Why does a baby have a hard time picking up an object? Not to mention, putting a square block through a square hole seems an insurmountable challenge.
The reason is that they haven’t yet developed their hand eye coordination. This skill makes it possible for people to do everything from pour a glass of juice to catch a ball or even drive a car.
As expected, excellent hand eye coordination is imperative for playing sports. Let’s learn about the importance of hand eye coordination in baseball and softball.
How Does a Player Hit That?
Keeping your eye on the ball is more than just a coach’s slogan, it’s crucial for baseball and softball players to perform well.
Picture this, a fastball moving at 90 mph or more from 60 feet away gives a batter about 0.4 seconds to see the ball and react. To top it off, the batter must hit the ball with a round bat squarely, to make good contact.
The batter isn’t the only one in the hot seat either. Once the batter hits the ball, other players have to catch a ball that is now moving over 100 mph, dig it out of their glove and throw it 120 feet or more in less than 4 seconds.
Visual Skills in Baseball and Softball
Professional baseball and softball players have been found to have higher visual acuity than the general population. Athletes may develop this as a result of playing baseball/softball or, more likely, players who perform well already have better visual skills.
There are a number of visual skills required to be successful playing baseball and softball. These include:
- Eye-tracking and focusing
- Eye alignment or teaming (correctly focusing on the ball rather than slightly in front or slightly behind)
- Depth perception
- Dynamic visual acuity (correctly assessing an object’s movement when the player is also in movement)
- Well-developed peripheral vision (what the player sees around them, not just in front)
- Visual reaction speed (the time it takes a player to react to what they’ve seen)
If any of these visual skills are lacking, the player’s performance will be rather inconsistent.
Improving Hand Eye Coordination with HECOStix
The good news is that hand eye coordination is a learned skill. That means that players can improve this skill with practice. Batting practice or playing catch is one way that players can work on their hand eye coordination skills, but it can get boring over time.
HECOstix provide a fun way to develop the visual skills and concentration necessary to do well as a baseball or softball player. Toss the HECOstix back and forth calling out colors. The catcher must catch the device by the leg with the corresponding color.
It’s simple to adjust the game to make it easier and eventually harder as the player improves. This diversity makes it an excellent tool for all players — from kids on a Little League team all the way up to professional baseball players.
Check out the HECOstix today to start stepping up your baseball or softball game!