you need a baseball, markers, and string. The first thing you do is write on the ball. Either put numbers all around it, or mark different-colored spots on it. Next, hang the ball from the ceiling so it falls at eye level. Get the ball in motion and call out the numbers or colors you see. As you get more precise, step further away from the ball to challenge yourself again. This can also be done with a partner, as you throw the ball back and forth, you must call out the color or number before catching the ball.
- Close Up or Far Away: Another exercise you can do is to set things at close and far distances, then focus on each one individually. To do this on your own, place baseballs at varying distances throughout your room or yard. Keep these balls as close to eye level as you can. Then alternately focus on the different balls, slowly at first, then with increasing speed. You can do this with other people, as well. Take turns holding the ball at varying distances and focusing on them one at a time to improve distance judging.
Pitching More Accurately
Good pitching isn't only about throwing the ball to the batter, it's also about reading the players on bases. To improve your pitching, you should look into eye therapy exercises that improve accuracy as well as peripheral vision. Some exercises are:
- Call the Player: This exercise is similar to call the ball, but it requires multiple members to do. Have your teammates stand in a semi-circle around you, at a distance of about 20 feet. Stare straight ahead for this exercise. Each person should have a piece of paper the size of a greeting card. Have the players take turns holding the paper up at eye level, while you call out who is doing it. This exercise improves peripheral vision and reaction time, so your opponents can't easily steal bases.
- Baseball Darts: Baseball darts is a spinoff of the typical dart game (you can play this with darts or baseballs, it's up to you). Use a large target, or create your own on a board or fence. Begin 10 feet away from the target and pitch the ball to the outside edges. Then, slowly, move inwards until you hit the bulls-eye each time. Then back up and do it again. Practice this at varying heights and distances to improve throwing accuracy.
Becoming a better ball player can start with vision therapy. In addition to strengthening your perception and accuracy, take time to click here for more info about relaxing your eye muscles and reducing the stress around them. Other techniques can be shown you by a professional, if you feel that your performance is still lacking.