Effectiveness of a Low-Budget Sports Vision Training Program for Improving Batting Statistics of an NCAA Division I Baseball Team
Thesis - Open Access
Master of Science (MS)
Department / School
Health and Nutritional Sciences
Mary Beth Zwart
Context: Sports vision training (SVT) has been increasing in popularity among many dynamic reactive sports. Dynamic reactive sports require extremely accurate detection and discrimination of visual stimuli in order to execute a precise motor response. Manual interception, locomotion, and depth judgement are found to be the most important visuomotor abilities with interceptive sports such as baseball. Baseball is a highly visually demanding sport, especially offensively. The effectiveness of the batter is dependent on his/her ability to locate, track, and swing at a projectile in ~0.2 seconds. This presents the opportunity to implement an SVT program with a baseball team as a means to improve sports performance. Due to the expensive nature of visuomotor training equipment however, it was crucial that we were able to achieve the same improvements with a low-cost program that we would see with an expensive SVT program. Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine if a low-budget SVT program can be used to improve target visuomotor abilities as well as improve batting and fielding statistics of an NCAA division I baseball team. Design: Analytical observational study. Participants: 30 NCAA baseball players. The average age was 20.6 ± 2.6 years, the average height was 184.1cm ± 11.5cm and the average years of baseball experience was 15.5 ± 2.5 years. Intervention: A low-cost SVT program was implemented at the beginning of the 2018 spring baseball season. The program utilized accommodative flippers, a brock string, saccadic eye movement, near-far movement, visually-guided manual interception training, and an EYEport II. Main Outcome Measures: Stereopsis scores for gross depth perception and EyeGuide Focus scores for smooth-motor pursuit. Results: Stereopsis measurement increased significantly from baseline to mid-season and mid-season to post-season (pConclusion: The results of this study would imply that implementation of a low-budget SVT program is a viable option for improving the key skills necessary for enhancing sports performance in baseball. We were able to determine that our SVT program was able to improve DP, manual interception, and locomotion through tracking stereopsis and smooth-motor pursuit measurements. Although we did see slight improvements in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and in defensive errors between the 2017 and 2018 seasons, none were statistically significant enough to definitively state that our SVT program improved the performance of an NCAA division I collegiate baseball team.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Baseball -- Training.
Batting (Baseball) -- Statistics.
National Collegiate Athletic Association. Division I.
Includes bibliographical references
Number of Pages
South Dakota State University
Melstrom, Adam J., "Effectiveness of a Low-Budget Sports Vision Training Program for Improving Batting Statistics of an NCAA Division I Baseball Team" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2961.