Improve Throwing, Shooting and Putting Accuracy by Making the Target Smaller | STACK
X

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

Improve Throwing, Shooting and Putting Accuracy by Making the Target Smaller

October 24, 2011

Golf Putt

By focusing your vision on a small target, you can boost your performance in all types of sports. Envisioning a smaller target develops precision. To elevate your game, try fine-tuning your focus on a smaller target. It will improve both your concentration and the consistency of your game.

Below, I break down specific examples for golf and tennis athletes. However, aiming for a specific target (like a mark on a receiver’s hand or a first baseman’s glove) can improve accuracy and performance in other sports as well.

Golf
Smaller targets can help your golf game. Some pros advocate that on long putts, your target should be a three-foot circle around the cup. This doesn’t really make sense, considering the goal is to put the ball in the cup. Making the target larger just allows more room for error and can result in a sloppy putt.

Instead, think of golf as a sport with two targets:
1. The ball is the target because you impact it with the club
2. The hole is the target on straight putts (for breaking putts, it’s a spot on the green)

To fine-tune your eyes’ focus on the ball, place a black dot on the back tip of the ball. That will help you make square contact when you putt, and you will strike the ball with the club’s sweet spot more often.

Also, don't just aim for the cup on short putts. Instead, aim at a specific one-inch section of the rim of the cup. This will help you to zoom your eyes in on a smaller target.

Tennis
In ball sports, we also focus our eyes on a smaller area of the ball. In tennis, you can draw a black dot (make it about the size of a quarter) on the ball and focus your vision on this smaller target.

Be sure to use your peripheral vision to stay aware of the court, which will help you avoid “tunneling” your vision. Refer to my visual tracking skills post to learn more about the importance of peripheral vision and how you can expand it to “slow the game down.”

Photo:  graystone-eye.com

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 world who have completed a fellowship in developmental vision. Dr. Lampert specializes in sports vision training and developmental vision. As a leader in the field, he has worked with pro athletes from the PGA, LPGA, MLB, NFL and ATP. He has been featured on The Golf Channel, NBC Sports and in numerous sports publications. Dr. Lampert is the author of The Pro’s Edge: Vision Training for Golf.

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

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

Three Benefits of Being a Young, Multi-Sport Athlete

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

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

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills

Andrew McCutchen Is Raking His Way to Consecutive MVP Honors

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

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

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

Does Grunting Improve Your Sports Performance?

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

How David Ortiz Maintains Peak Performance

Top 3 Hockey Training Mistakes

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

Matt Kemp on His Way Back to MVP Form

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Tony Wroten's Lethal Crossover Leaves Defender in the Dust

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

4 Common Mistakes Made When Coaching Young Athletes

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

How to Recover After Getting Hit by a Pitch

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

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

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

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting