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...
Must See
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 17,356,586
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 2,559,968
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 3,562,493

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,181
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 28,813
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,246
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,483
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,383
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,789,434
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,880,088

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

There is no move in basketball more devastating than the crossover. Players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Derrick Rose have embarrassed defenders...

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

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

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

Andrew McCutchen Is Raking His Way to Consecutive MVP Honors

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

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

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

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

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

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

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength