For baseball players, they tend to significantly rely on their vision to succeed while on the baseball field. Researchers have now discovered a way for baseball players to take their performance and their vision to a brand-new level, and it takes just a couple of months of training on a computer or an iPad.
A recently published study shows that players were able to boost their eyesight by an average of 31 percent when using this technology, compared to those who failed to utilize this vision training game. Some of the players who participated in the study actually exceed the standard 20/20 vision.
In the study, seven of the participants were able to reach 20/7.5 acuity, which allows them to read text at three times the distance that a normal person can. In addition, players were mandated to stand 40 feet from the eye start when measurements were taken of their vision.
During the game, baseball players were required to search and choose specific visual patterns on the screen—patterns that researchers felt that the brain’s vision center responds best to. As the game went on, these patterns would dim, causing the players to use their vision more.
Unlike some of the other programs that have been designed to boost eyesight, this particular game worked the brain as opposed to the muscles in the eye, making the game brain training as well as vision training.
Ultimately, the goal of the vision training program is to train the brain so that it is able to better respond to the inputs that it receives from the eye. Similar to other aspects of the function, the potential is greater than the normative level of performance. When you go to exercise at the gym, you’re able to boost your physical fitness, and it’s the same with the brain. By exercising your mental processes, you can encourage your mental fitness.
After undergoing training for 25 minutes per day for four times a week over the course of two months, baseball players reported that they were able to see the ball better, had improved peripheral vision, and could distinguish objects more clearly in conditions with dim light, which tend to be common during overcast and night games. Players also said that their eyes didn’t tire as frequently and felt stronger overall.
As you may expect in a baseball game in which common advice is to keep your eye on the ball, enhanced vision helped to improve performance on the field. Baseball players who participated in vision training earned more runs and struck out less, in addition to other enhancements on game day. Based on these particular improvements, researchers estimated that improved eyesight assisted the team win an additional four or five games throughout the baseball season.
The aforementioned study is not the only one to utilize vision training to enhance the performance of baseball players. Other researchers have found that following six weeks of training, in conjunction with in-season maintenance training, players were able to improve their batting performance by at least 10 percent.
This year, the benefits of ongoing maintenance is being tested. Previous research regarding perceptual learning (related to senses) has shown that initial effects can last two years or more without additional training. Moreover, researchers hope to improve their own performance later on. Ultimately, researchers are keen on establishing a complete understanding of an ideal training schedule and the long-term effects of the training, though it can take years to establish these results.
Though superhuman vision is ideal for assisting baseball players judge if a ball is within the strike zone, the aforementioned research has various other applications within the real world. Researchers will work on expanding their work to include a variety of other groups like police officers as well as individuals with low vision due to eye conditions like lazy eye, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
For vision issues that stem from the eye shape like nearsightedness, brain training could help, though it is just a single piece of the entire puzzle. The ultimate solution to good vision is to utilize lenses or undergo surgery to optimize the eye optics and then utilize brain training to optimize the way the brain processes that data. If you focus on only one side of the equation, you will be left with suboptimal vision.
If you would like to learn more about vision and brain training or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Performance Vision.