A primary attribute of a great hitter is the ability to concentrate. In the split-second it takes for a baseball to travel from the pitcher’s mound to home plate, the slightest lapse in attention results in a failure to hit the ball. An effective way to develop and maximize the power of concentration is Tratak, or candle flame, meditation.
Meditation for this purpose does not have a New Age, modern-day, spaced-out connotation. Rather, it is an effective training exercise that forces the mind and the vision to work as a unit: unified as one in the quest to absorb and process information which results in clear, decisive, unified and direct action.
Execution: light a candle in a darkened room. Make certain a holder or receptacle is in place for the wax drippings. Place candle on a table and sit in a comfortable position 2 to 3 feet from the flame. Sit with both feet on the ground, back uplifted and straight, with hands resting unclenched and on knees. Look at the upper-most portion of the flame.
Do not blink! Force your eyes to remain open in spite of the inevitable tears and initial discomfort. Take control of your body and its functions and force your eyes to remain focused on the flame. Clear your thoughts and remain still. Relax, breathe, and look at the flame for 10 to 15 minutes minimum, as a start. Use a timer and work toward 30 minutes, all unblinking. Perform 2-3 times per week.
30 uninterrupted minutes seems impossible to a weak and unmotivated batter; it is attainable and beneficial to a hitter who uses every available resource to become great! Research proves this is an effective way to strengthen the muscles in the eye and to strengthen the power of concentration. Vision and focus mean “see the ball, hit the ball” becomes a reality.