Improve Hand-Eye Coordination for Hitting
The Beginning Hitting Series
Baseball and Fastpitch Softball
This article details 3 concepts, demonstrates 4 drills, and shows 1 game for improving hand-eye coordination for hitting. Let Building Rome Series help you get your beginning hitter, ages 5 to 9, off to a fun and productive start.
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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 front toss, side toss, or a small ball pitching machine with golf size foam or wiffle 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 (click on the links to shop Lite-Flite Baseballs and Lite-Flight Softballs) is another great drill for indoor practice. While lite-flights have a multitude of uses, they are 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!
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:
Click the link for our Beginning Hitter Series on YouTube
Building Rome Series Books: Building the High-Level Swing Series
Click Building the High-Level Swing to learn more about our new two-book hitting series containing 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!