Not many people might initially think a person's ability to play sports can be affected by vision therapy. Yet consider what role vision plays in your ability to perform in sports – vision affects not just being able to see the game at hand, but processing the distance from your bat, your hand, or your foot to the ball, and in knowing which players are closer and which players are farther, and even keeping yourself aligned properly between sky and ground (if your eyes can't keep the horizontal straight, how will you?).
Have you ever wished you could improve your batting average, lower your golf score, see the puck better or just play your favorite sport better? If so, you are a lot like most sports participants. We all want to do better at the things we enjoy. Sharpening your vision skills is one way of improving your "game" and giving a "winning edge."
Your vision, just like the strength in your arms and the speed in your legs, plays an important part in how well you play your game. And, just like exercise and practice can increase your strength and speed, there are ways you can improve your visual fitness. With sports glasses, contact lenses, or sports vision therapy we can improve visual tracking, hand/eye coordination, depth perception, peripheral awareness, reaction time and visualization.
If incoming visual information is inaccurate, it can throw off your body's timings and cause your performance level to drop. Mishitting the ball, throwing off target, dropping passes, consistently reaching for the puck too late can be indications of inaccurate vision.
Many people are remarkably skillful at adapting to their vision problems. They assume everyone sees the way they do. Others may have good vision skills that enable them to play well but, if sharpened, could help them play even better. It is a matter of "what you are, compared to what you could be."
You can improve these skills, along with other vision skills, through a vision therapy program prescribed by Calgary Vision Therapy.
• Ball drills, batting practice, fielding practice, serving practice, etc.: Check
• Scrimmages: Check
• Interval training: Check
• Weight training: Check
Sports vision training, a modified, high-powered form of vision therapy, can improve your visual abilities and take you from good to great as an athlete.
Think about it: You train your muscles with weights in order to make them stronger to improve your dominance on the field or on the court, and you run miles upon miles to keep you going stronger for longer in the game. Why not train your eyes so you can better keep your eye on the ball, or so that you are more aware of where your team and the opposing team are on the field or on the court?
Calgary Vision Therapy also provides the opportunity to you to receive the intensive vision training that will give you an edge against your competition. With over 17 years of experience, we have used every tool at our disposal to help people with their vision disorders. The same tools which help develop hand-eye coordination in those with vision disorders can be used to take your hand-eye coordination to the next level as an athlete.
Whether you are a baseball player looking to pick out a fastball from a slider, a quarterback trying to avoid the pass rush, or a goalie wanting to be able to see the ice better and to be better aware of the player coming down the right wing, powerful vision may be your best asset, and vision training with Dr. Brent Neufeld your secret weapon. After an initial screening to determine your current skills, we will develop a program which emphasizes the vision aspects most critical to your sport and your position. Some, or all, of the following aspects of vision could be trained as part of a sports vision training program with Dr. Neufeld:
• Dynamic Visual Acuity – For picking out the rotation of a fastball as it comes towards the plate.
• Eye Tracking – Keep your eye on the ball or puck! Accurately tracking a fast-moving object or person
• Saccades – Being able to quickly shift your focus from the ball to the defenders downfield, or from the catcher to the first baseman for a pick off attempt or from the player in front of your net to the defenseman at the blue line.
• Peripheral Awareness – To dodge the outside linebacker bearing down on you while you're focusing on your receivers, or to be better aware of the player coming down the far side of the ice.
• Visual Processing/Perceptual Skills - the ability to make sense of information gathered through our eyes
• Depth Perception – To catch a fly ball, or time a swing of a tennis racket and identifying the exact location and distance of an object or person
• Hand-Eye or Body-Eye Coordination – Coordinating visual information with other motor skills. To do it all with the confidence of a pro!
• Binocular Vision - simultaneous accurate focusing and tracking with both eyes
• Visual Reaction Time - The speed at which the brain processes visual input from the eyes
Sports Vision Training isn’t about correcting your vision. You wear glasses or contacts for that. Vision Therapy is about training (or retraining) the brain to achieve maximum efficiency in the way it processes and responds to visual inputs. Sports Vision is about training people with excellent vision to process and respond to what they see faster and better. Using a personalized and customized series of techniques and exercises, the brain learns to respond more accurately and efficiently. It’s just like muscle memory. Once you know and refine exactly how to react, you can do it again and again, and get better every time.
If you're ready to dominate in your sport, but feel as though you are at a performance plateau, sports vision training may be exactly what you need to get to the next level. Call us today to schedule your vision screening and get started towards excellence and gain that next competitive edge.