Drills/Exercises/Tips to Improve Hand-Eye coordination?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Mansewerz, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,164
    Location:
    Caught in No Man's Land
    My hand-eye isn't too good. So, i'm wondering, are there any drills/tips/exercises that can help improve my hand eye?
     
    #1
  2. jasoncho92

    jasoncho92 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    900
    Be born again and hope for better genes.

    Jacks are pretty good in my opinion. Although it doesnt directly correlate to tennis, real life hand eye coordination is greatly increased so im sure racket coordination will be as well.
     
    #2
  3. Failed

    Failed Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    575
    Computer games help... it might sound weird actually but it really improves your eye and hand coordination.
     
    #3
  4. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,800
    Bounce a ball on the frame of your racquet.

    Have two people stand close and on opposite sides of you and throw balls at you one at a time while you try to hit the balls with your racquet into a bucket centered in front of you about 8 or 10 ft away. Have them toss a ball as soon as you strike the last one thrown. Use short compact strokes. The emphasis is to have to move your eyes quickly from object to object so you have to constantly adjust.

    Throw darts - but use good darts.

    Basically do something that requires you to hit a target but where technique does little to help you so that you are forced to rely solely on hand eye coordination to get the object to the target.
     
    #4
  5. Enrique Guldberg

    Enrique Guldberg New User

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Hi, my name is Enrique Guldberg and i m a tennis coach. Fist at all, you have to see wich eye is stronger than the another one. A very good excercise is try to play (mini tennis) closing one eye. If your problem is that you are hitting latte, a good excercise for a few minutes star the shot from the point of impact. What you have to get is chit your brain to get understand where is the real point of impact. Your problem is just a point of view problem. If you want more excersices, just write me: enrique@elitennis.com
     
    #5
  6. kelz

    kelz Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    886
    Dribble Basketballs.
     
    #6
  7. jasoncho92

    jasoncho92 Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    900
    Id be a hand eye coordination god by now. It really doesnt help much for tennis. All it does is get you trained to aim a certain amount according to the sensitivity you use which doesnt really apply at all to tennis.
     
    #7
  8. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,434
    you can't improve hand/eye coordination. you can become better at repetitive tasks through practice. tasks like tennis strokes, for example.

    practice in the presence of a professional is how you'll improve.
     
    #8
  9. certifiedjatt

    certifiedjatt Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    Messages:
    661
    Location:
    Ontario
    hand-eye coordination, like the ability to hit a flick backhand pass or a perfect drop shot, is innate.
     
    #9
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,222
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Just hit more tennis balls more often.
    Volley from the service line to a partner who also volleys from there, both going for solid, underspin volleys hit as hard as can be consistent. Try to jam your partner hitting right at him. Any ball that bounces short is a loser, any lob is a loser, and anything wide is a looser.
     
    #10
  11. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    colorado
    is there a certain shot you have trouble timing or is just hand eye coordination in general you need help with?
     
    #11
  12. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,164
    Location:
    Caught in No Man's Land
    I like this drill. I need to do it more often.


    Anyways, so improving hand-eye is not really possible? What about using techniques to track the ball, like Federer does? Does that classify at hand eye coordination.
     
    #12
  13. Failed

    Failed Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    575
    Well... buy yoursef a dancemat. It is hell of an excersise when you start playing experts and your hand-eye cordination gets godlike. Trust me, after playing two experts lastin 120sec each you'll break sweat big time and you won't even notice it. You'll just keep going, since it is so much fun. Trust me, buy the damn mat, its really inexpensive.
     
    #13
  14. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,164
    Location:
    Caught in No Man's Land
    Jacks???

    Well, my volleys have been paining me because i've been shanking some. My coach always says watch the ball. Last time, I focused on it more and it helped. Lately, it's been the volleys. But overall my hand-eye sucks.
     
    #14
  15. RestockingTues

    RestockingTues Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Messages:
    771
    Location:
    Fremont, Ca
    Same here. If I don't REALLY focus on the ball, then I'm guaranteed to shank it.
    Concentrating at that level is EXHAUSTING though :(
     
    #15
  16. BullDogTennis

    BullDogTennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,216
    Location:
    Big Orange Nation
    frisbee. hackysack(very good for the eyes and feet)(not so much for hands, but still helps) you can get a sparqqq training ball(a ball with irregular sides and you drop it and it bounces in awakward directions and you have to catch it) volley against a wall close up. get one of those little things that have a cup and a ball on a string and try to get it into the cup
     
    #16
  17. saram

    saram Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,371
    Try juggling two, then three, then four, then five balls at a time....
     
    #17
  18. PED

    PED Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,339
    Pretty interesting thoughts here from the WSJ last month:


    While they're not over yet, this year's National Football League playoffs have already produced one spectacle for the ages: the remarkable ability of Arizona Cardinals' wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to pluck passes out of the sky.

    As the Cardinals prepare to face Philadelphia in Sunday's NFC championship game, Mr. Fitzgerald's acrobatics are the talk of the NFL. They have also stirred up a mystery: in photographs, Mr. Fitzgerald can often be seen doing something almost unfathomable: making catches with his eyes closed. "I don't understand it myself," he says.

    On paper, Mr. Fitzgerald is not an extraordinary athlete. He's not the tallest receiver in the NFL or the best leaper. His 40-yard-dash time of 4.63 seconds at the 2004 NFL scouting combine is mediocre for the position. To explain his 1,431 yards receiving this season and his ability to haul in footballs with one hand or hold on to them while being pounded by defenders, most analysts say he must have soft hands, great timing or excellent body positioning.

    But after 20 years of studying the eyes of elite athletes, and after taking into account two unusual opportunities Mr. Fitzgerald had as a child, one prominent researcher believes his catching talent has less to do with his hands and feet than his eyes and brain. The two catalysts for Mr. Fitzgerald's success may, in fact, be his stint as a teenage ballboy for the Minnesota Vikings and the summer days he spent at his grandfather's optometry clinic.


    Joan Vickers, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Calgary, studies the eye movements of elite hockey goaltenders, baseball hitters, and tennis and volleyball players by having them play while wearing special goggles equipped with cameras that film their eyes. After watching Mr. Fitzgerald's 166-yard performance against the Carolina Panthers last week on television, she believes his talent reflects a mastery of two cognitive skills she has observed -- one called "the quiet eye" and another known as "predictive control."

    While running downfield at a full sprint, Dr. Vickers says, no receiver has an easy time focusing intently on the football. To track its flight pattern, Dr. Vickers says, receivers like Mr. Fitzgerald have to glean whatever information they can about its speed, direction and rotation long before the ball gets close enough to catch. In some cases, she says, a receiver's only chance to predict where the football will end up may come at the moment the quarterback lets go of the ball. To make a correct call, the receiver has to operate his eyes like a camera: opening the shutter, holding the lens steady and taking a snapshot with the longest possible exposure.


    Visual Dominance: Mr. Fitzgerald's grandfather, Dr. Robert Johnson, a Chicago optometrist, put him through several drills to strengthen his eye-hand coordination, including one with a painted ball and a colored rolling pin.

    The ability to maintain a level and strong gaze on a distant object for an unusually long period of time, even while moving, is something Dr. Vickers calls "the quiet eye." Her research suggests the difference between great athletes and good ones -- at least when it comes to sports that involve flying balls or pucks -- is the ability to lock down on these objects longer.

    Mr. Fitzgerald may have a clear advantage in this area. When he was young, his grandfather, Robert Johnson, the founder of a optometry clinic in Chicago, set out to make sure his grandson had "visual dominance" -- at first because he was having trouble in school. From the time Mr. Fitzgerald was in first grade, during summer visits, Mr. Johnson would take him to the clinic and have him stand on balance beams and wobbly boards while doing complicated hand-eye drills. By the time his grandson was 12 and emerging as an athlete, Dr. Johnson tailored many of these exercises to athletics. To improve the boy's precision, control, spatial judgment and rhythm, for instance, Dr. Johnson would hang a painted ball from the ceiling and have him try to hit the colored dots on the ball with the matching colored stripes on a rolling pin.

    Mr. Fitzgerald says he believes the training helped him on the football field. "When you're at that age, anything that helps strengthen your eyes and eye-hand coordination is going to definitely help with catching the ball," he says.

    The second skill Dr. Vickers sees in Mr. Fitzgerald is predictive control -- the brain's ability to gather information from the eyes and use it to predict what will happen next.

    Dr. Vickers says the best goalies and tennis players she's studied have two skills. First, they use the quiet-eye technique to take a clear snapshot of an approaching object and then, while it approaches them, will instantly compare it to a vast library of memories drawn from years of practice and observation. By matching that object with others, they can make a perfect calculation of where it will go and how to put themselves in position to make the play -- even if they aren't looking at the ball. The best athletes, then, can succeed without having to open their eyes. "It's a very, very amazing cognitive skill," she says.

    For Mr. Fitzgerald, this means that after scanning a newly thrown ball with his quiet eye, he turns on the microprocessor in his head and downloads every similar pass he's seen until he's made a calculation about where this ball is likely to land. "People don't realize it," says Mr. Johnson, Mr. Fitzgerald's grandfather, "but we actually see with our brains."

    Mr. Fitzgerald may have a better mental computer than most NFL receivers. Growing up in Minnesota his sportswriter father, Larry Fitzgerald Sr., helped his son get a job as a ballboy for the hometown Vikings for six seasons during his teenage years. This enabled the young Mr. Fitzgerald to see thousands of passes thrown and caught from the sidelines, to absorb these images up close in three dimensions and to study superstar receivers like Cris Carter and Randy Moss. Dr. Vickers says these experiences probably left Mr. Fitzgerald with a catalog of millions of impressions that would take most athletes years to build.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
    #18
  19. jefferson

    jefferson Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    658
    seriously way too much for my attention span or lack of... sorry. Maybe you make a great point but ...
     
    #19
  20. PED

    PED Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,339
    The point the article makes is that much of the hand eye skills can be made not just as a product of birth.
     
    #20
  21. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,164
    Location:
    Caught in No Man's Land
    Great article. So he learned to calculate where a pass would go along with the exercises his uncle did with him?
     
    #21
  22. Kenny022593

    Kenny022593 Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,169
    Location:
    Binghamton/Rochester
    im surprised no one has suggested ping pong... but yes ping pong is great for hand eye coordination

    and that whole dance mat thing its not going to help you (i play heavy on all songs) the only thing that it might help you with is controled movement endurance noto coordination
     
    #22
  23. PED

    PED Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Messages:
    5,339
    I unfortunately got to see Fitzgerald's skills 1st hand back in January. I'm a Panthers' fan Fitz just lit up the Panthers in the playoffs. He made several catches right in front of us and it was insane!

    I think what helped Fitzgerald alot was all those years as a ballboy and watching what the ball did when it was thrown a certain way. It's similar to tennis when you see the ball coming off the racquet face and getting some idea of what it will do: it's all about getting that extra 5% advantage over your opponent.

    Here's my last quote of the night from today New York Times on A Rod that illustrates the point:

    "Someone once showed me a slow-motion replay of the Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez in the batter’s box. Glancing back to see where the catcher has set up is not strictly against baseball’s rules, but it violates the code. A hitter who does it is likely to find the next pitch aimed in the general direction of his eyes. A-Rod, the best hitter in baseball, mastered the art of glancing back by moving not his head, but his eyes, at just the right time. It was like watching a billionaire find some trivial and dubious deduction to take on his tax returns. Why bother? I thought, and then realized: this is the instinct that separates A-Rod from mere stars. Kobe Bryant has the same instinct."
     
    #23
  24. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,164
    Location:
    Caught in No Man's Land
    That's sick. I've love to ballboy at some tournament. I could see how it helps. Kind of like learning how to react to a slice or kick serve.
     
    #24
  25. jakeytennis

    jakeytennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Messages:
    135
    Location:
    usa
    play catch. and also run to catch the ball too. don't just have your partner throw right to you.
     
    #25
  26. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,894
    +1. This. Any racquet sport would do but ping pong is most accessible for alot of people.
     
    #26
  27. frenzy

    frenzy New User

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2012
    Messages:
    67
    Take three tennisballs in your hands. Then throw them one by one with one hand and catch them with the other. It's a simple exercise to train your hand-eye coordination and keeping concentration high. You'll be tired after 5 minutes :), but it will improve by time. Good luck.

    If you are getting good at it, do it with four balls. And if you want to train for strenght as well, do the same exercise with basketballs :D.

    Good luck.
     
    #27

Share This Page