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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Baseball Batters Eye Focus and Concentration"

"Baseball Batters Eye Focus and Concentration"
By Coach Nick Dixon

The eyes are the hitter's brain when it comes to hitting. A batter's can know the count, know the situation, know the pitcher, and know how to swing, but if their eyes are weak or fail them, they will more than like suffer defeat at the plate. How many times have we heard a successful batter say that "I am really seeing the ball right now" or an unsuccessful batter say "I am not picking the ball up. I am not seeing the ball". There are many factors that influence a batter's ability to "see the ball". Pitchers motion, light or time of day, and the background in centerfield all can hurt or help a batter's ability to see the ball.

How should a batter use the eyes during the batting process? Does a batter simply step in the batter’s box, tap the plate with the bat, and start looking for the ball? Or is there a recommended process or procedure of using the eyes during the batting process? What should the batter focus the eyes on prior to the pitch? If you ask 10 batters, most likely, you will receive 5 different answers. Batter's can be taught a technique that can increase the effectiveness and sharpness of eyesight during the batting process.

Batters should use 2 TYPES OF EYE FOCUS when batting. Batters should start with a "SOFT EYE FOCUS" to ease tension on the eyes, and then go to a HARD EYE FOCUS when the pitcher starts the PITCHING MOTION. The batter begins the soft focus by looking at an area around the pitchers head and shoulders. The batters may soft focus on the pitchers cap. As the pitcher begins the pitching motion, the batter when then converts to a HARD EYE FOCUS on the pitchers pitching shoulder and the pitcher's release point. During this crucial segment of the swing, the batter uses an EXTREME HARD EYE FOCUS technique to pick up the ball. Using the soft to hard focus technique, batters tend to not lose concentration, suffer eye strain, and get too up-tight.

COACHING POINT: Good teams and players read and identify certain tendencies by pitchers as soon as they can. Arm slot and release point should be studied when in the dugout and in the on-deck circle. Knowing the pitcher's delivery motion, timing, and release point will allow the batter to pick or see the ball much quicker out of the pitcher's hand which increases the batter's odds for success.

Good luck to you. Happy Hitting, Nick Dixon.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick