Specifics of the Game
HOW IT WORKS
The most important aspect of hitting is the visual process, yet most players use their peripheral vision. They have what we call “target fixation”. When they see the ball and make the decision to hit, their eyes “fix” or freeze on that spot as the ball travels into the hitting zone. Their eyes are somewhere between the pitcher and the plate while the ball is over the plate. Major league players who hit the ball well have one thing in common; they use their central vision longer, keeping their eyes on the ball into the hitting zone. If you see their at-bat in slow motion, their eyes are fixed on the ball or very close to it as they are hitting it. In our conditioning sessions, we work to ensure proper positioning of the body, head, and eyes.
The player then tracks balls at speeds of 60 to 150 miles per hour using our patented machine. The player concentrates on recognizing and tracking through the hitting zone. After tracking drills, we have a series of bunting and hitting drills at pitching speeds he or she usually faces in a game. This further conditions the player to see the ball to the point of contact (where the ball hits the bat). By combining the high speeds and tracking exercises, the physical and mental aspects of hitting are brought together in one exercise. When the eyes track the ball properly, the batter’s mechanics fall into place. It is much less likely that a batter will step out if his/her eyes and head are right on the ball.
Once the eyes and brain begin to connect and develop recognition at high speeds, the players’ visual processing speeds up. This advantage gives a player more time to adjust to pitches during a game.
During the training sessions, we condition each player to ”trust what they see” because their eyes will tell them everything they need to know. As the batter learns to trust what they see, they develop a flex reaction to commit to a pitch or not, rather than thinking at the plate. Again, seeing the ball properly is critical. Once a player is successfully tracking a ball at over 100 miles per hour, a 60 to 95 mile per hour pitch is not as difficult to hit. This focus and concentration level change the batter’s vision from a defensive posture to offensive, creating a mental state of mind that produces more consistent and solid contact with the ball.
Hitting, broken down physiologically, is a series of ocular and brain-based actions that, in turn, cause a physical reaction. The goal of our conditioning process over time is to create an automatic, solidly conditioned reflex of the muscles that swing the bat, which is triggered by a visual stimulus of the retina and is instantaneously interpreted by the brain as correct (a strike), to contact the ball accurately. The thought is totally bypassed. As the players’ repetitions increase, the brain is adjusting and creating stronger and quicker neurological pathways between the eyes, brain, and muscles.
Your central vision plane is the most reliable and accurate way to track a ball. When you are in the batter’s box, you must see the ball as clearly as possible to give yourself the best chance to make contact. The pitcher is trying to keep you off balance and fool you visually by throwing different pitches at various speeds. They are creating as many variables from pitch to pitch to change what you see, creating an environment where you have to constantly adjust. If you are inconsistent in tracking the ball, you are adding to those variables. You must keep the ball in your central vision from the pitcher's hand all the way into the hitting zone. When you are mechanically consistent in tracking the ball, the most accurate information is being sent to the brain. When the ball travels into your peripheral vision under certain circumstances, a mixed and inaccurate message or an “illusion” can occur. Here is a link to an example of what can happen in your peripheral vision. Have some fun with Dr. Shapiro’s award-winning illusion and “see” what’s really happening with the ball.
CHANGING THE WAY YOU PLAY THE GAME
Baseball, a game of CONFIDENCE
High tech vision training creates a high level of confidence with every player in our system. When a player is conditioned at the highest level, their confidence explodes, because they know without a doubt that they can’t be overpowered at the plate. In their mind, a dominating fastball is non-existent. When we work with our students every week tracking at speeds of 100 mph plus, the entire game slows down. This gives them more time to adjust and react in batting and fielding situations. It is very much like driving on the freeway at 70mph. You come into a small town where the speed limit is 30mph. What does it feel like? Is your awareness different? What do you think your reaction time might be like? Everything has come to a crawl. Your visual acuity is sharper. Your perception is clearer because your eyes and brain have been conditioned at a much higher speed. Your confidence level is naturally heightened. This is exactly what our program does for our players on the diamond. The high-speed conditioning process makes a live game situation seem like slow motion. But it isn’t just seeing and hitting fastballs. There is a methodology for our system. We work specifically with each player's needs and abilities. We change our approach in and out of season, developing and strengthening different skill sets. The system is also controlled, so it is safe even for young players.
FEAR of the ball
Fear of the ball and fear of the dark are very similar. They both develop from lack of proper sight. Batting creates the most anxiety in the game for a young player. Standing in the batters’ box with a hardball coming at them with some velocity creates a lot of anxiety. Players of all ages can have a fear of the ball. It is because they don’t have the ability to keep the ball in their central vision from the pitchers’ hands to the hitting zone. They lose recognition somewhere in between. When a young player is conditioned to properly see and track a 100mph ball with computer-like precision, they are much more relaxed at the plate. Hitting becomes fun, and the fear and anxiety of failure become non-existent as confidence grows. Our younger players’ visual skills are so advanced that game situations are always fun, even against the fastest pitchers.
FACT : High Tech Vision Training advances athletes all over the World.