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How to improve hand-eye coordination for baseball

Hand-eye coordination is one of the fundamentals of baseball, on both offense and defense. When a player hits a fly ball out to center field, you use your eyes to track it through the sky and into your glove. Some of the best professional hitters say they see the rotation on a pitch and use that skill to guess where the ball will land. That's a really advanced talent, but in any case, increasing your hand-eye coordination will make you a formidable baseball player. Many drills exist to help you with your ability to keep your eye on the ball. Here are a few:

Hit off a batting tee - When you hit off a tee, you practice seeing the ball before making contact in proper form. After you get used to hitting a baseball, switch to a tennis ball. By reducing the size of your target, you refine what your eyes can see during a swing. Position your body to mimic either an inside or an outside pitch. You can also move the tee up and down to simulate high or low throws.

Soft toss with a partner - Do this drill with a friend. Move to about six feet of the protective net of a batting cage or fence. He or she should kneel on the ground and toss the ball underhand out in front of you. While the ball is in the air, hit it to the fence. If you just started playing baseball, the ball should be thrown directly across from you. This drill helps train your eyes while the ball is in flight. Once you feel comfortable with hitting baseballs, move on to tennis balls. As you get better hitting the smaller target, have your partner move to a diagonal position behind you where he or she can toss the ball slightly in front of you. Do not watch your partner toss the ball. Wait for it to appear in your field of vision, and then swing.

Short toss with a partner - Have your partner position a safety screen about 10 to 15 feet away from you. The shortened distance simulates a full speed pitch. After you master hitting the really hard throws, move onto smaller targets.

Hit balls from a pitching machine - Use a machine that has various speed settings. If you have access to a batting cage, try getting one positioned flat on the ground.

Getting ready for a game
Practice these drills with gently used baseball equipment and gloves. Continuous effort every day will make your body remember the movements, even under the pressure of a real game.

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