Sunday, November 9, 2008

Key Insights to Improved Baseball Performance

This Article is featured in Scholastic Coach Nov. 2008
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Key Insights to Improved Baseball Performance by Dr. Bill Harrison

New York Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado, a sixteen year MLB veteran, after two years of struggling,had a major trans­formation in his hitting performance this past season. Through June he was hitting .228 with a slugging average of .419. In July he hit .357 with a slugging average of .714.

Cleveland Indians outfielder David Dellucci, a 12-year MLB veteran, was hitting .228 on August 1. That month he went on a tear, batting .345.

Brad Boyer, an A Ball player in the San Francisco Giants chain, increased his batting average in the California League from .248 in 2007 to .347 in 2008 - a 100 point gain. Jason Tweedy, who played collegiately at Long Beach State U., signed a profes­sional contract with the Tampa Bay Rays after he increased his college bat­ting average from .234 in 2007 to .306 in 2008.

Roger Bernadina, who was recently promoted to the Washington Nationals, hit .259 primarily in AA Ball in 2007, but in 2008 hit .335, primarily in AAA ball, a gain of 76 points. Michael Stanton, a former three-sport star at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA, hit 39 homeruns in his first year of professional baseball in the Florida Marlins organization.

The common denominator in all of these hitters is that they placed a significantly higher priority on the "visual side" of their approach to the game. They incorporated vision drills as part of their strength and condition­ing program. Prior to the game they trained their baseball related vision skills. They were coached by a visual performance coach on how to best use their vision and they applied specific techniques to see the ball earlier, track it better, and see the ball deeper.

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