Ball Hitting – Hand Movements


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PURPOSE: The purpose of these activities is to help the patient develop understanding of how the eyes move, the ability to control these movements in a coordinated and effortless manner, and the ability to visually anticipate movement or change. Quality eye movements direct and are necessary in the intelligent purposeful movement of the body, from walking to fine motor control in writing.

Materials: Marsden Ball, Yard/meter stick or broom stick; wrap a loop of visible tape around the centre of the stick, and two more pieces of tape around the stick – one piece 1 foot to the left of the centre, and one 1 foot to the right of the centre tape.


Activity 1

 1. The patient stands in balanced posture with feet spread shoulder-width.

 2. The Marsden ball is lowered to chest level.

 3. Using the centre mark on the stick, the patient hits the ball straight ahead, making solid hits and keeping good control.

 4. Eye contact with the ball should be maintained at all times.

 5. When ready, the home assistant instructs the patient to place the hands on the stick on the right-of-centre tape; both hands should grip the stick with palm down, hands wrapping over the top of the stick (the overhand grip), and the tape should fall in between the hands.

 6. The patient continues hitting the ball with good control, always with the centre mark.

 7. When this is done easily, the home assistant will give instructions to move the hands to a the left of centre tape. Again, position the hands as described in 5 above, using the overhand grip.

 8. The patient is to maintain eye contact with the ball and continue to hit it with the centre of the stick..

 9. The patient is encouraged to “think, localize, and plan” the movement before executing it. That is, try to imagine the whole sequence from start to finish prior to executing the movement: the movement of the muscles and limbs, the movement of the ball before and after being hit, the position of the stick in relation to the ball.


Activity 2

 1. The patient is shown the OVER and UNDER grips; this is similar to the double-overhand grip as presented in 5 above, but with one hand wrapped around the stick with palm up, that is, in an underhand grip.

 2. The above activity is repeated.


1. The above activities are repeated on the balance board.

2. The above activities are repeated using the crossed-hands grips, that is, with one hand crossed over the other in a double-overhand

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