3 Tips To See the Ball Better When Hitting

Written By: Eric Tyler

3 Tips To See The Ball Better When Hitting

How Can Your Stance Affect Your Vision

A great swing with poor vision is essentially useless. Don’t get me wrong, poor swing mechanics with good vision doesn't create a ton of damage. However, vision will always be king. Our eyes tell us what, when, and where to swing. Pitch recognition, barrel accuracy, and timing all come from what we see. All of these can be helped and made easier through swing mechanics, but training your eyes and how you track the pitch is a sure-fire way to become a better hitter. 

So how can we adjust how we see the ball? To begin that conversation we have to know that when we talk about vision in hitting, we are talking about something completely different than the vision you test at the eye doctor. A hitter’s ability to track an object clearly with BOTH eyes is crucial to swing vision. This starts in a hitter's set up or stance. As a hitter, are you setting up to hit or setting up to see the ball? Most pitch recognition is occurring during the batters set up and initial movement into the stride. So let's take a look at how we can improve this phase to see the ball better when hitting.

See The Ball Better: Turn Your Face

How we are aligned at our initial setup determines how well we see the ball at our initial first move. By turning our face to the pitcher we allow both eyes to be squarely on the pitcher, just as we would if catching a ball thrown to us. Often a hitter's eyes will be turned in and the hitter looking out of the corner of their eyes. This creates a need to compensate for that at the beginning of the swing. Eliminate compensations and track the ball better by creating a better alignment and face positioning during your stance.

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See The Ball Better: Load From The Middle

A hitter will begin to load around the time the pitcher's hands separate and begin moving towards home plate. This typically requires the hitter to counter-rotate their body away from the pitcher in order to load and coil for a rotational motion. However, what body part counter rotates can play a big role in that hitter's vision. By allowing the shoulders to counter-rotate past the hitter's pelvis, the hitter's face is forced to turn in towards the plate and doesn’t allow for their back eye to stay on the pitcher. However, a hitter that loads their pelvis and core inward while keeping their shoulders in line to the pitcher, allows for the optimal load while still tracking the ball well.

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See The Ball Better: Eliminate Sway Back

Sway back in a hitters load can create a false sense of space between a hitter's eyes and the ball. This can be detrimental to a hitter's alignment and timing awareness during the swing. Create a better sense of timing by loading forward as opposed to swaying or rocking back in the load.

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See Better To Hit Better

Good vision will always beat good swing mechanics. But who says you can’t have both? Why not train for both. It doesn't have to be one or the other. Hitters that have both are rare. Make sure to prioritize both in your training and give yourself the best chance to be the hitter you want to be.

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