Performing for sports relies on vision far more than any other sense. While hearing is important for communication and feeling helps you develop muscle memory to carry out skillful actions, without healthy vision, playing sports is nearly impossible.
In baseball training, maintaining healthy vision is especially important. The size of the ball alongside its quick movement and the speed of the overall game make highly trained eyes indispensable for little league as well as professional-level play.
Consider the following aspects of the game of baseball and how vision training can be a huge asset for players.
Small Ball that Travels Long Distances
A baseball is one of the smallest balls in American sports. Among the major sports we play, only the golf ball is smaller. The baseball’s small size is part of the skill challenge of the game; it travels long distances quickly, which forces baseball players to train their vision and reflexes to follow it accurately.
While the distance from pitcher to batter is short, the pitcher largely determines the overall speed of the pall and pitches it in unpredictable patterns. The batter must follow the ball and attempt to predict its response to the environment to hit it with the bat. Baseball vision training can be helpful for improving reactions in this tough and fast-paced task.
Fast-Paced Movement of Players
If the batter succeeds, the ball flies at great speed in a direction that corresponds to the angle at which it struck the bat. All defending players must then follow the ball as it moves through the air while simultaneously watching the movement of the team at bat.
Team members who belong to the batting team move quickly across the diamond and must also keep their eyes on the location of the ball. Defending player movements offer hints to player movement, so developing the use of peripheral vision in baseball training is also an essential skill.
Defending players have to watch the actions and movement of outfielders and basemen while tracking batting player movement. Switching between targets requires excessive changes of near and far vision faculties.
Concentration & Coordination
For common tasks such as tracking a pitch and receiving the ball from an outfielder, baseball players train their vision to focus on the moving ball and remain focused. Vision systems also have to send information to the brain about what movements will be necessary to carry out a task required in the game, such as swinging the bat toward the ball or pitching the ball to a baseman.
How Vision Affects Baseball Screenings
To ensure potential players can perform these tasks, coaches and trainers carry out screenings for baseball candidates. Baseline testing often consists of such exercises as:
- Broad Jump & Single-Leg Jump
- Chest Press
- 10 & 20-Yard Dash
- 5-10-5 Pro Agility Test
- Skills Test (According to Position)
The skills test examines the muscular, reflexive, and visual skill according to the position for which the player is attempting to join. Visually, it will determine whether the player can carry out the tasks listed in the section above at an acceptable level.
The remaining tests require developed hand-eye coordination, crisp near and far vision, and the ability to switch between the two. These are the major visual skills that will allow players to excel on the baseball field.
For athletes who have the physical strength and training to perform in baseball but lack the proper vision skills, vision therapy for sports enhancement can hone players’ ability to perform basic baseball tasks at a baseline. For athletes whose vision is acceptable but would like to perform better at baseball, vision therapy provides baseball vision training that players need to improve coordination and performance.