We’re often approached by younger athletes wondering how to best utilize Vizual Edge’s online vision training program. Our answer: there’s no better place to go than directly to the athletes at the highest level, who use our system both as a training tool in the off-season as well as a pre-game warmup throughout the year.
As we’ve shown before, it’s no surprise that players who possess elite visual skills tend to have the most success climbing the minor league ladder and making it to the big leagues. Even still, players already at the Major League level are interested in engaging with our program, as they constantly look for ways to improve and there’s always another edge to be had. Seeking out new ways to train is something that can set any player apart from his/her competitors.
Six weeks out from Spring Training, many top MLB athletes took their initial Vizual Edge evaluation to establish a baseline of their visual processing system. After the initial evaluation, players began their customized training through our Edge Trainer platform. Unlike when I played, our platform is now available on any laptop or tablet with a WiFi connection. Training is catered to the individual based on one’s visual strengths and deficiencies, so a player with a below-average convergence baseline (for example) is going to get a heavier dose of convergence exercises to improve. Recommended custom training is three times per week, and each session lasts around 15 minutes.
After six weeks of training, players retest their skills with the same assessment. While this helps recalibrate their individualized training for another six weeks, it’s also helpful for the athlete to see where he/she has improved (along with knowing where there’s still room for growth).
With the start of Spring Training and more energy focused on the on-field work, training lightened up a bit. Still, it’s a stretch of time where players explored some of our newer exercises - like Contrast Sensitivity and Contrast Tracking, which are helpful to prepare an athlete for night games and train on their own time as they get their bodies ready to play. Even once games started, the feedback we received from our MLB athletes was tremendous, especially with our Game Day Training feature, which we’ve always described as “a warmup for your eyes.”
While players go through their own elaborate routines and exercises to warm up the rest of their bodies, they rarely do the same with their eyes, even though nearly all of the information players process is visual. Our Game Day training gives hitters a quick warmup (without the intensiveness of 3D glasses/exercises) to get their eyes and brain ready for pitch tracking and recognition. Players jump on our platform daily, even if it’s just minutes before they hit batting practice or take the field. Just ask Chicago Cubs INF, Nico Hoerner, who improved his Convergence skill by 38% and had himself a tremendous Spring Training, posting an OPS of 1.055 with a .364 Avg and only 4 strikeouts in 48 plate appearances!
So, while this sets up perfectly for our pro baseball clients, it scales well to the college, high school, and youth spaces, too (including one partner college whose offense has been hot as of late!). My own son, who is currently a 12u player, has been training in advance of his season starting next month, and Vizual Edge has allowed him to stay sharp during another long Chicagoland winter (that often stretches into the spring) where it’s still tough to get outside and get as much on-field practice as he’d like to.
To learn more about Vizual Edge training, and the impact it can have on your performance on the diamond, check out our baseball page here.