In softball, vision refers to more than just eye sight.
Vision involves the ability to accurately perceive factors such as motion, location and rotation on the field or at the plate.
Even players with perfect 20/20 eye sight can improve their softball vision by using these exercises.
Softball and Vision
Softball players rely on accurate vision for every aspect of the game.
Athletes are constantly making decisions, and their vision will affect their ability to succeed on the field. Consider the role good vision has on the following choices:
- While batting, the hitter must decide how to swing, or whether or not to swing away based on the location, speed and rotation of the pitch.
- While base running, a player must choose whether to run or stay, and determine when she can successfully steal a base.
- While fielding grounders or fly balls, an outfielder must determine where to meet the ball, and decide where to throw the ball once she has it.
Good vision can turn an average player into a great player, while bad vision can hinder a great player from reaching her potential.
The following drills will help players at any level improve their softball vision.
Use a permanent marker to write the numbers zero through nine on batting practice balls. Use a black marker for some balls and a red marker for other balls (or add even more colors—just remember to change up the colors and numbers so players can't remember).
As the players practice hitting, have them identify the ball before they take a swing.
Progress through these drills, which start out easy and get progressively more difficult:
- Identify the color.
- Identify the number.
- Identify both the color and the number.
- For an additional challenge, increase the speed of the pitches.