Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Are you frustrated at seeing your hitters:

Are you frustrated at seeing your hitters:

  • Take wild swings at bad pitches—in the dirt, outside their zone?
  • Take 3rd called strikes?
  • Late on fastballs and in front of off-speed pitches?

Were you equally tired of seeing:

  • Your pitchers lose command because of lack of focus?
  • Defensive players “kick” balls and/or throw balls away?


90% of the mistakes, errors and breakdowns in game conditions are not due to mechanical problems or tools but are due to a breakdown in the player’s skills of recognition, identification and visual concentration.

We specialized in evaluating and training player’s vision concentration skills in a manner that directly have a positive influence of “game time” performance.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

So I Can See, But I Can't

So I Can See But, I Can't. 

After being diagnosed with Choroidal Melanoma, (yes the Eye Guy with the Eye Problem) I underwent a procedure that radiated the tumor. Six months post op I am told that I am 20/20. Pretty good, right?

But I can't see.

Now I can see enough to get away with everyday life and enjoy it.

But I can't see.

I can play catch, I can shoot a basket, I can hit a ball and I can kick a ball

But I can't see.

Like many athletes I don't like to be told I can't.  So when the show me white/black letters in a  small room.  I can make them out.

But I can't see.

I am 20/20

But I can't see.

It is easy to see from the couch, or the stands

But I can't see.

To get in the net, to step in the box, to score a touchdown  at I high level  I MUST see

and I can't 

Seeing in sport is not all about being 20/20.  Its the ability to process visual information and react with the appropriate action.  

What I can't see is high level change in velocity, I can't see accurate depth,  I can't see HD detail.  All that is important to being a efficient and excellent athlete.  

In my case I will not have the vision restored to compete at a high level nor do I need to. But for athletes out there that are trying to make it to a high level  this feature is trainable.( assuming no visual problems).  

Aspiring athletes train their body why are they not training their visual skills?

Learn More at

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Relaxation is the secret to results-under-pressure” Really?

What does it mean to Relax?   

·        I told my wife to relax and she shut down all communication with me the rest of the day?

·        I told myself to relax before my big talk in front of 1000 people and I only got more nervous and tongue tied.

·        My coach told me to relax and I thought, “What does he know about what’s going on in my head.”

·        The Doctor told me to relax, I know I need to relax, but that pointed needle still freaked me out no matter how many deep breaths I took.
There are many ideas out there including deep breaths?  yoga, a focal point, a mantra and they may work.  Or do they work sometimes?

Relax to me is a overused word that has good intentions but almost always fails.  

I recently read “Relaxation is the secret to results-under-pressure” Really? If it is the secret to results, why is not easy for all of us to obtain?

I also recently read a study that found that extreme sportsmen and women performed significantly better under physical and mental duress.   Was this because they were more relaxed under pressure than no pressure.  or were they more alert and less relaxed?

So there needs to be some balance?

I agree your body works better in a more relaxed stage than an agitated stage.  But, the opposite can be said as well the body works better under some agitation and not to relaxed.   

I have often relaxed so much that I was not prepared for the action.  So If relaxing to little or to much be detrimental.  How do we relax the right amount?

I personally do not think relax is an action but is a reaction to controlling the elements.

Controlling the elements begins with first understanding pressure. To succeed at a high level, you have to control the pressure.  Using the pressure to create a Heightened visual awareness and reduce the Environmental awareness.

What I do know is great performers, at the point that they achieved greatness, were unaware of their body, unaware of their breathing, unaware of the noise, unaware of things they can’t control and time seems to slow down.   

This Heightened visual awareness begins with being aware of the things they can control.  They one thing they were able to control was their task.  This task may be to react to a visual stimulus, to focus on a visual target, to hit, kick or throw an object to a specific target.  

So my suggestion to you is do not relax,  ramp up your visual awareness to the task at hand.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Baseball Vision Of Barry Bonds

The Baseball Vision Of Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds homerBy LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.Editor/Collegiate Baseball
© 2014 Collegiate Baseball
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — Why isn’t more time spent training the eyes to see pitches better, fielding the ball more cleanly or training pitchers to have more command with more focused vision?
Dr. Bill Harrison, the most renowned visual performance specialist the game of baseball has ever witnessed, has spent nearly 50 years studying how to train the vision of athletes at the highest level possible.
He has worked with a who’s who list of current and future Hall of Famers in Major League baseball led by Barry Bonds, George Brett, and Greg Maddux, just to name a few. He’s also worked with more than half of the major league clubs, several colleges, universities and academies, including the original Kansas City Royals Baseball Academy.
Dr. Harrison has taught many other Major League hitters, fielders and pitchers how to improve their outward vision and internal vision skills to levels which have helped them excel. He has been instrumental in educating numerous coaches in the pro level about vision as well as on the college level and high school levels.
In almost 50 years of vision testing Major League hitters, Barry Bonds has no equal, according to Dr. Harrison.
Bonds may have had the greatest hitting specific vision of any batter in history the way he could stop from swinging at marginal pitches and go after pitches he could drive hard the vast majority of the time.
“I have a battery of tests which I have performed on Major League players going back to the early ’70s for a number of organizations,” said Dr. Harrison.
 “In testing thousands of Major League hitters, Barry Bonds tested out with the highest vision readings of any baseball player we had ever worked with. I first saw him in 1986 during spring training as he came out of A ball after signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization after playing for Arizona State University. He was not considered a legitimate Major League prospect for the Pirates at the time.
“When I tested Barry Bonds, I gathered all the information on him and left the room. Barry is the only player who had achieved 100 percent in each of those categories and subsequently received a 100 percent in terms of high level binocularity. I then talked to Syd Thrift, general manager of the Pirates. I told Syd that the last player I saw (Bonds) was the most visually gifted of all the players I had evaluated since 1971, which was 15 years at the time. I had never seen a baseball player as gifted visually and mentally as this guy.
“Barry Bonds was in AAA for the Pirates’ organization that year. Around May, the Pirates’ AAA team was playing in Phoenix, and Syd Thrift asked me to watch and work with some of the players. I saw Barry in action for the first time, and he looked terrific. That evening, I called Syd and told him this guy really was phenomenal because he visually tracked every pitch, saw it deep and squaring the ball every time. Syd jumped on a plane the next morning for Phoenix.
“In the middle of the contest the next day, Syd called Bonds out of the game and asked the manager to get the young ball player on a plane to Pittsburgh immediately. And the rest was history.
“As I look back at evaluating many hitters on the professional, college and even high school levels close to 40 years now, Barry Bonds is still my gold standard. Barry had the whole picture when it came to all the aspects of vision I look for. He not only could he see pitches deep. But over time, he saw the ball early out of the hands of pitchers.
“All the great hitters I have been around, which include people such as Barry Bonds, George Brett, Tony Gwynn, Rod Carew, among many others, really bought into the idea of seeing the ball right out of the pitcher’s hand. The method of getting there can be variable. It will only happen if the hitter is highly visual. I refer to being highly visual as almost being out of the body as the hitter is totally unaware of what the body is doing. They let their body go on automatic pilot. Generally, it will only work if the athlete is totally thought free.
“So being totally free of thought, being totally unaware of the body and being able to turn the light switch on just as the pitcher releases the ball toward the catcher is vital. When they do that, these premiere hitters aren’t even aware of what the pitcher’s motion is or who the pitcher is a lot of times. Hitters who are really good at this aren’t concerned with a pitcher telegraphing a pitch.
“We first want to find out if they have a slight eyesight problem that is limiting their performance. Do they need glasses, contacts or laser surgery? We check their visual acuity. Then we check what is called contrast sensitivity, a vital element in hitting a baseball. This is seeing an item on something that doesn’t have much contrast. Contrast is the degree of blackness against whiteness.
“When you think of a baseball, the seams are red. When they start spinning, they look gray or brown. It’s hard to see the red. And that’s poor contrast. For hitters, this is a big problem at dusk under poor lights or a dirty ball. Contrast sensitivity can be altered and improved but not very much.
“Then we assess their eye alignment which is the tendency of their eyes to turn in or out. We don’t find too many problems with that.
“But probably the most critical thing we evaluate is their binocularity. This is how the seven muscles of one eye work with the seven muscles of the other eye. The ability of the brain to utilize the two eyes together is known as depth perception. At a higher level, it is known as stereo acuity.
“One can only have high level binocularity if they score high in depth perception, contrast acuity, visual acuity, eye alignment, and eye muscle vergence skills.
“I also assess visual memory and visual projection skills which combined is their visual thinking ability. Great binocularity with excellent visual thinking ability provides the player a great set of visual and mental tools.
“So we assess this to find out what the player sees and try to understand what they can do visually. Then we start the training program based on what our measurements are. Keep in mind that we have been doing this testing since the early ’70s.”
Be Totally VisualDr. Harrison said that when an athlete is being observant visually, that is when everything looks slower with more detail and absorbed through the mind more thoroughly.
“When that occurs, we can’t over think and worry about mechanical issues or other distractions the game may have such as poor umpires, the weather, etc. When we are really visual, we can’t think. Now if you internally talk to yourself, we can’t see nearly as well and as quickly with details. We have proven this with all sorts of testing through the years.
“We utilize the visual system to develop visual pictures in the mind which essentially is what I call visual memory or visual projection. Visual memory and visual projection are two separate components of visualization. Visual memory is of the past and visual projection is related to the future. Baseball players see what they look for. If they don’t look for the right thing, they simply won’t see it even though it’s right in front of them.
“Since it was successful with our work with the Kansas City Royals in the mid-70’s, we would like to see baseball players take more time to visualize in their minds what they will do before they actually do it in practices or games with visual memory or projection.
“Al Endriss, former head coach at Redwood High School (Larkspur, Calif.), had the team sit under a tree prior to practice as they would close their eyes and mentally visualize how the practice would go as he described what was about to take place. It only took five minutes each day, but his team practiced this concept because the kids came from many different types of classes. It allowed the players to transition from being academic students to athletes.
“If a coach doesn’t encourage this, it is a good idea for the athlete on his own to visually project in his mind great defensive plays, perfect throws, leads when stealing and slides…anything he will be doing on the practice field. You want hitters to visualize in their minds a series of high quality at bats they have had in the past off righthanders or lefthanders.
“What we have found is when a player visualizes in this fashion prior to practice, they are in the proverbial zone more times than not. Their mind is in the zone before they even go on the field.
“Who does this? Carlos Beltran of the Mets does this. David Dellucci of the Cleveland Indians does it. George Brett, former Hall of Famer with the Kansas City Royals, did it during his career along with Edgar Martinez of the Mariners and Jason Giambi of the Yankees, just to name a few. There are a lot of players who have done this over the years with great success.
“The point is that they go into batting practice with the right mind set. They are in the zone when they step in to bat, play defense or pitch. After they complete this drill, athletes tell me that they mentally feel calm, focused, and confident but ready to be aggressive. There is some dead time out there prior to practices or games when they are stretching. This may be an ideal time to do this for athletes. It is a powerful technique for successful athletes.”
Brett Hitting ApproachDr. Harrison said that Hall of Famer George Brett realized how important vision was in processing pitches as 90-plus mph fastballs and nasty breaking pitches came toward the catcher’s mitt.
“When you step in against incredible pitching and let a pitch go by with the ball looking like a beach ball, it shows you how well you are able to see the ball. Many times when you go up against a pitcher of this level, the ball seems to be a blur. Seeing the ball big is your goal.
“George Brett used a terrific technique when he stepped out of the box after a pitch. He would automatically ask himself one question. How well did he see the pitch? It wasn’t, ‘That didn’t feel good or I need to lower my shoulder.’ It was never a mechanical thing. It was very visual. His thought was that if he could see the pitch very well, his odds went up for getting a hit. If he didn’t see a pitch well, he needed to make the adjustment in his focus effort so he saw the ball well the next pitch.
“He was a visual thinker and visual hitter. It was critical to him that he saw the ball really well. We try to help hitters today think in those terms. Did the hitter see the ball as well as he saw it when he took a pitch? Sometimes that alone allows a hitter to become more visual.
“It has been extremely rare when I have worked with a hitter who saw the ball  well and didn’t have a pretty good at bat. That doesn’t mean they always got a hit. But they didn’t feel like they were overmatched.”
Dr. Harrison was asked if all hitters should take the first pitch of an at-bat so the ball will appear slower.
“No, not necessarily. If they are struggling, it is a good idea. And particularly early in the game, it is a good idea. It also depends on the level. Hitters must be smart and know what the opposition will be throwing them. On the high school level, that first pitch in all likelihood will be a fastball. Many times it will be a fastball away.
“If it sails right down the middle, a batter certainly doesn’t want to take that pitch. George many times told me, as have numerous other major league players, when he was 100 percent focused on slowing the ball down, tracking it all the way, he could actually see the ball hit the bat. We recognize that certain eye tracking research suggests that this can not be done, but eye trackers, being limited in their scope, do not take in to consideration the player’s ability to project the ball’s action and to make a rapid eye movement to the exact intended contact point.”
To read more about how to achieve great baseball vision, purchase the May 7, 2014 edition of Collegiate Baseball or subscribe by CLICKING HERE.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Kansas City Royals’ All-Star
Second Baseman 
Cookie Rojas
In 1973, Kansas City Royals’ All-Star Second Baseman Cookie Rojas said to me, “Doc, I am now 34 years old. After playing some form of organized baseball for over twenty years, it is rather amazing that you have been able to teach me things about the game I never knew. Your ideas have helped me defensively, running the bases and as a hitter. I’ve also seen the positive benefits received by our Royals pitchers. You have to write a book about this.”

It took me 43 years, but I have now written that book. Actually it turned out to be three books. One book, “How2Focus: Like the Pros is more historical about the ideas I introduced to baseball in the early 1970’s, how they were used by various coaches and managers, and how what was refined with George Brett and the Kansas City Royals was a factor in the San Francisco Giants, whose hitting coach Hensley Bam-Bam Meulens embraced the ideas, beating the Royals in the 2014 World Series.

How2Focus Series available
on Amazon or SlowTheGameDown
As I wrote “How2Focus: Like the Pros” with an emphasis on the great experiences I had with a very progressive baseball organization and dynamic people—owner Ewing M. Kauffman, Syd Thirft, Mr. Kaufman’s  Executive Director for his very innovative Kansas City Royals Baseball Academy, hitting Guru Charley Lau, I realized I needed to additionally write about the many great baseball hitter’s I have had the privilege of imparting my ideas on the visual side of the game,

Dr. Bill Harrison, George Brett,
Frank Ortenzio
 and Al Autry in 1971
The second book, “How2Focus: The Hitter’s Zone” has a lot to do with how George Brett used the ideas, gave me feedback, and after refinement the ideas were used successfully by Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn, Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Mike Sweeney, Sean Casey, Shawn Green, Carlos Delgado and others.

In writing the second book, I reflected on the  many Major League Baseball pitchers I have had the opportunity to work with through the years. So a  third book resulted ,“How2Focus: The Pitcher’s Zone” which is about visual and mental side of the game methods introduced to Kansas City Royals pitchers Paul Splittorff and Mark Littell and eventually embraced by Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux.
Dr. Bill with current players
such as Kevin Pillar

I trust the books will help many players reach their goals, help coaches enhance their coaching, and help parents understand what it is like for their child to play and how they can improve their baseball performance abilities.

I hope you enjoy

Dr. Bill

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sports Performance Specialists Reveal Their Secret Training Methods


Ryan HArrisonHow2Focus: Like The Pros,” by Dr. Bill Harrison with Ryan Harrison

Laguna Beach, CA-2016 – Dr. Bill Harrison and Ryan Harrison, Sports Performance Specialists featured on February 24, 2016, in a segment hosted by Sean Casey on MLB Network, are now making their new book How2Focus: Like The Prosavailable.

Many consider the Harrisons to be among the premier minds for baseball performance enhancement as countless players prepare for their upcoming seasons with their SlowTheGameDown Visual Performance training program.  How2Focus: Like The Pros” has stories that illustrate how many of today’s progressive athlete training programs had their initial introduction by Dr. Harrison at the Kansas City Royals Baseball Academy in the 1970’s and with famous Baseball Hall of Fame Star George Brett.

LiketThePros How2Focus: Like The Pros” features narrative stories as it provides instruction, strategies and innovative insights for improving baseball performance. The development and original application of these progressive player performance methods are discussed and chronicled within never before told historical stories about the San Francisco Giants, the Kansas City Royals, the Royals Baseball Academy,  Edgar Renteria, George Brett, Frank White, Charlie Lau, Jack McKeon, Ewing M. Kauffman and Syd Thrift. Written for the purposes of giving you insights that will help you reach your baseball goals, the unique book features valuable ideas on “how to perform” from these interactions with numerous MLB players, coaches, a manager and an owner regarding effective techniques and approaches. In a unique twist you will learn what was developed in the Kansas City Royals organization prior to 2000 had an impact on the performance of the San Francisco Giants who subsequently beat the Royals for the 2014 World Series Championship. The Harrisons SlowTheGameDown™ training is not new or experimental.  Hall of Fame members, All-Stars, MVP’s, Cy Young Winners, Hitting Champions, Gold Glove Winners and Rookies of the Year have participated in these programs since 1971 when their work in professional baseball began with the Kansas City Royals. Baseball Hall of Fame star George Brett was among the first players he trained. Since that time they have worked with many MLB organizations, and many NCAA baseball programs.
Add caption

Among the coaches and baseball leaders who participated in their training programs: Jack McKeon, Syd Thrift, Rex Bowen, Branch Rickey, Jr, John Schuerholz, Charley Lau, Mel Didier, Harry Dunlap, Karl Kuehl and Bam-Bam Meulens. Player participants include, Lou Piniella, Frank White, Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn in the 1980’s, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and Shawn Green in the ‘90’s; Carlos Beltran, Mike Sweeney, Sean Casey, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn, Angel Pagan, Giancarlo Stanton, Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence, Kevin Pillar, Ryan Goins, Matt Duffy, and many others in the 2000’s. 

How2Focus: Like The Pros” can be purchased at or Amazon

For more information about How2Focus: Like The Pros, please visit: You can also call (866) 627-5400.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Phenomenal Eye to Hand Coordination Feat

Phenomenal Eye to Hand Coordination Feat

By Dr. Bill Harrison

Salvador Perez singled home the winning run with two outs in the 12th inning, capping two late comebacks that gave Kansas City a thrilling 9-8 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the American League wild-card game.

The game winning single was an amazing feat. With a runner on second, the Oakland Athletics decided to pitch Perez away.

Perez, who was 0 for 5 after squandering two late chances to drive in key runs, reached out and pulled a hard one-hopper past diving third baseman Josh Donaldson. Colon scored easily, and the Royals rushed out of the dugout for a mad celebration.

The pitch Perez hit from Jason Hammel was a low pitch that was 6-9 inches outside, a ball, and even pulled it down the third base line.

Perez’s stroke was far from classic. It wasn’t a type of swing that any hitting instructor would want his player to duplicate.

How is it that Perez could hit the ball as he did? Was it heart? Desire? Intention? Or was it a direct result that his eyes riveted on the ball?

His focus on the ball was superior.
Perhaps it occurred because Perez, like many players from the Dominican, played a lot of pick up ball, street ball, stick ball when he was a kid.  These non regulation games likely refined his superior eye-hand coordination.

Street ball, stick ball and the like are not available to many modern kids. We recommend the MaxBP as an equally good way to training and develop superior eye hand coordination. Perhaps training your eye hand coordination you will win a game one of these days just like Salvatore Perez.