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Tuesday
Feb182014

Vision Training Helps Improve Ballplayers' Hitting

iStock/Thinkstock(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) -- A new study out of the University of California, Riverside has again proven the old baseball axiom that if you can see the ball better, you can hit the ball better.

While the researchers' published paper, "Improved vision and on-field performance in baseball through perceptual learning," sounds a bit stuffy, there's no arguing that an experiment it conducted improved the fortunes of the UCR baseball team last season.

Using this perceptual-learning approach, professor Aaron Seitz had 19 baseball players complete thirty 25-minute sessions of a vision-training video game he developed.  Meanwhile, the other 18 UCR team members did not participate in the experiment.

What happened during the 2013 season was that participants experienced a 31 percent improvement in visual acuity, cutting down their strikeouts by 4.4 percent, which did not occur with their other teammates or in the rest of the Big West Conference of NCAA Division 1 baseball.

Meanwhile, the team scored 41 more runs than projected at the start of the season and its combined improvements for the year were three times better or more than the league in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, walks and strikeouts.

Since keen vision can lead to success in baseball, players who already had excellent eyesight saw improvements through the perceptual-learning approach.

Yet, it wasn't exactly a Cinderella season for the UCR squad. Their overall record was 22-32 and they wound up forfeiting eight games because a player on the team was ineligible.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio