Coaching Association of Canada

Baseball Exercise for Learning to Focus on External Cues

Stage of Activity  Learn to Train, Train to Train, Train to Compete
Equipment

Tennis Ball 

Time

5-10 minutes

Number of People

Unlimited

How it Works

Phase 1 — The performer has a tennis ball and stands in front of a group; he or she is instructed to throw the ball to the person with one hand in the air. This person has been designated by the coach or the members of the group, but the performer does not know who he or she is. On the coach’s command, all group members but one throw both hands in the air. The performer must throw the ball to the individual with only one hand in the air.

Phase 2 — Repeat the exercise — this time one person puts both hands in the air but with thumbs tucked in. All other group members also have both arms in the air, their hands are open and facing the performer, and they sway their arms slowly backward, forward, and side to side. The person instructed to keep thumbs tucked into the hands also sways his or her arms slowly. The performer is instructed to throw the ball to the odd person out, but no cue is given about the nature of the difference.

Debrief
Discuss the conditions under which the person throwing the ball had to perform. Highlight the impact of visual distracters and the need to look for important cues in the environment to make performance decisions.

Applications

Concentration, focus

Modifications

Can be used in the following environments: field, court, gym.