Hand-eye coordination matters

28 08 2011

As Hurricane Irene approaches New York City…

You might notice that celebrity trainers don’t try to sell people on improving their hand-eye coordination. Why that is, I don’t know. Maybe trainers feel as though people will dismiss training that part of the body. It isn’t as easy to determine if your hand-eye coordination has improved than if your biceps have grown bigger and stronger. Hand-eye coordination isn’t sexy. Yet it is necessary for just about any sport.

That is why I thought it would be useful to write an article for WeightWatchers.com about how one can improve his or her ability to hit a softball or catch a ball. As with any story, I had to figure out how to properly deploy sources. I knew next to nothing about hand-eye coordination, so I had to learn through research and through the sources I used.

Athletes’ Performance is always a great starting point; I’ve spoken with an AP trainer for several WeightWatchers.com articles. This time, I was brought in touch with Brent Callaway, who was kind enough to video record five exercises that is embedded within the article. (WW.com is subscriber-based, so I can’t offer a Web link for the articles. Alas, the fact you can read it only in PDF form means you can’t see the videos. Sorry.)

I had become familiar with Gavin MacMillan through other stories I had written. He runs the Sports Science Lab in Orange County, Calif., not to be confused with ESPN’s Sport Science show that is filmed north of Orange County, in Burbank. Gavin is an encyclopedia. The guy is incredibly knowledgeable and honest. He’s a straight shooter, so it’s always fun speaking with him.

Callaway and MacMillan were relatively easy finds. Two trainers with great advice and recommendations to make, but I didn’t think that was enough to round out the story. In these types of articles (700ish words), it always helps to have at least three sources. That ensures there’s a particular variety and depth of opinions which is valuable to completing a story the right way. But I didn’t know where to go for that third source.

Then I thought of speaking with a neurologist. This was a story about hand-eye coordination, after all. The brain sends signals to the eyes to do what they do, so I figured a neurologist could enlighten me on how hand-eye coordination training might improve that process. A neurologist I knew turned down the invite to speak; he said I’d be better off speaking with a neuro-ophthalmologist. Of course, I thought. The study between a eyesight and the nervous system. Off a tip from the neurologist, I found Mark Morrow, who works at UCLA Medical Center. That’s how I ended up with the sources I did.

Click the link below to read the story:

Improve Your Hand-Eye Coordination

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