Improving Your Visual Skills to Succeed In Sports
Athletes rely on physical fitness, strength, training, and proper nutrition to be in top form. What most people don’t realize is the central role visual skills play in sports achievement. Sports vision training enhances visual processing by teaching the eyes and brain to work together more efficiently.
Sports vision training improves the visual skills athletes rely on:
- Eye-hand-body coordination: the eyes and limbs working together to accurately perceive the soccer ball the foot is about to kick
- Depth perception: understanding the distance between objects, so a base runner can gauge how far to lead off first base
- Eye tracking: following an object, such as the fast-moving tennis ball your opponent has just served
- Eye teaming: the eyes working together so a basketball player can whip a strong chest pass to a teammate racing upcourt
- Peripheral vision: seeing to each side while looking forward and not moving your head, like a quarterback dropping back to pass and noticing a defender about to sack him from the left.
- Visualization: envisioning the success you desire, like a gymnast preparing for the handsprings and twists needed to successfully execute a floor exercise
Developing Visual Skills Takes Commitment
Accomplished athletes have been honing their visual skills since childhood. As young children, some Major Leaguers swung their baseball bats at the acorns and stones they tossed. Later, they honed their visual skills by focusing on how the baseball’s red stitches rotated to decipher what pitch was en route.
At The Sports Vision Center at Advanced Eye Care, we provide customized sports vision training for your sport to help your brain respond accurately and efficiently on the field, court, or rink. If you play soccer, for example, we will teach you techniques to strengthen your peripheral vision to be more alert to approaching defenders. The regimen typically lasts several weeks to several months. By carrying out these exercises at our practice, then repeatedly practicing them at home, your brain and eyes will develop visual memory, which will strengthen necessary visual skills.
First and foremost, Rebecca St. Jean, O.D. and Elicia Miller, O.D. will conduct an in-depth examination of your visual skills, determine which ones need improving, and will accordingly administer a customized sports vision training program to fit your needs.
The Sports Vision Center at Advanced Eye Care serves athletes from South Charleston, Davis Creek, Hillsdale, Institute, and throughout West Virginia.