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Ready, Catch : A guide to improving hand-eye coordination

written by: Veronica Sky • edited by: Angela Atkinson • updated: 7/13/2011

Although hand-eye coordination is chiefly developed during the childhood years, there are several exercises that can be done to improve this skill. From specific sports that should be practiced to general exercises, balance, reaction time and reflexes can all be improved within a matter of weeks.

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    An Essential Skill

    Hand-eye coordination is essential for succeeding in any sport as well as making everyday tasks easier to accomplish. Generally speaking, this skill is developed during the childhood years. This is not to say that it cannot be improved in the later years; however, it takes time and commitment to accomplish. The best way to improve one's coordination is to engage in some type of sport, such as basketball or boxing, and stick to it. If enrolling in a sport is not an option, try some of the following basic exercises to improve this ability.

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    Here and There

    The simplest exercise is one that can be done throughout the day while sitting at work or a waiting room. Simply focus on an object such that is nearby. Then, switch gazes to an object that is far away. Continue this switch between focusing near followed by focusing far for a few minutes.

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    Speed Read

    This exercise involves taking a large ball such as a wiffle ball and writing letters all over the ball. Then, find a willing participant and toss the ball back and forth. As the ball is about to be caught, the catcher has to call out the last letter he/she sees.

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    Classic Catch

    One of the easiest exercises that can be done to improve hand-eye coordination is to simply toss a ball in the air and catch it. See how high you can throw the ball without losing accuracy in catching it.

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    Goal!

    When playing sports in which a goalie or catcher is involved such a soccer or baseball, take every chance to be the goalie/catcher. The action of stopping the ball with your hands is an excellent way to improve your athletic abilities.

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    Sparring

    Practicing boxing can help to improve your intuitive reactions. Either sparring with a friend or doing some simple speed bag drills will reduce reaction time and quicken reflexes.

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    Reaction Ball

    A reaction ball is a rubber ball that bounces in unpredictable patterns, forcing the user to improve his/her reaction time. The ball can be used with a partner or solo. A few weeks of working with the reaction ball is a surefire way to improve coordination.

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    Clowning Around

    Juggling isn’t just for clowns and busy moms; it is also a great exercise for improving balance and reflexes. Start out with just two balls. As your skill level increases, the number of balls can be increased.

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    Make Some Racquet!

    Racquet sports from ping pong to badminton to tennis are amazing ways to develop hand-eye coordination. The act of matching the racquet to the ball at the right time and with the right pressure is an excellent way to improve coordination. When faced with the decision of picking a sport to improve this skill, racquet sports are definitely the way to go.

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    References

    LiveStrong.com: Hand Eye Coordination Exercises

    Bodyomics.com: How to Improve Hand Eye Coordination

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