the Edge trainer
and softball performance

Strengthening the Core Six Visual Skills provides the athlete with the foundational visual input needed to make critical decisions and motor responses at the highest level

Vision Training
For softball players

With only milliseconds between a softball leaving the pitcher’s hand to arriving over home plate, hitters need to anticipate, judge and react in the blink of an eye. Likewise, with a large area of the field to cover, outfielders must react to the ball as it comes off the bat without hesitation.

the core six
visual skills

Understanding an athlete’s proficiency in the six core visual skills allows players, coaches, and scouts to identify and correct visual weaknesses and enhance the athlete’s performance on the field.

  • Pitch Recognition
  • Increased Contact
  • Quality Contact / Exit Velocity
  • Fielding the Ball

Convergence

Improves ability for hitters to judge the speed, trajectory, and spin of the ball as it approaches the plate.

Divergence

Enhances player’s ability to judge the ball’s speed, trajectory, and spin from a distance.

Depth

Improves focus on the ball despite complex surroundings – critical for hitting and catching.

Alignment

With proper alignment hitters focus on the center of the mass of the ball; rather than in front or behind.

Recognition

Improves recollection of pitch patterns, and opponents’ offensive and defensive plays and tactics.

Tracking

Helps players monitor developing plays while maintaining focus on catching or throwing the ball.

Taking a look
at positions

Depending on the position an athlete plays in, the visual skills required for optimal performance vary. In softball, an excellent outfielder may struggle with hitting. This may be symptomatic of superior divergence and tracking skills which are critical components to outfielding, coupled with low convergence ability – which is the primary visual skill used in hitting.

Hitter

When batting, softball players rely heavily on their ability to judge the ball before, during and after a pitcher’s release. Batters must recognize patterns in the pitcher’s release, ball-handling and pitch count. They must judge the ball’s speed, rotation and trajectory – and decide if and how to hit the ball. The batter must be able to focus on the ball precisely, with no difference between it’s perceived and actual location in space.

Infielder

Infield players must make split-second decisions based on what they see developing around them – including the projection of the ball, as well as the positions of teammates and baserunners, especially in prevalent bunting situations. They must see, process and remember dozens of visual cues instantly. Additionally, infielders must catch, and fire back without hesitation – taking precise aim to the target all the while processing the best strategic tactics for the play.

Outfielder

Outfielders must possess the ability to read the softball immediately as it comes off the bat. They must use peripheral vision to assess what’s developing on the field while simultaneously tracking the ball and moving toward the ball or toward a defensive support position. They must also be able to correctly align their vision on a target in the far distance to ensure the aim of their throw is precise.

Catcher

Catchers must possess a superior ability to focus on objects up close for clean and consistent catching. They must also be able to shift quickly and seamlessly between their close-up focus during catching a ball to their far-distance focus while throwing to a target. Catchers must constantly scan and monitor on-base opponents while recalling offensive patterns to develop strategic countermoves.

Breaking Down
The Edge Score

The Edge Score is a comprehensive score given to each athlete based on their most recent evaluation. The score takes all visual skills into account – including convergence, divergence, depth perception, alignment, recognition and tracking. Through analysis of an athlete’s Edge Score as well as their individual scores, we identify areas of weakness and develop an appropriate training program.

CONVERGENCE

Convergence is the ability to focus on objects within close proximity and judge their movement and impact. Convergence may impact a player in the following ways:

  • Consistent contact quality
  • Ability to focus on incoming pitch
  • Judge speed, trajectory, and spin of ball

DIVERGENCE

Divergence is the ability to locate objects in the distance, impacting an athlete’s ability to anticipate and react. Divergence may impact a player in the following ways:

  • Reaction time to ball after contact
  • Ability to pick ball out of the pitcher’s hand
  • Judge ball in the outfield

DEPTH PERCEPTION

Depth perception uses both eyes to locate objects in space to judge their distance, speed, and direction. Depth perception may impact a player in the following ways:

  • Decision of when and if to swing
  • Locate ball on pop-ups
  • Fielding skills

ALIGNMENT

Proper alignment creates no difference between the perceived location and actual location of an object. Alignment may impact a player in the following ways:

  • Reaction time
  • Timing in batting and fielding
  • Crispness and decisiveness in movements

RECOGNITION

Recognition is the ability to observe, process and recall a series of visual targets, and respond properly. Recognition may impact a player in the following ways:

  • Pick up pitch types and pitcher cues
  • Reaction-time
  • See signs during game

TRACKING

Tracking allows you to process and follow an object while always monitoring all aspects of the game. Tracking may impact a player in the following ways:

  • Reaction to pitch
  • Reaction time while fielding
  • Monitor developing play
meet the
edge trainer

The Edge Trainer is a web-based system that allows athletes to evaluate, analyze and train their six core visual skills. Regular training with the Edge Trainer improves the speed, coordination, and efficiency of an athlete’s eye movements, equating to improved timing, reaction speed, and accuracy on the softball field.