Baseball players train hard to develop muscular strength and endurance, but did you know that sharp vision and strong visual skills can be just as crucial to your game?
Winning at baseball requires split-second calculations. When a ball spins toward you at lightning speed, figuring out what kind of pitch is approaching can be the difference between a strike and a home run.
The longer it takes you to identify the pitch, the harder it is to hit it, no matter how well-developed your swinging technique is.
To identify the pitch, baseball players need excellent contrast sensitivity. This is the visual skill that enables you to quickly see the ball’s red seams as the white ball approaches — and decide if it’s a knuckleball, fastball or slider.
What Is Contrast Sensitivity and How Can It Make You a Winner?
Contrast sensitivity is the ability to distinguish between an object and its background. It’s a crucial visual skill, because no matter how strong you swing, or how fast you run, your ability to hit that home run is impacted if you can’t distinguish the ball from a cloudy sky, or the red seams from the white part of a moving baseball.
How Baseball Vision Training Can Be a Game Changer
One way you can go from being a good ball player to an outstanding one is to improve your contrast sensitivity. This means adding sports vision training to your regimen.
At The Sports Vision Center at Advanced Eye Care in South Charleston we’ll custom-design a program to develop your contrast sensitivity. We’ll begin with a functional eye exam to assess your contrast sensitivity and the other visual skills needed to successfully play baseball.
Sports vision training involves eye exercises that teach the eyes and brain to work together more quickly and efficiently. You’ll meet with us for in-clinic sessions and continue training exercises at home.
See the ball more accurately and be ready to hit it out of the park! Talk to us at The Sports Vision Center at Advanced Eye Care and find out how sports vision training can make all the difference in your game.Our practice serves patients from South Charleston, Davis Creek, Hillsdale, and Institute, West Virginia and surrounding communities.
Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Rebecca St. Jean
A: One way to determine contrast sensitivity is through a Pelli-Robson test, which is like a regular eye chart but one that features rows of dark letters that gradually get lighter. Wave grating is another type of contrast sensitivity test and requires you to identify shapes at different spatial frequencies and levels of contrast.
Q: What other visual skills are important for baseball?
A: In addition to contrast sensitivity, the following visual skills can improve your baseball game:
- Focusing – keeping your eye on the ball
- Eye teaming – the eyes’ ability to work together to keep track of movements on the field
- Peripheral vision –detecting activity, such as a player stealing a base, on the edges of your visual field
- Visual processing – detecting and interpreting visual information so you can hit or catch the ball