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How Hitters Can Improve Vision

Aug 01, 2023

                                                                    Vision and Hitting


I was on a 7-hour flight over the weekend.

One of the things I started to think about was vision. 

I wondered, can we help hitters improve their vision?

Let’s face it, there’s nothing more important than seeing the ball as a hitter. If you can’t see it, you can’t hit it. 

Is it possible to take a hitter with 20/20 vision and improve their vision even more?

We know it’s possible to take someone with below-average eyesight and get them to average. 

So, I decided to listen to this episode about vision on the Huberman Lab Podcast with Dr. Jeffrey Goldberg. 

The research is intriguing. 

Currently, at Stanford, they’re using special goggles that use electrical signals in the glasses part of the goggles. (Here is the clip with Dr. Goldberg

The goggles decrease the vision of each athlete.

  • 1/30th of every second 
  • 2/30th of every second 
  • 3/30th of every second 

 Then the athletes take the goggles off and perform the task at hand. 

 This gives me several ideas on training hitters. 

 Something simple like using an eye patch over one eye, taking 5-10 swings, and then switching the eye patch to the other eye. 

 Or using goggles that are slightly dirty (on the outside) to make it more difficult for the hitter to see, then taking the goggles off and having them hit. 

 I’ve listed a few more drills below: 

 Drill #1:

I was doing some testing in my cage and decided to put a sheet over the L screen so the hitter couldn’t see the person putting the ball in the machine, only the hand and the ball,

Before I had any hitter do this, I tried it out myself. 


This is called fixation. Where you’re holding gaze on one spot for an extended period, it helped me be more present by solely focusing on the ball. My mind wasn’t wandering because I knew I needed to focus on that one spot. After the sheet was taken off the screen, I felt more present and focused. 

I’ve also seen this done with an L screen and a pitcher throwing. You would need to cut out a piece in the L screen so you can see the batter.

Drill #2:

I read about this drill in the book, High Performance Vision. 

“Sit in on a pitcher’s practice. Color a ball between the inside seams and have him throw a variety of pitches from the mound. As a batter, you should pick up the spin of the ball as quickly as possible, call out the pitch, and watch the ball end its flight in the catcher’s glove.

If you are having trouble identifying the pitch, have the pitcher state the pitch before he throws it. This should help you learn to identify types of pitches at their release points. Then see if you can identify the spin on a normal ball. You don’t have to hit the ball during this exercise, just monitor its trajectory.” 

One of the things I like to do when facing a pitcher with high velo is, right before the game starts, have the hitters take 5-10 pitches off a FB machine. I like to crank the machine up so it’s significantly faster than the pitcher they’re about to face. All the hitter is doing is working on taking pitches, this will help them perceive the actual pitcher as a little slower when they get into the box. 

Bonus Tips

2 Tips from Dr. Lauren J. Bailey

1. Screen Time:

“ZERO SCREEN TIME 2-3 HOURS BEFORE GAMES OR PRACTICE. This can easily interfere with z-axis quickness and depth perception. Screen time can also fatigue your eyes before you even get started with a game. I am seeing accommodative spasm in kids more and more, which directly affect athletes” 

2. Night Games

“Before hitting during night games, stand under the stadium lights and look around. This exposure to the light causes the pupils to become smaller, which blocks out some of the aberrations that cause glare.

Do NOT look directly into the lights or you’ll end up seeing an after image, which gets in the way. The goal is to keep the pupils small but without a distracting after image and may take practice”


I hope, more than anything else, this post gives you some ideas on how to help your hitters improve their vision at the plate.

It's exciting that we're just scratching the surface to help athletes improve their vision! 


Whenever you're ready, there's 1 way I can help you:

1. If you're looking for more content on player development, I would recommend starting with my free podcast. Where I have interviewed over 300 coaches.

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