Hitting, catching, dunking and passing a ball requires eye-hand coordination and the best way to improve those skills is through practice. The good news is that there are multiple ways that can be employed to build those abilities or improve the skills that already exist. The first step toward better eye-hand coordination is a thorough eye exam to correct any vision problems that make exist.
The most effective players have good central vision, but they also require peripheral vision if they’re to react quickly. Some of the best exercises to build neuropathways between the eyes, hands and brain are also some of the most overlooked.
The eyes can become “lazy” from inactivity just like other muscles. An easy exercise is to place objects at varying distances and switching the eyes back and forth between them while trying to memorize details.
Simply bouncing a tennis ball off a wall is a great way to improve eye-hand coordination. The speeds at which it’s thrown and the texture of the wall will ensure that the ball provides return variation for catching. A fast-paced game of catch with a friend will provide the same benefits. The next level of training can include two or more balls and trying to hit a specific target. When playing with a partner, have them throw to the right, left or overhead for peripheral vision training.
The act of juggling requires the use of peripheral vision and it’s a fun way to amuse friends. It’s a training technique that’s even used by Olympic level athletes.
Once eye-hand coordination has improved, individuals can further excel by employing a few distractions. Try juggling or bouncing a ball on the wall while on a balance board. Another effective method is to have music or a TV playing in the background as a distraction, or have a partner ask math or study questions.
A Learned Skill
While it’s true that some people naturally have better eye-hand coordination than others, it’s also a skill that can be learned. One of the first steps toward better eye-hand coordination begins with the eye exam. A sports vision specialist will be able to recommend other eye exercises to enhance skill levels.