Scientific Proof – Effect of Visual Training on Batting Performance and Pitch Recognition of Collegiate Softball Players

Nicholette - Power HitterThe study was conducted to investigate the effect of preseason visual training on bat velocity, batted-ball velocity, and pitch recognition. Twenty female NCAA Division I softball players were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups 5 weeks before the season began. Group 1 was the control group and received no vision training. Group 2 completed 18 vision-training sessions over the span of 6 weeks. Vision exercises consisted of visual flexibility, visual recognition, and visual tracking. Each session was performed with a game pad controller on a computer and lasted between 10-20 minutes. Prior to the beginning of the 6 weeks, all subjects were tested on body composition, grip strength and vertical jump  to assess leg power. Instantaneous bat velocity was recorded and for batted-ball velocity, subjects were directed to hit softballs between a zone away from the back of home plate and set up on the softball field while batted-ball velocity was measured by a radar gun set up behind home plate. Softballs were delivered at a mean velocity from the automated pitching machine 13.1 m or 43 ft away from home plate. Subjects also performed pitching recognition where a softball was delivered from the same pitching machine and called out “ball” or “strike”. An official NCAA “strike zone”, adjusted for each player, was set-up behind each hitter. The number of correct responses was recorded by the pitch recognition score. Both groups were also assessed by a commercial visual training program on their depth perception, eye flexibility, visual recognition, and visual tracking. Once the 6-week training program was completed, all subjects were re-tested on the same parameters previously listed.

Comparing Group 1 from Group 2 revealed significant difference in convergence percentage, visual recognition response time, visual tracking response time, and level 4 depth perception. There were no significant differences in BV, BBV, PR, or other visual components.

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Softball Vision Training – DIY Swinging Ball Drill

softball vision trainingThis is another “Do-It-Yourself” Softball Vision Training Aid.

To make the swinging ball you need for this drill… Read more

Softball Vision Training: How to Make (and Use) a Brock String

First of all, what is a brock string and how can we use it for softball?

brock stringWhat is a Brock String?
Well, a brock string is a softball vision training aid you can use to train your eyes to focus on objects at varying distances. It develops your ability to shift focus from one point to another quickly and easily. Obviously this is useful in many different softball situations, such as shifting your focus from the ground ball you just fielded (close) to your target (a base that is farther away).

How to Use a Brock String
The brock string drill is a classic sports vision drill. The drill is particularly useful for developing the eye muscle control that is needed to focus on the ball from the pitcher’s hand to the plate.

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Softball Vision: How to Improve Focus Flexibility

Focus flexibility is the process of changing focus from near to far or far to near. Obviously this is an important skill in softball! Download this document for more information on focus flexibility, why it’s so important, and how you can work on improving it.

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Three Pillars of Head Training

brainIn every sport, levels of performance are always increasing. This can be explained by better overall training.

In softball, skills training methods are better than ever especially with the arrival of new technologies and teaching tools (computers, video, etc.).  Physical training has also greatly evolved going from being rudimentary in the late 1980’s to being cutting-edge and really advance today. Both skills training and physical training will keep getting better but I believed that they have both reached levels where improvements will be minors from now on.

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