Baseball Vision Training

As a baseball player we teach and train every muscle in the body.  We are always exercising and working on our strength, mobility, flexibility, range of motion, and even our minds.  But we always overlook the most important one, our eyes and vision.  To be successful in any sport you must be able to see and process what you are seeing quickly.  Hitting happens in under 400 milliseconds but you need to process the pitch within 75-100 milliseconds.  Have you ever thought about what goes into that process?   Check out this link and you will see what needs to happen for you to see and recognize a pitch.

The good news is that we can improve our vision and train it just like we train other parts of our body.  Here is a list of training exercises that I have been doing after working with a sports vision therapist.



Hart Chart

  • Cost – Free
  • What is needed:
    • Small letter chart
    • Large letter chart
    • Optional – Eye patch

What is the hart chart and how does it work?   Accommodation is the focusing of the lens in your eye.  If your vision gets blurry up close, accommodation is not working.  Your eyes strain and you may bet headaches as well.  The good news is that you can exercise and strengthen to improve.   The way we do this is by printing off a small letter – near chart and a large letter – far chart.  You go back and forth reading each line of the chart.  Near, far, near, far, etc.…  You do this while covering one eye with either your hand or a purchased eye patch.  Here are the instructions:


Also read this and watch the video:


If you do this 1-2 times a day, you will quickly feel and experience results.  It would be idea to do a session in the morning and at night.

Here is an Amazon link to an eye patch:



Flippers Vision Therapy

  • Cost – $15-30 per flipper
  • What is needed:
    • +/- 2 flipper to start
    • Additional +/- 1.5-3.0 flippers if needed
    • Small letter chart from the Hart Chart above

How do you use flippers?  Flippers are a great tool to add into your vision training.  They work on helping your eyes focus near and far quickly.  The idea is to simulate distances with a + or – magnification in the flipper.   This video explains how to use the flipper:


If you do this for 3-5 minutes a day and ramp up to maybe 10 in a month, you will notice an improvement in how quickly your eyes can work on focusing.


Here is an Amazon link to purchase flippers.  I suggest the +/- 2 to start with.  These are cheap but work well.  They do ship from China, so it takes a while for shipping.



Brock String

  • Cost – $10
  • What is needed:
    • Purchase a Brock String

This one is going to be hard for me to explain how it works and what it does.  But it’s basically a long 10’ strings with 3-5 beads on it.  You space the beads out and then hold the string up between your eyes.  Then you look down the string and try to focus on each bead individually.  When that happens, you see 1 bead, but the other beads look like there are 2.  Its best to just show you the instructions with pictures:



This will help train depth perception and focus.  Its hard for your eyes to process 1 bead at first but with some training it becomes easier.  The one PDF above shows other drills that can be done using the same string.

Here is the link to purchase on Amazon:



Senaptec Strobe Glasses

  • Cost $349
  • What is needed:
    • Senaptec Glasses

Senaptec took over the old Nike strobe training glasses.  They state that they train the connection between an individual’s eyes, brain, and body.  They are basically strobe lights in the lens of the glasses that cut down the frames you see and it makes you react quicker and process information faster.

Here is the link to Senaptec where you can read and learn more:




I personally do every drill listed; I even have the glasses. None are easy but every drill does work and strengthens your vision.  Its easy to slack on vision training and I know that 98% probably don’t even think about it but when you put in the effort of 10 minutes a day, results will come.  Sorry that I couldn’t explain each drill well, but it is very complicated.  You have to try it to experience the impact.  I would tell everyone reading this to start with the Hart Chart and download/print a free chart online and give it a try.  It won’t cost you anything.

Baseball Hitting Drills – Increase Barrel Awareness and Accuracy – Step 1

This question was brought up on social media so I thought I would tackle it here since I have been wanting to do a hitting drill specific post anyways.  I know everyone talks about intent and launch and exit velo but before we even get there we need to make contact.  To make it even more difficult we need to make accurate contact or “square up” the ball.  This is dependent on a lot of things but its important to keep in mind that pitch type, speed, and location determine a lot of what the swing does to make contact.

One thing that drives me CRAZY is when I see post after post online of hitter working and changing their swing off the tee and flips.  Tell me how this will translate into a game?  I worked with a few high school kids who worked on this all off season and the weekend before tryouts they showed up to the cages to hit off a 70 mph machine.  Guess what?  They didn’t square one ball up and actually was late on 90% of them.  So how do you think they did in try out?  Off a tee they looked great but even when a coach did overhand pitching with some speed, they fell apart.  Lets always remember this when we discuss drills.

The Drills…

  • High Tee Drill Middle Up – This is the staple drill for most guys, especially for warming up and being in a routine.
    • Tee setup in the middle of the plate
    • Height should be at or above shoulders (Im 6′ 2″ and it gets to my shoulders)
    • Tee should be between center mass and front foot for location
    • No stride
    • Start with choking up 4-5″ then work to regular grip over time
    • Line drives right up the middle and head high

Let the hitter figure this out on their own at first.  This is hard for guys to conquer.  It can take 3 minutes or 1 week for someone to get this.  If the hitter is struggling we can use swing thoughts like this:

  • Swing above the ball.  Literally try to swing above it and miss it.
  • Swing down.  Feel like you are swinging straight down.
    • If the hitter is popping up you can place a ball on the ground 5′ in front of the tee and tell him to hit the ball at the ball on the ground.  We need to overcompensate here.
  • Just let the ball get in the way of rotation.  Just turn with a high barrel.
  • Work front elbow inside the ball at ball height.


  • High Tee Drill Away Up – This just takes the above drill and moves the tee to the outside corner, deeper back, and the hitter will stride.   All the same concepts apply above.

  • One Handed High Tee Middle Up – If you want to make the above drills harder, use one hand.
    • Find out which hand dominate hitters are.  Do all drills with bottom hand and then top hand.
    • This is where barrel control comes into play and hitters really learn what their body is doing.
    • No stride
    • You may want to have them use kids bats like a -10 and choke up a lot.
    • Goal is to hit line drives up the middle.
    • Switch hands.

  • Back to High Tee Middle Up – Now we take full stride swings with the same focus as head high line drives up the middle.  Everything before was controlled and learning how the body needs to move to hit these high tee balls.  Now we go into swing mode and stride.


  • Low Tee Inside – You have to mix it up.  Don’t get comfortable with hitting balls in one location.
    • Now the player will need to work in their head how to hit a ball down and in when they just have been working on up and up and away.
    • What happens here is all the swing thoughts they used to hit the high pitch will need to be accounted for on low balls inside.
    • Create good habits and place the tee 8-12″ in front of the plate.  The further out front the better.  Train the mind and body to be early and turn on these balls.  Contact out front.
    • Hit pull side higher line drives but make sure the hitter is driving the ball and not pulling off it.  Also make sure the hitter is getting into the ball.  I like to have the hitter feel that they are punching the ball with their top hand and driving the back shoulder/hip through the ball and finishing over the plate or in front of the plate.

  • Low Tee Inside One Handed – Same as the above drill but with one hand.  Use both hands.   Remember to choke up and use a lighter bat if necessary.

  • Low Tee Away – Make the hitter get to every location.
    • Place the tee on the deep outside corner.  Make sure that the stance and stride are the same and the hitter isn’t changing it to compensate for a different tee location.
    • The goal here is to hit low line drives to the SS or 2nd basemen depending on if they are R/L handed.  These will go oppo.

  • Low Tee Away One Handed – Same as the above drill but with one hand.  Use both hands.   Remember to choke up and use a lighter bat if necessary.

Now that we made it hard, lets do a few other tee drills to get the hitter back to actual swing thoughts and work.

  • Middle Middle Tee – Here we make it a normal mid/mid location and just let the hitter swing as usual.  Hopefully the previous work makes him get into these balls and square them up and hits hard line shots down the middle.  Make sure no roll over or pop ups are happening.  A consistent back/top of the cage is the goal here. We are also trying to build their confidence back up from all the hard locations and one handed stuff.


I could continue on here but I am assuming that whoever is reading this is not an MLB player with hours a day 7 days a week to perfect their swing.  But this would be a warm up in one of those days and would be repeated until the player thought they were 90% on every location.  So lets just look at this as step 1, I will adjust my title.