Heard “Keep Your Eyes On The Ball!” OR “See The Ball Hit The Bat!”…?
Well, we’re about ready to debunk both of these well worn coaching cues by sharing the results of a scientific study.
This study was sent to me by one of my readers (and friend) Joe Yurko…THANK YOU 😀
Here’s where you can find the full cited study:
A. Terry Bahill and T. LaRitz, American Scientist, 72, 1984, pp. 249-253
I recently presented the study to my Toastmasters club as a “Technical Paper”, and we recorded it so I could share the findings with you.
Sorry, I wasn’t mic’d up, so the audio isn’t the best, but I think you’ll get the message.
CLICK HERE for the Powerpoint slides I used for the speech.
In this video presentation, we go over:
- Statement of the problem,
- How it was solved,
- Data Conclusions,
- Experiment Applications, and
- The study’s limitations…
In a nutshell, the study goes into debunking the two coaching phrases:
- “Keep your eyes on the ball”, and
- “See the ball hit the bat” (which Ted Williams said he could do “on the rare occasion”)…
The study findings will SHOCK you.
There was one Powerpoint slide I accidentally skipped over during the speech, and you can view the information on elusive slide #11 in the above-mentioned Powerpoint link.
The forgotten slide contains the following study findings:
- Slowest pitch for hitter’s eye not to fall behind would be 21-mph assuming no wind and thrown at a 45-degree angle. To see the ball hit the bat? Would need an anticipatory saccade*…jump from first 1/3 of the plate to last 1/3, but you’d miss the middle 1/3 distance to plate.
- *Saccade suppression – look at your image in mirror, look at your left eye, then look at right eye…did you see the eyes move? Process that turns off visual system during saccadic eye movements…otherwise, we would think the world is flying around us.
- Hitter uses predictive abilities to track the ball the last 1/3 of ball flight…using peripheral vision.
I’d love to hear your comments about this below…
I’ve spent 11+ years in the corrective fitness industry, and have too many alphabet-soup certifications to bore you with.I also played four years of Division One baseball at Fresno State from 2000-2003.
It’s NOT how you study, but what you study that counts.I apply human movement principles (or rules), validated by science, to hitting a baseball and softball.
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