Hand-eye coordination is the ability of your body to visually take in information with your eyes and then use that information to direct your hand to perform a task. Better hand-eye coordination equates to greater performance in sports like baseball and tennis, but it also improves your ability to perform everyday activities -- writing, typing and slicing vegetables. Improve your hand-eye coordination with the card-catching, tennis ball catch, flashlight chase and reaction ball drills. Perform the drills three to four times per week.
The card-catching drill forces you to watch a moving object all the way into your hands. To perform the card-catching drill, stand in a ready position facing a partner who is either on the floor or perched on a step and holding a deck of cards. She will flick one card up and you have to watch the fluttering card fall and catch it with your hands. Do two sets of 10 reps. Make the drill more difficult by catching the cards with just one hand, setting up a fan nearby to add air turbulence or forcing yourself to focus more intently on the card by catching only the red cards.
For the tennis ball-catch drill, stand facing a partner who’s holding a basket of tennis balls. Your partner will toss one ball at a time, either to your left or right. If she tosses it to your right, reach up with your right hand and catch it. When she tosses to your left, use your left hand for the catch. Immediately toss the ball aside, as your partner will throw the next ball right after you complete each catch. Do two sets of 12 reps. Make the drill more challenging by recruiting another helper, and quickly toss her each ball as you catch it. This forces you to toss a ball to one person while watching an incoming ball from another.
If you play tennis, perform the tennis ball drill with a racket in hand. Rather than catching the ball, use forehand and backhand strokes to hit the ball back to your partner. If you lack a partner, improve hand-eye coordination by bouncing a tennis ball on your racket as many times as you can or by bouncing the ball against a wall.
The flashlight drill forces fast movement and focus from your eyes. Stand beside a partner, with both of you about 10 feet from a wall, and each holding a flashlight. Have your partner shine his flashlight beam at the wall and move it around at various speeds and patterns. Chase your partner’s beam with your own, trying to keep your own beam atop his the entire time. He can also move the flashlight beam in rapid, jerky lines. Tag his light beam with your own as quickly as you can. Complete two sets, with each set lasting 20 seconds.
A reaction ball is a rubber, tennis-ball-sized object that’s covered in lumps. When a reaction ball bounces, it could shoot off in any direction. Use the ball to build hand-eye coordination by having a partner drop it onto the floor or toss it against a wall or against a rebounder, and then catch the ball with one hand before in bounces for the second time. Toss the ball back to your partner and get ready for the next rep. Do two sets of 12 reps.