Develop Your Visual Tracking Skills With a Bug Walk | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for Our FREE Newsletter.

Develop Your Visual Tracking Skills With a Bug Walk

June 23, 2011

Sports are played at a fast pace. A pitched baseball can reach you in about four-tenths of a second, and a tennis serve can travel at upwards of 120 mph. To hit a ball or return a serve, your eyes must be able to accurately track the object. You can then quickly react and get into position to execute the proper sports skill.

It’s possible to dramatically improve your visual tracking skills with training drills. The drills enable you to follow an object smoothly through its entire path. They also reduce eye fatigue, so your visual performance doesn’t fade throughout the duration of a game.

Below, I list out an easy-to-perform drill to help take your visual tracking to the next level.

Bug Walk

•            Attach a 10- to 15-inch string to a doorknob and hold it to your nose so string is tight
•            Focus your eyes on the string until you see two strings
•            Slowly walk eyes from nose to distant end of string
•            Slowly walk eyes back from distant end of string to nose

Sets/Reps: 1x5

When performing the exercise, you should see two strings, which is caused by an optical illusion. The strings will initially appear as a V, but will change to an X as you move your eyes farther along the string. Imagine your eyes are following a bug crawling on the string.Your eyes may not be able to focus on the strings crossing. If you look at the end of the line, but the string is crossed closer to your body, you need to relax your eyes. To accomplish this, become aware of your periphery—notice the floors, walls and ceiling out of the "corners" of your eyes. If this does not work, try looking past the wall or doorknob to relax your eyes [diverge]. Eventually your eyes will learn to point accurately. If you see the strings crossing closer to the end of the line, beyond where you are looking, you need to "tighten" up your eyes [converge], or look closer to bring the "X" closer.As your eyes move down the string, you may notice they jump from spot to spot instead of running smoothly down the string. This is a natural reflex, but this “jumping” is what you're looking to eliminate over time.

If you see one string turn off and on, you are suppressing. To eliminate this, try flicking the string a couple of times. If this does not work, tap the side of your head between your eye and your temple on the side that is suppressing. It will usually be your non-dominant eye [more on eye dominance here]. For example, if you see only one string and it goes to the right, your right eye is on, and your left eye is suppressing; tap the left side of your head.This drill will work your visual tracking skills and help you become a more successful athlete.

Photo:  theepochtimes.com

Larry Lampert
- Dr. Larry Lampert is a board-certified optometric physician and a developmental/behavioral optometrist in Boca Raton, Fla. He is one of only 450 individuals in the...
Larry Lampert
- Dr. Larry Lampert is a board-certified optometric physician and a developmental/behavioral optometrist in Boca Raton, Fla. He is one of only 450 individuals in the...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

Does Grunting Improve Your Sports Performance?

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

Top 3 Hockey Training Mistakes

Baseball Catcher Technique Part 8, Youth Catcher Drills

Three Benefits of Being a Young, Multi-Sport Athlete

Improving your Hockey Shot on the Ice

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

Catcher Technique, Part 9: What to Expect at a Baseball Showcase

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

How the San Antonio Spurs Turned a Group of Castoffs into Stars

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

Use These 3 Grips to Throw a Changeup They Can't Hit

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

4 Common Mistakes Made When Coaching Young Athletes

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

How David Ortiz Maintains Peak Performance

How to Recover After Getting Hit by a Pitch

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

Tony Wroten's Lethal Crossover Leaves Defender in the Dust

Andrew McCutchen Is Raking His Way to Consecutive MVP Honors

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

Fixing Your Basketball Shot: Corrective Drills

Matt Kemp on His Way Back to MVP Form

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills