Sports Vision – A Key to Sports Performance and Efficiency
As stated on the College of Optometrists in Vision Development website, “Research shows that over 80% of what we learn comes from the visual system. That percentage goes up even more when one is talking about sports because the eyes direct the dynamic movement of the body.” The key to optimal sports performance is responding and reacting to the least amount of information in the least amount of time. Within fractions of a second, the eyes feed information to the brain to be interpreted, and the accuracy and timing of this response is critical. Most people think that “20/20” eyesight means perfect vision; however, undetected visual skills problems can affect coordination, concentration, balance, timing and accuracy. This can seriously affect optimal sports performance and the ability to perform at one’s maximum potential.
Some sports require an athlete to focus on a stationary target, while in other sports, a moving target requires the athlete to continuously judge speed and distance. All of the decision making is dependent on accurate visual information.
An optometric sports vision evaluation will assess pertinent sports specific visual skills and analyze the data, generating a profile targeting visual strengths and visual skills that can be enhanced. From there, a customized training program will be designed to improve and maximize visual processing and performance on and off the field.
VVV Sports Sensory Performance Analysis
The sports sensory performance evaluation begins where most evaluations end. We utilize two state of the art technologies, the Pro Sports Vision Testing System and the DynaVision D2 to assess and analyze key sport specific visual skills required for optimal success.
VISUAL SKILLS ASSESSED:
- Visual Clarity: how clearly the ball is seen
- Dynamic Visual Clarity: how clearly details are seen on a moving ball
- Contrast Sensitivity: how accurately the ball is seen under varying backgrounds
- Glare Performance: how accurately the ball is seen under stadium lights and sun glare
- Depth Perception: fine judgment in quickly detecting the location of the ball in flight
- Near/Far Quickness: how quickly and accurately attention and focus shifts between the ball, players and the field
- Eye Hand Coordination: how quickly and accurately the body responds to what is seen
- Decision Making: how quickly and accurately decisions are made under pressure
- Hand Reaction Time: how quickly the hand reacts to the ball
- Visual Tracking and Endurance: accurate and consistent performance while fatigued
Upon completion of the Pro Sports Vision Testing System, the test results are transmitted via the internet and compared to a database of over 5000 major league hitters. The resulting analysis identifies areas of opportunity. The doctor will review these results and design a training program individually designed to improve and enhance the visual skills identified.
Disclaimer: The Sports Sensory performance evaluation does not replace a comprehensive eye examination. The Sports Sensory Performance evaluation is NOT a medical evaluation; therefore, it is NOT covered by insurance. For optimal results, an annual comprehensive eye health evaluation is strongly recommended prior to beginning a training program.
VVV Sports Sensory Performance Training
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This program is designed to train and enhance the visual skills assessed during the Sports Sensory Performance evaluation. The program will be tailored and individualized to concentrate more heavily on the areas of opportunity targeted on the analysis.
This training program will incorporate a variety of drills to engage the athlete and improve the following visual skills:
Eye-Hand Coordination to improve speed and accuracy of responses to the ball, opponents, and field of play, and Decision Making to improve quickness and accuracy in decision making, resulting is fewer mental mistakes.
Additional skills training includes: Focus/Attention by directing and maintaining attention on the primary task such as tracking the ball through space, Timing to improve the precision and accuracy of timing a response to the ball, Imagery by constructing a mental image to recreate an object or event, Reaction Time to decrease the time required to mentally process visual information and take action by getting to the ball or opponent quicker, Balance to improve the ability to maintain stability while making rapid eye movements to track or search for the ball, and Peripheral Vision to improve detection of movement and monitoring of surroundings outside of the line of sight.
The DynaVision D2 is a Visuo-Motor Reaction Training Device for high performance athletes, law enforcement, and military personnel. This system develops the ability to see, process, and react faster. By improving the brain’s ability to process information and send signals to appropriate muscles, athletes can more accurately assess a situation and act quickly.
The program will also utilize the Nike SPARQ vapor strobe eyewear developed to improve the connection between the athlete’s eyes, brain, and body. The liquid crystal technology enables the lenses to flicker between clear and opaque, removing visual information and forcing the athlete to become more efficient.
Individual and group training options are available. The doctor will recommend which option is best suited for each athlete based on the Sports Sensory Performance Analysis. Not all athletes progress at the same rate and thus may require a more individualized and customized training program to meet their individual goals.
Home training is a key factor in optimizing the results of in-office training. A home training package will be given to each athlete and includes the activity’s instructions and basic equipment and materials.
Click to download the Sports Performance Questionnaire.