you may notice in the numerous articles appearing on this site, we are big
proponents of seeing the ball well. You must see it to hit it! There are
many drills that have been around baseball for years and years that deal
with seeing the ball, tracking the ball, identifying pitches, etc. Here
are a few of our favorites.
BASEBALL VISION DRILLS
-This drill is used
to warm up the eyes for live pitching.
-Color the ball between the inside seams and have the pitcher throw a
variety of pitches from the mound or 60 feet 6 inches.
-In this drill, the batter picks up the spin as quickly as possible, calls
out the pitch, and watches the ball into the catcher's mitt.
-If the batter has trouble identifying the pitch before he throws it,
this helps the batter pick up the type of pitch if they don't recognize
it at the release point. (Don't hit the ball, just call it in flight.)
-Use 2-3 colored baseballs:
-------Red = Take
-------White = Hit Away
-------Green = Drag
-The batter must react to the color of the ball as soon as he/she recognizes
-The drill can be used with live pitching or soft toss.
-Use XLR8 Speed Balls and toss the balls to yourself, hitting to all fields.
-The following drills or wrinkles to these drills can be added to make
the task of hitting much more difficult and force better concentration
by the batter.
-----Use a XLR8 Speed Bat, or bat smaller than your regular bat.
-----The tosser calls the field (right, left, center) he/she wants the
ball hit as soon as the ball is about to be tossed. If the batter hits
the ball to the wrong field or pops the ball up, the players switch positions.
The batter can take pitches or the tosser can call for the batter to take
a pitch. It the batter swings on a take call, he's out and the players
-----The batter closes his/her eyes and opens them when the tosser calls
"open." The batter can take pitches or the tosser can hold the
ball. If the player swings and no ball is thrown or pops the ball up the
-This drill teaches
the player to pick up the pitch at the release point and to keep his/her
head down on the swing.
- 1. The batter calls out the number of fingers, 1-5, that the pitcher
throws at the batter, swings and again calls out the number of fingers
that a coach has flashed after the bat passes the plate.
- 2. The coach flashing the numbers stands 5-6 feet in front of the outside
corner of the plate.
-The drill can be made more difficult by having the pitcher use a ball
and show pitches to the hitter without releasing the ball.
-The hitter would make the visual shift to the plate and hit a ball off
a tee after calling out the pitch.
To make the drill even harder, replace the single tee with a double tee,
placing the inside tee (higher) about 3-4 feet in front of the inside
corner and the second tee (lower) equal to the front point of the outside
-The batter is now forced to see the ball at the release point and react
to the pitch (FB, Curve, etc.) If the pitcher show fastball, the batter
must turn and pull the ball off the inside tee. If the batter reads off
speed pitch, the batter must drive the ball to right field off the outside
tee. (Reverse the tees for a left-handed batter.)
Basic Visual Drills
-Hold a pencil at
arm's length. Focus on the pencil's number and move the pencil toward
you. When the number begins to blur, extend your arm and begin again.
Then, hold one pencil in each hand one as close to your face as possible
without the number blurring, and the other at arm's length. Focus first
on the near pencil (you may notice the distant pencil blurring into two
images). Then stare at the far pencil. Alternate your focus, gradually
increasing your speed. Do each exercise for five minutes, rest five minutes
-Put press-on letters on a Wiffle ball, then hang the ball by a string
in a doorway. Twist the string and, while the ball turns, identify as
many letters as possible. Perform for three minutes, rest three minutes
You can get your XLR8 Speed Balls by Clicking Here or the picture below.