Improve Hand-Eye Coordination for Hitting

The Beginning Hitting Series

Baseball and Fast Pitch Softball


This article details 3 concepts, demonstrates 4 drills, and shows 1 game for improving hand-eye coordination for hitting.

This article helps you get your beginning hitter, ages 5 to 9, off to a fun and productive start.


Concept 1 for Improving Hand-Eye Coordination for Hitting

Hand-Eye Coordination Defined


Hand-eye coordination is the ability of the vision system to coordinate the information received through the eyes. The vision system controls, guides, and directs the hands in the accomplishment of a given task.


Concept 2 for Improving Hand-Eye Coordination for Hitting

Routine Practice Recommended


Importantly, improving and then maintaining a hitter’s highest degree of hand-eye coordination requires routine hitting practice. Include a few drills which require at least 100 swings at a moving object, any moving object.


Drill 1 – “Hit Small Balls”

Use a soft front toss or side toss with practice golf balls.

To begin, start with the young hitter using their own bat. Then, when the young hitter begins making consistent contact, increase the difficulty by switching to a wood dowel or speed bat.

Hit small balls is the best all-around hand-eye coordination drill:

  • It is a great indoor drill. 
  • It is a very useful pregame warmup. During the game, the ball looks big and easy to hit.


Game 1 – “Small Ball Contact Competition”

Games and challenges are a great way to improve focus, monitor improvement, and increase the fun.

In the Small Ball Contact Competition, see how many times each hitter can make contact with the small ball in a row. Then, at each practice, have each hitter try to beat their last record.

To ramp up focus, make two teams, and see which team can make the most contact.

Be sure to celebrate all your achievements!


Drill 2 – “Two Ball High/Low Toss”

Front toss two balls.

Next, just before or on release, call out high or low. The hitter swings at the highest or lowest ball.


Drill 3 – “Machine Lite Flights”

Use Jugs Pitching Machine Lite-Flight Balls and a machine at 25 feet. These foam balls really move and dart. They are hard to square up and hit line drives. But kids enjoy the challenge!

Machine Lite Flights is another great drill for indoor practice. And, terrific for building hand-eye coordination.


Concept 3 for Improving Hand-Eye Coordination for Hitting

Hand-Eye Practice is Accumulative


Significantly, hand-eye coordination is accumulative. It is helpful to be aware; coordination gradually builds over time until reaching the hitter’s potential. For this reason, consistent practice sessions are essential to be game ready.


Drill 4 – “Drop, Side, and Behind Toss”

Here are three popular drills to continually improve the hitter’s hand-eye. Combine these standard toss drills by doing ten of each.

Each time the hitter does these drills, measure and track the total number of fair hits.

When coaching youth hitters, monitoring progress improves focus and fun. Older hitters like it too!


Final Thoughts

Typically, during the first hitting practice of the season, there are a lot of swings and misses. No worries! Regular practice sessions quickly improve the “rusty” hitter’s rate of hard-hit balls.

Also, it is interesting that offensive slumps often arise about three weeks into the competitive season. Why? Team practices are primarily defensively oriented with few quality hitting sessions.

The moral is to make sure each hitter has at least one purposeful hitting practice during game week. And, routinely dedicate at least one warmup station before games to tune up hand-eye coordination.


Building Rome Series Blog: The Beginning Hitting Series

Here are the 12 videos and articles contained in The Beginning Hitting Series:

Introduction to the Beginning Hitting Video Series

Seven Steps to Successful Youth Coaching

Best Bats Ages 9 and Under

Top 5 Priorities for the Beginning Hitter

Choose a Bat in 5 Steps

Improving Vision of the Beginning Hitter

Improving Hand-Eye Coordination

Position in the Batters Box

How to Overcome Fear of Being Hit

How to Improve Plate Discipline

Check Swing to Increase Productivity

Develop an Aggressive Batting Swing


Building Rome Series Books: Building the High-Level Swing Series

step by step hitting fundamentalsSee Building the High-Level Swing for a detailed and comprehensive description of 100 hitting fundamentals and 140 step-by-step drills that efficiently construct the batting swing from the ground up.

In the Building Rome Series of books, the construction of skills are in functional order, providing a “roadmap” to becoming a great hitter.

All baseball and fastpitch softball players can “climb the Roman Coliseum steps” to become a powerful and productive hitter.

Enjoy the quest!