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Focusing on the release point

Sep 29, 2008
Northeast Ohio
It's often said that batters should intensly focus on the release point at the hip while they are in the box. I would love to hear from some successful hitters regarding the visual process and what you actually do with focus once the pitcher steps on the rubber until the point of contact. I'm coaching a bunch of good 14's with nice swings and I want to give them every hitting advantage possible.
Jul 21, 2008
I would suggest that your hitters have a soft focus while perparing in the box and waiting on the pitcher to start her motion. What I mean by this is to relax your eyes and watch the pitcher but don't focus to hard on the hip until she starts her motion. This is called a soft focus then to a hard focus on the hip after the pitchers motion starts. This will allow your eyes to relax and be ready to focus when the time is right.

Sep 29, 2008
Northeast Ohio
As you shift from sioft focus would you say that as the pitcher starts the windup you totally lose sight and thought of the pitcher and windup and intensely focus soley of the release point or just sort of see it all happening? No trying to split hairs. Just trying to look for fucus cues if there is something i haven't heard of or thought of.
Oct 14, 2008
we use a very simple method for batters vision at the plate, have her look past the pitcher at some distant point to either side of the pitcher while she is taking her sign, fiddling around or what ever she is doing then from her prefeorial vision as the pitcher starts her wind and goes to the 12 oclock position her vision locks in on the hip she is releasing from, try it youll see it as somethnig so simple yet not many do


Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
Montreal, Canada
CoachDan described it right. Don't zoom in too early. Keep soft focus by looking at the whole pitcher in general while pitchers is taking signs and setting up. As she starts her windup, zoom in to a hard focus on the release point.

Track the ball by looking at the whole ball (background of ball should be blurry) instead of looking at a specific point on the ball.

Jan 20, 2009
I disagree with focusing on the pitcher's hip.

When the pitcher's arm is coming around, you can't see a ball. All you can really see is a yellow blur. Your eyes have to "catch up" with the ball, which increases the degree of difficulty in "seeing the ball".

Use this concept as a vision drill to train your batters to be better hitters:
There is a point where your eyes will give you a clear round yellow object rather than a yellow blur. Every player's eyes are slightly different in their ability to "pick up" the ball, just like different camera lens speeds. Basically, the spot is going to be somewhere between 12 and 24 inches after the ball leaves the pitcher's hand.

Position your batter in the on-deck circle. You can put the whole team there. You can even put them all in the dugout for that matter.

Have a pitcher throw some pitches. Each player has to determine in their own mind, where the exact point is that the yellow blur is now a yellow ball.

Once the player has that spot determined in their mind, THAT is the spot where they go into hard focus.

The benefit of this is that the longer they can see the ball, the better they can predict where the pitch is headed and will improve pitch selection.

From a practical perspective, in a game, the on-deck batter and the one "in the hole" should be training their minds on this so they are completley prepared to enter the batter's box.


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