Using Vision Training to Slow Down a Fast Pitch

By Carl Hillier, OD, FCOVD

Question: How can you slow a 95 mph to 89 mph?

Answer: Vision Training.

Greg Vaughn found that out last year in San Diego working with Behavioral Optometrist, Dr. Carl Hillier and his staff of vision therapists. After several sessions of Sports Vision Training, Greg reports that “A 95 mph fast ball looks like its coming in at 88 mph!”

Behavioral Optometrists who specialize in Vision Training help athletes utilize visual pathways in the brain that detect motion and regulate the perception of time; the “magnocellular” and “parvocellular” pathways. Some of these specialized pathways don’t even go to the part of the brain, that most of us learned in school, to be where “we see”, the occipital lobe. These pathways go to parts of the brain that regulate the perception of space and time; the parietal lobe and midbrain.

Using a wide variety of instrumentation and techniques, athletes are trained in how these pathways work and how to tap into them to help them reach “The Zone”, a state of poised confidence in knowing they are visually and physically connected with the athletic event and not distracted by irrelevant stimuli (visual and auditory noise). Many athletes report being “in the zone”, but don’t know how they got there. Vision Training is their ticket to the zone.

Due to Greg Vaughn’s crediting good coaching, more playing time and vision training to his fantastic turnaround last year (hitting 50 home runs), more players from several Major League teams are now turning to Behavioral Optometrists who specialize in Vision Training for their ticket to the zone. Players from the Dodgers, Twins, Pirates, Astros, Reds and the Padres are taking advantage of developing this critical relationship between seeing the ball, and hitting it.

Photo and ESPN profile of Greg Vaughn.