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See the ball - hit the ball. Vizual Edge.

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by: Editorial Staff
Baseball the Magazine (1/1/2009)

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See the ball - hit the ball. Vizual Edge.
E
asier said than done for most high school, col-
lege and professional baseball players let
alone little leaguers.
Through the latest technology, however, improving
eye-hand coordination is just a matter of sitting at your
computer.
Chicago-area ophthalmologist and Lasik specialist Dr.
Barry L. Seiller runs the Visual Fitness Institute in north-
west suburban Vernon Hills. Dr. Seiller and his partner
Kathy Puchalski developed the Vizual Edge
Performance Trainer TM, which is designed with a CD-
ROM for use on a laptop, to allow for the comprehensive
evaluation and training of visu~ skills. Many athletes
liken Vizual Edge to playing a video game on their com-
puter, but with a great more to gain.
"After working with Vizual Edge, hitters become more
comfortable at the plate, recognizing the spin of a curve
ball, or the speed of a fastball, swinging at just the right
time; said Dr. Seiller. "It's about enhancing the player's
performance on the field."
Baseball experts are quick to concur.
According to former San Diego Padres manager and
Milwaukee Brewers Player Personnel Director Greg
Riddoch, who now manages the Padres rookie league
team and is their mental skills coach, "Vizual Edge train-
ing allows the batter to pick the ball up right out of the
pitcher's hand, versus having to wait well after the
release. At the velocity that pitchers throw, those extra
feet are critical."
"One of the most important things for a hitter is his
vision; said University of Tennessee Assistant Baseball
Coach
Nathan
Headley,
who
employs
Vizual
Edge for
his team.
"Athletes
spend so
much time
in the
weight
room get-
ting bigger,
stronger
and quick-
er, without realizing they can also train their eyes."
Nate's brother Chase, a former star at Tennessee, is a
starting outfielder for the Padres and has been using the
program for 3 years.
Before one thinks this is just hearsay, there is scientif-
ic proof. A recent study conducted by a research team
of professors from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's
Kinesiology Department demonstrated the correlation
between improved hitting performance and vision train-
ing.
The study, headed by Dr. Frank Spaniol, was a follow-
up to an investigation conducted by Dr. Spaniol with the
Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers. Using the
Vizual Edge Performance Trainer TM, Dr. Spaniol tested
the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball players, ulti-
mately proving that visual skills can be evaluated and
trained.
"It really makes little sense to waste valuable training time working on
something if it doesn't translate into improved on-field performance; said Dr.
Spaniol, a former Division I college baseball player and coach. "There was
Significant improvement in the hitting performance of our baseball players
after enhancing their visual skills (via Vizual Edge)."
Although Dr. Spaniol's research centered on hitters, there's a wealth of
other benefits on the baseball diamond from Vizual Edge training.
"Pitchers can locate their spots better; said Headley. "Balls hit in the gap
are easier to pick up for outfielders, and infielders can make more skilled
plays by seeing the ball off the bat quicker. Even base runners benefit
through training their eyes."
Dr. Seiller works closely with Major League Baseball teams, as well as col-
lege squads. The inno-
vative technology is
currently being used in
the minor league sys-
tem of the Milwaukee
Brewers, Kansas City
Royals, Houston Astros
and Seattle Mariners.
In addition, the Detroit
Tigers, San Diego
Padres, Oakland A's
and Cincinnati Reds
are all in discussions to
bring Vizual Edge on
board in seeking ways
to provide an edge for
their players.
Baseball teams from
Vanderbilt University,
University of Memphis
and Western Kentucky,
along with Tennessee, also use this breakthrough technology, as well as high
schools and little leaguers.
"So many of our younger athletes have all of the mechanics,
the size and strength, but still something is missing for them to
excel in baseball," said Dr. Seiller. "I am convinced that what's
missing is based on training their visual skills."
Having perfect vision, though, doesn't necessarily translate into
hitting .400 in baseball. Even those players, who might have 20/20
vision in the doctor's chair, might still go 0 for 20 at the plate.
"It's all about how you use your eyesight." Dr. Seiller comment-
ed.
Dr. Seiller added, "Baseball is the perfect sport for this type of
training, because it's all about quick reactions and making instan-
taneous decisions."
Beyond baseball, the technology has been used by softball
pitchers, hitters and fielders, hockey, lacrosse and soccer goalies,
quarterbacks and wide receivers in football, tennis players, syn-
chronized divers and even Olympic luge, bobsled and skeleton
athletes.
"Our technology is really designed for any athlete in a sport that requires
quick reactions," said Dr. Seiller.
Vizual Edge goes far beyond the fields of play for student-athletes. The
technology has been incorporated to help students enhance their reading
skills.
Whether it's in the classroom or standing in the batter's box, Vizual Edge
provides performance enhancement.
So, you're playing for the high school regional championship, the score is
tied in extra innings and you have the winning run on third with two outs. The
count is 1-2 and the pitcher winds up and lets loose. Is it a 90-mile-per-hour
fastball, a curve ball or change-up? Making the proper split-second decision
could be the difference between prolonging the extra inning game and hoist-
ing the trophy up high.
For further information on the Vizual Edge Performance Trainer™, go to
www.vizualedge.com or call 847-816-3131.
 

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