Baseball/Softball: The Blink Drill Improves Vision in Catchers

Baseball/Softball: The Blink Drill Improves Vision in Catchers

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education

If your catchers are having trouble making last-second adjustments to breaking balls, watch their eyes. They may be blinking when the batter swings.

This is a natural reaction to a movement near the face, but catchers must learn to overcome this reflex, because many pitches change direction just as the batter swings and catchers must be able to see this sudden change in the ball's direction.

Eyeblink Drill
You can correct this problem with a simple drill. Have your catchers kneel in front of you while wearing their mask. Gently toss a number of balls into their facemask while they concentrate on not blinking.

Once it is proven to them that the ball won't hit them in the face, they'll be able to overcome their blinking reflex.

This drill will also correct the tendency to flinch, which is also an unconscious reaction to movements near the face.

Reference: Baseball Coaching Tips: #30 - Catching Drills: Blinking. Baseball Canada Website, 2008.

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