Skip to main content
Home »

Sports Vision

3 Visual Skills That Can Make You a Better Athlete

3 Visual Skills That Can Make You a Better Athlete 640×350To succeed in most sports, you need to be aware of your surroundings and aptly judge distances at a glance. Luckily, these skills can be enhanced through sports vision training.

Sports vision training teaches athletes how to process what their eyes see, better and faster. It not only improves the visual skills needed to excel in your sport but also helps you stay safe by diminishing your risk of concussion and other accidents.

Sports vision training enables you to thrive in sports like football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and tennis. In fact, just about any sport!

By developing your visual skills, you’ll have an easier time catching, throwing, and hitting an object. Improving your tracking, concentrating, peripheral awareness and depth perception skills can help you better gauge the distance between a basketball and the net, or the proximity of another player as you sprint to the field goal.

So it’s really no surprise that sports vision training gives athletes an advantage over their opponents.

What is Sports Vision Training?

Sports vision training is a customized program that improves the communication between the eyes, body, and brain. The program is carefully formulated for your given sport and employs strategies and exercises that train the brain and body to adapt to what the eyes see more quickly and accurately.

Ways Sports Vision Training Can Help You Become a Better Athlete

Depending on your specific needs, sports vision training can improve these and many other visual skills:

1. Focusing and Tracking

Focus flexibility (also called accommodation), refers to the eyes’ ability to quickly shift focus. Improving your eye-focusing skills will help you concentrate better and refocus your vision more quickly and precisely. This will, in turn, improve your ability to process moving objects.

Convergence (or tracking) is the ability to track objects or people with eyes operating in tandem.

2. Depth Perception

Depth perception is the ability to determine the distance between yourself and other individuals or objects in three dimensions.

People with superior depth perception have an easier time gauging the exact position in 3D of an approaching object.

In fact, depth perception is one of the visual skills baseball players rely on the most to make a great catch or steal a base.

3. Peripheral Awareness

Peripheral awareness training helps you how recognize and analyze objects and people from the ‘corners’ of your eyes. Without good peripheral vision, players on the field may not perceive a ball or other players approaching them from the left or right.

No matter your sport, the sharper your visual skills, the better your performance. Contact your eye doctor to determine which of your visual skills strengthening.

Contact Livingston EyeCare Associates today to discover how sports vision training can help you become the athlete you’d like to be.

Livingston EyeCare Associates serves patients from Livingston County, Ann Arbor, Detroit Metropolitan Area, and Lansing, Michigan and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Chad Gallatin

Q: Can sports vision training improve 20/20 vision?

  • A: For most people, having 20/20 vision is ideal, since it gives them the excellent visual acuity they seek for daily tasks. Sports vision training, however, doesn’t improve visual acuity; it cannot make someone less nearsighted, but it can enhance the visual skills athletes need to succeed.
  • Q: Who can benefit from sports vision training?
  • A: Sports vision training is ideal for anyone at any age who wishes to improve their performance, in just about any sport. It’s particularly effective for athletes who play soccer, football, golf, hockey, baseball, and ping-pong — all of which involve fast-moving objects like balls and hockey pucks.

exam-checklist Find Out If Sports Vision Training Is Right For You
Call To Schedule An Evaluation 810-231-5800

Preventing Concussions With Sports Vision Exercises

Preventing Concussions With Sports Vision Exercises 640×350Between 1.7 million to 3 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur each year in the United States alone. 70-80% percent of those surveyed have vision issues.

So what can you do to avoid a concussion? Consider sports vision training. It can help you perform better and protect your head and brain from injury.

Sports Vision Training and Sport-Related Head Injuries

Concussions are among the most prevalent injuries sustained in sports.

When your visual abilities aren’t up to par, you may underestimate the distance between yourself and the ball or between yourself and other players. Due to limited peripheral vision, miscalculating the velocity of a ball or the location of competing players may result in significant head or other injuries.

This is why, like exercising your muscles, it’s important to train your eyes to communicate more efficiently with your brain and body.

Sports Vision Exercises to Prevent Concussions

If you’re looking to improve your game by improving your visual skills, visit today. our optometrists will prescribe a sports vision training program based on your sport and the visual abilities you need to develop.

Until then, here are some very basic exercises you can do at home. (Keep in mind that there is no alternative for a specialized sports vision assessment and training tailored to your individual visual strengths and deficiencies.)

Depth Perception

Depth perception is crucial for a variety of sports. Baseball players require it to hit the ball as it crosses the plate, while football players need it to judge where the ball will land. Even swimmers use depth perception when doing a flip-turn near the pool’s edge during a race.

You can practice this skill by holding a drinking straw at arm’s length and trying to drop a tiny pebble or balled-up piece of paper through the straw with your free hand.

Peripheral Awareness

Peripheral awareness is crucial for succeeding in sports, as athletes must be able to sense the world around them without turning their heads. By honing this visual skill, they can drastically improve their game.

One thing you can do to improve peripheral awareness is to stand at a junction and look straight ahead at the road in front of you. Practice seeing cars pass horizontally from left to right without moving your head—simply perceive them through the edges of your visual field.

Focus Flexibility

The ability to shift your concentration from far away to nearby objects is referred to as focus flexibility.

Focus on an object close to you, then adjust your focus to an object behind the first one in the same line of sight to improve your focus flexibility. A bowl on a table in front of you, for example, and then a painting on the wall in the distance.

Switch between focusing on the bowl and the painting. This is also a good exercise for those who spend a lot of time at their computers. It will not only improve your focus flexibility but will also ease eye strain caused by prolonged screen use.

If you’re looking to improve sports performance, contact today. Sports vision training will help you up your game whether you’re a competitive athlete or simply enjoy playing on the weekends.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Chad Gallatin

Q: What is Sports Vision Training?

  • A: Sports vision training is a customized program that uses a series of techniques and exercises to teach your brain and body to respond more accurately and efficiently to a fastball or hockey puck rapidly coming toward you. The training focuses on improving visual skills, such as hand-eye coordination, eye tracking, depth perception, focusing and peripheral vision.

Q: Can sports vision training lead to a decrease in sport-related injuries?

  • A: According to a study done by the University of Cincinnati Division of Sports Medicine, football players who had undergone sports vision training to improve their peripheral vision had fewer concussions than those who did not do it.
  • This is because sports vision training helps the eyes and brain react more quickly to changes in the environment, resulting in more successes and fewer accidents.
  • Livingston EyeCare Associates serves patients from Livingston County, Ann Arbor, Detroit Metropolitan Area, and Lansing, Michigan and surrounding communities.

exam-checklist Find Out If Sports Vision Training Is Right For You
Call To Schedule An Evaluation 810-231-5800

Elevate Your Game on the Baseball Field With Sports Vision Training

Improve How You Play Baseball With Sports Vision Training 640×350Hitting a baseball out of the park is widely regarded as one of the most difficult sporting challenges. In Major League Baseball (MLB), batters have less than half a second to meet a 90-mph fastball with the sweet spot of their bat. There is almost no other specialized action in any sport that puts a player’s visual system under such strain.

So why don’t coaches and managers ask their players to utilize sports vision training to boost their performance on the field?

That’s because the value of sports vision training is underappreciated. Many athletes, parents, and coaches don’t realize the central role that visual skills play in athletic ability, and are ignorant of the numerous ways to develop them.

Recognizing A Pitch

There are many kinds of pitches: fastballs, curveballs, screwballs and more.

Batters have only a fraction of a second to identify the type of pitch and react accordingly. Keeping an eye on the ball and assessing speed, motion and direction are highly demanding for a player’s neuro-visual system.

5 Essential Visual Skills for Keeping Eyes on the Ball

  • Convergence – Perfect convergence of both eyes is needed to follow a ball as it flies towards you.
  • Depth perception – In order to assess the distance, speed, and direction of a fast-moving ball, accurate depth perception is needed.
  • Peripheral vision – Is required to stop a base-stealer and achieve that double-play.
  • Eye teaming – To keep track of a flying ball, the eyes must be perfectly synchronized.
  • Speed of focus – Your eyes must constantly refocus when a ball is racing toward you at 70 to over 90 miles per hour.
  • Visual processing speed – It’s critical for the brain to be able to quickly process all of the visual information sent to it.

Sports Vision Training for Baseball

Just as intense physical exercise helps baseball players boost their physical endurance, strength, speed and fine motor skills, sports vision training helps them improve their depth perception, focusing and visual processing speed.

A sports vision training program is customized for each player based on an evaluation of their visual skills with a specific focus on baseball requirements.

To start boosting your visual skills and performance, contact our optometrists at Livingston EyeCare Associates today.

We train athletes from Livingston County, Ann Arbor, Detroit Metropolitan Area, and Lansing, Michigan and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Chad Gallatin

Q: What is sports vision training?

  • A: Sports vision training is a custom-made program that improves coordination between your eyes, body and brain while playing sports. It involves exercises and techniques that help athletes process the information their eyes are sending the brain more quickly and accurately.

Q: Who can benefit from sports vision training?

  • A: Whether you’re pitching or up at bat, sports vision training is perfect for anyone of any age and ability seeking to take their performance to the next level.

exam-checklist Find Out If Sports Vision Training Is Right For You
Call To Schedule An Evaluation 810-231-5800

3 Ways To Unlock Your True Athletic Potential

3 Ways To Unlock Your True Athletic Potential 640×350As an athlete, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and be able to gauge distances. This is where sports vision training comes into play. Sports vision is about training people to process what their eyes see, better and faster. It’s an effective way to boost the visual skills you need to excel at your chosen sport and stay safe while doing it.

3 Ways Sports Vision Training Can Improve Your Game

Having strong, well-developed visual skills enhances your ability to catch, throw, and hit a ball, allowing you to thrive in sports like baseball, basketball and tennis. By sharpening your peripheral awareness, depth perception, and eye-tracking and focusing abilities, you will be able to better gauge the distance between a tennis ball and the net, or the proximity of another player as you sprint across the field.

1. Enhanced Convergence and Accommodation

Convergence is the ability to keep both eyes working in tandem as they track objects or people, such as a player passing a ball. Accommodation, also known as focus flexibility, is the eyes’ ability to immediately change focus.

Improving your eye-focusing abilities will help you concentrate better, and swiftly and precisely refocus your vision. This makes it easier to quickly process moving objects.

2. Enhanced Depth Perception

Depth perception is the ability to judge the distance between you and people or objects, and allows you to see in three dimensions. Individuals with good depth perception have an easier time recognizing an object as it approaches because they can see where it is in space. When a baseball player makes a spectacular catch or steals a base, depth perception is one of the visual skills they most rely on.

3. Enhanced Peripheral Awareness

Peripheral awareness, also known as peripheral vision, enables us to detect and see things that aren’t directly in front of us while looking straight ahead. A well-developed peripheral field helps soccer players, tennis players and cyclists see people and objects at the edge of their visual field and sense the flow of the game or traffic as it constantly changes.

The sharper your visual skills are, the better you will be at whatever sport you participate in. Your eye doctor will assess your vision in specific areas to identify weak areas that need strengthening. After that, you’ll be prescribed a customized sports vision training program that will include a series of personalized eye exercises and assessments to measure your progress.

To learn more about how sports vision training can help you become a better athlete, contact Livingston EyeCare Associates today!

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Chad Gallatin

Q: What is sports vision training?

  • A: Sports vision training is a personalized program that improves the communication between your eyes, body and brain while playing sports. Enhanced communication between your eyes and brain leads to improved visual skills, allowing an athlete to unlock their fullest potential. Sports vision training uses a customized series of techniques and exercises, resulting in the brain and body learning to respond more efficiently and accurately to what the eyes are seeing.

Q: Who can benefit from sports vision training?

  • A: Whether you’re a golfer, play hockey or ski, sports vision training is perfect for anyone of any age who wants to take their performance to the next level.
Livingston EyeCare Associates serves patients from Livingston County, Ann Arbor, Detroit Metropolitan Area, and Lansing, all throughout Michigan.


exam-checklist Find Out If Sports Vision Training Is Right For You
Call To Schedule An Evaluation 810-231-5800

Looking To Improve Your Athletic Performance This Summer?

Looking To Improve Your Sports Performance This Summer 640It’s finally summer—and there’s no better time to play outdoor sports! But if you’re like many of us, you may be a little rusty from the long winter months. While physical training is important to get back into gear, sports vision training can take you a step further by helping you hone the visual skills you need to excel at your chosen sport.

Sports vision training is a personalized program that helps professional and amateur athletes improve the way their eyes, brain and body interact. The quicker the brain processes the messages the eyes send, the better the performance.

Benefits of Sports Vision Training

Strong, well-developed visual skills can help you improve your ability to hit a tennis ball or perform the perfect dive in the swimming pool.

Sharpening your tracking, depth perception, focusing and peripheral awareness skills will help determine the proximity of the water from the diving board or the distance between a baseball and your bat. It should come as no surprise that vision training helps athletes improve their performance in just about any sport.

Sports vision training helps develop the following visual skills:

  • Balance – the ability to stay in control of body movement. A surfer, for example, must be able to stand on the board without falling off, all while riding a wave.
  • Eye Tracking – the ability to “keep your eye on the ball.”
  • Focusing – the ability to rapidly change focus from one object to another efficiently and quickly. For example, in baseball, a player needs to be able to focus on the ball while running.
  • Eye-Hand or Eye-Body Coordination – the ability to use your eyes to direct the movements of your hands and body. In tennis, for instance, a player must be able to move his or her body and hands while tracking the ball.
  • Peripheral Awareness – seeing things or people, such as opposing players, out of the corner of your eye.
  • Depth Perception – the capacity to evaluate an object’s speed and distance accurately and quickly. For example, a diver must accurately evaluate the distance from the edge of the pool in order to dive safely.
  • Contrast Sensitivity – the ability to distinguish between an object and its background, such as a baseball against the sky.
  • Dynamic Visual Acuity – the ability to clearly see objects in motion.
  • Reaction Time – the faster you see it, the faster you react and the faster you move.

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will assess your visual skills in various areas to determine which ones need to be improved. Once assessed, you’ll receive a personalized program to boost and expand your visual skills in those areas.

To learn more about sports vision training, contact Livingston EyeCare Associates today!

Livingston EyeCare Associates serves patients from Livingston County, Ann Arbor, Detroit Metropolitan Area and Lansing, all throughout Michigan.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Chad Gallatin

Q: What is sports vision training?

  • A: Sports vision training is a customized program that improves coordination between your eyes, brain, and body when playing sports. Sports vision training helps athletes process information and then react faster and more accurately to what they see on the field or in the water.

Q: Who can benefit from sports vision training?

  • A: Whether for surfing, playing baseball, or biking, sports vision training benefits people of any age or level seeking to take their performance to the next level.


exam-checklist Find Out If Sports Vision Training Is Right For You
Call To Schedule An Evaluation 810-231-5800

Sports Vision Training Can Help Prevent Scooter Accidents

E Scooter Riders 640When riding an electric scooter, you need to be able to focus on the road, while avoiding cars, pedestrians, and other potential obstacles. It may sound simple, but not everyone has the visual skills needed to focus, scan the surroundings and react in a split-second to an oncoming car or a child who’s run into the street.

At Livingston EyeCare Associates, we offer sports vision training, which helps improve visual skills by training the brain to process and respond quickly and efficiently to visual input. This can, in turn, prevent you from getting into an accident.

E-Scooter Riders Need Top-Notch Visual Skills

To stay safe on the road, drivers, motorcyclists, and e-scooter drivers need to have remarkable visual skills, where the ability to focus, track fast-moving objects and react quickly can mean the difference between staying safe and incurring an injury.

Even the smallest increase in processing ability, reaction time and resilience can help prevent injury to yourself and others.

The Visual Skills Needed to Safely Ride an E-Scooter

Improve critical vision skills, such as peripheral awareness, depth perception and eye focusing, with sports vision training, a customized program that improves the communication between your eyes, brain, and body.

1. Peripheral Awareness

Peripheral vision, also known as peripheral awareness, enables us to detect and see things that aren’t right in front of us when looking straight ahead. A well-developed peripheral field helps riders spot people and objects and sense the flow of the road as it changes.

2. Depth Perception

Depth perception is the ability to see in three dimensions and judge the distance between objects or people and yourself.

Those with good depth perception have an easier time accurately tracking any object as it approaches because they can perfectly see where it is in space. This enables one to make split-second decisions about when to swerve or stop to avoid coming in contact with everything from a car to a trash can.

3. Accommodation and Convergence

Accommodation, also known as focus flexibility, is the eyes’ ability to change focus immediately. Convergence is the ability to keep both eyes working in unison as they track people or objects, such as a bus on the road.

Enhancing these eye-focusing skills can boost your ability to concentrate and refocus your vision quickly and more accurately so that you process moving objects quickly.

Want to strengthen your visual skills? Contact our optometrists today!

Livingston EyeCare Associates serves patients from Livingston County, Ann Arbor, Detroit Metropolitan Area, and Lansing, all throughout Michigan.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Chad Gallatin

Q: What is sports vision training?

  • A: Sports vision training is made of individually prescribed and monitored exercises aimed at developing specific visual skills and processing. These various customized activities and exercises retrain the brain to effectively interact with the eyes and improve vision functioning. This therapy consists of weekly in-office appointments and assigned daily exercises, ranging from several weeks to several months. The training involves close monitoring and follow-up appointments to ensure steady improvements in the patient’s visual functions.

Q: Who can benefit from sports vision training?

  • A: Whether you play hockey or baseball or ride an e-scooter, sports vision training is perfect for anyone of any age and ability seeking to take their performance to the next level.


exam-checklist Find Out If Sports Vision Training Is Right For You
Call To Schedule An Evaluation 810-231-5800

Sports Eye Safety Month – How to Prevent Sports Injuries

skateboard 640Sporting goods stores are full of gear that protects wrists, knees, heads and shins from the impact of a fast-moving ball or a spill from a skateboard.

Unfortunately, many athletes forget that their eyes are just as vulnerable to sports injuries.

Approximately 40,000 sports-related eye injuries occur every year, and many result in permanent vision loss.

The good news is that up to 90% of sports-related eye injuries are preventable if an athlete wears the correct protective eyewear.

At Livingston EyeCare Associates we can help you minimize your risk of incurring an eye injury by helping you choose the proper protective eyewear and improving your visual skills.

What is Protective Eyewear?

Protective eyewear is made of ultra-strong polycarbonate, which is very impact-resistant and also protects eyes from UV rays.

There are a variety of different types of protective eyewear for sports: face guards or masks, safety goggles and special eyewear designed for specific sports.

Your optometrist can provide protective eyewear with your prescription, or safety goggles that can be worn over your regular prescription glasses or contacts.

When Do I Need To Use Protective Eyewear?

Everyone, kids included, needs to use protective eyewear whenever practicing or playing a sport that comes with a risk of eye injury.

Some sports with a high risk of eye injury include:

  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Wrestling
  • Martial arts
  • Fencing
  • Hockey
  • Baseball and softball
  • Squash
  • Shooting
  • Archery

Other sports with a moderate risk of eye injury include:

  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Gymnastics
  • Skiing

All sports, whether they put your eyes at high or low risk of injury, require some type of protective eyewear.

Preventing Sports Injuries with Sports Vision Training

Another effective way to prevent sports-related injuries — and not just eye injuries — is sports vision training. A customized program of eye exercises, sports vision training hones the visual skills needed to play a specific sport. This program teaches the eyes and brain to work together more efficiently and process information faster during a game or race, preventing injuries as a result.

Take peripheral vision as an example. Subpar peripheral vision makes it difficult for athletes to see players or a ball coming toward them from the side. Good peripheral vision lowers the risk of collisions and reduces the likelihood of injury while improving athletic performance.

Whether you play basketball, baseball or tennis, peripheral vision provides athletes with a wide view of the people and objects around them, beyond their central vision.

Studies have shown that football players who participated in a sports vision program sustained fewer concussions. Vision therapy can also help athletes improve their reaction time, processing speed and hand-eye coordination.

At Livingston EyeCare Associates, we offer safety eyewear and sports vision training to reduce your risk of injury and improve your vision. We treat any vision-related conditions you may have, so contact us to schedule an evaluation.

Livingston EyeCare Associates serves patients from Livingston County, Ann Arbor, Detroit Metropolitan Area, and Lansing, all throughout Michigan.

Q&A

 

Q: What is sports vision training?

  • A: Sports vision training is an individualized program that consists of a variety of exercises designed to improve and treat visual function.

Q: Should I or my child wear protective eyewear even if we don’t wear prescription glasses?

  • A: Yes! The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends wearing protective eyewear for any sport where eye injuries can occur, even for athletes who don’t wear glasses or contacts. Studies show that protective eyewear does not affect a player’s sight and that some athletes play better because they are less afraid of suffering a serious eye injury.


exam-checklist Find Out If Sports Vision Training Is Right For You
Call To Schedule An Evaluation 810-231-5800

The Importance of Binocular Vision in Sports

The Importance of Binocular Vision in Sports 640Binocular vision is the ability to create a single image with both eyes while maintaining visual focus on an object. Sometimes our eyes fail to integrate visual information into one coherent image. This integration is important, as it allows athletes to perceive three-dimensional depth and relationships between people or objects, such as another player or a ball.

Since each eye is in a different position relative to any object, the eyes convey slightly different spatial information and send these varying images to the brain. The brain then uses the differences between the signals from the two eyes to accurately judge depth, speed, and distance.

When binocular vision isn’t operating at peak capacity, it impacts an athlete’s reaction time and the speed and accuracy of their movements.

Reduced binocular vision doesn’t mean that athletes are constantly falling over or fumbling. What it does mean, however, is that they may misjudge the velocity or direction of a ball, or collide more with other players.

How Does Reduced Binocular Vision Affect Athletes?

When our brain and eyes don’t work efficiently as a team, especially while playing sports, it can affect timing, depth perception, reactions, accuracy, and speed.

Visual deficits hinder how an athlete responds to what they see. If there is an issue with a player’s vision, there will most likely be an issue with their balance and body awareness.

Visual Skills Needed For Sports

There are many visual skills athletes need to perform their best during a game.

Accommodation – is the eyes’ ability to change their focus from distant to near objects and vice versa. For example, when a football player looks at other players coming toward them, then shifts focus to the ball on the field.

Binocular Vision – is the ability to maintain visual focus on an object, creating a single visual image with both eyes. Without binocular vision athletes cannot accurately measure distance and depth.

Depth Perception – is the ability to distinguish the distance to, or between, objects. This is important for athletes when they need to hit or interact with moving objects.

Dynamic Visual Acuity – the ability to see a moving object when a player is stationary, or when the object is still and the athlete is in motion. It’s the eyes’ ability to visually discern detail in a moving object, such as a player’s number on a jersey.

Peripheral Vision – is the ability to see objects and movement outside of your direct line of vision. This is important for athletes, especially when they need to run down a field and be able to see other players coming at them from all directions.

Saccades – quick, rapid, simultaneous eye movements between two or more stationary objects in the same direction. For athletes it’s important to be able to see stationary objects, such as a hoop at the end of the court.

Smooth Pursuits – reflexive eye movements that are required when tracking an object through an environment, such as a flying ball. Instead of the eye moving in jumps, it moves smoothly.

Sports Vision Training

Sports vision training can improve all the visual skills an athlete needs to succeed at their game. Even if an athlete has ‘20/20 eyesight’ they may still have reduced binocular vision, and sports vision can help improve any lagging visual skills. Sports vision is an individualized training program that focus on improving visual skills so that athletes can improve their performance.

The ability to enhance an athlete’s sports vision skills is a proven way to improve performance. To learn more about how sports vision training can help you reach your goals, contact us at Livingston EyeCare Associates today.

Livingston EyeCare Associates serves patients from Livingston County, Ann Arbor, Detroit Metropolitan Area, and Lansing, all throughout Michigan.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Chad Gallatin

 

Q: What is sports vision training?

  • A: Sports vision training is a customized program that improves the communication between your brain, eyes, and body. It helps athletes process information more accurately and react faster to what they see on the field.

Q: Why is sports vision training important?

  • A: Athletes in visually demanding sports need to have exceptional visual skills. This is true for all sports, where the ability to focus, react quickly, and move fast can mean the difference not only between winning and losing, but between incurring an injury and staying safe.


exam-checklist Find Out If Sports Vision Training Is Right For You
Call To Schedule An Evaluation 810-231-5800

Why Vision Training Is Vital for Your Swing 

action athlete athletic ball 279004 (1)It is no secret that hitting a baseball out of the park is considered one of the most difficult challenges in sports. Batters in MLB have less than half a second to meet a 90 mph fastball with the bat’s sweet spot. This means there is virtually no other specific action in any sport that is as demanding to a player’s visual system. What remains a mystery is why so few coaches and managers ask their teams to utilize vision training, which will enhance their performance on the diamond.

The impact of sports vision training is still greatly underestimated. Many athletes, parents, and coaches believe vision is an innate skill and are unaware of the many ways to improve it, and, in turn, enhance a player’s overall athletic performance.

Recognize That Pitch!

There are many kinds of pitches, each with a self-explanatory name: the fastball is extremely fast, a curveball makes a downward curve, and a knuckleball – well, only a true baseball fan understands what that is.

For the batter, naming the pitch is not enough to hit the ball. He only has a fraction of a second to identify what’s coming at him and react accordingly. Keeping his eyes on the ball and assessing direction, speed, and motion is highly demanding for a player’s entire neuro-visual system.

5 Essential Visual Skills for Keeping Eyes on the Ball

  • Speed of focus – The ball is racing towards you at a speed of 70 to over 100 miles per hour. As the ball moves, the eyes must constantly refocus.
  • Eye teaming – The eyes must be perfectly synchronized to keep track of the ball in flight.
  • Depth perception and peripheral vision – Both are critical in assessing the distance, direction, and speed of the fast-moving baseball.
  • Convergence – To follow the ball as it flies towards you, a perfect convergence of both eyes is needed.
  • Visual processing speed – The speed at which all this visual information can be processed inside the brain is critical.

Why Vision Training Is Crucial for Your Swing? generic from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

Sports Vision Training as Part of the Regular Baseball Training Schedule

Training to increase strength, accuracy, endurance, and speed is a given in sports. In the same way that players can develop their physical and motor skills, they can improve eye alignment, depth perception, and any of the visual skills listed above through regular sports vision training. It can be an integral part of baseball training for every player.

Sports Vision Trainer our optometrists will create a customized training program for your players based on a sports vision exam that evaluates each player’s visual skills with a specific focus on baseball requirements. The players will each receive individualized training sessions at Livingston EyeCare Associates as well as additional exercises to carry out at home. A training program for your whole team can also be provided.

It’s still early in the season. Start helping each player boost their visual skills and performance. Take your baseball team to the next level. Contact our optometrists at Livingston EyeCare Associates today.

We train athletes from Livingston County, Ann Arbor, Detroit Metropolitan Area, Lansing, and throughout Michigan.

exam-checklist Find Out If Sports Vision Training Is Right For You
Call To Schedule An Evaluation 810-231-5800

Sink That Buzzer Beater With Sports Vision Training

basketballIt’s that time of the year again! With March Madness around the corner, the world of college basketball is getting ready for “The big dance”. Who wouldn’t want their team to sink that buzzer-beater at the championship game and take the tournament? Just as Kris Jenkins did three years ago when he hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer that earned his team the championship title.

The annual NCAA tournament has every college basketball player’s adrenalin running extra high. It is the highlight of the season, not only for the teams but also for fans and families.

The Role of Vision in Basketball

Did you ever stop to consider the importance of excellent vision in sinking such an unforgettable shot? When we say vision, we are referring to the visual skills relevant to basketball, which are different from visual acuity, also known as 20/20 sight. Visual acuity of 20/20 only means an athlete can see clearly, but to sink a 3-pointer demands exceptional neuro-visual processing skills involving eyes, nerves, and brain.

Elite athletic performance requires elite visual skills.

To Beat the Buzzer, Players Need Excellent Visual Skills

Let’s look at a few critical visual skills required to net that last-second 3-point shot:

Target assessment. There is no room for error when shooting at the basket, which is a small target relative to the ball. This requires accuracy in assessing the size, distance, and precise location of the basket. A player who wants to master the 3-pointer needs excellent depth perception and visual tracking abilities.

Accurate localization. To shoot like Steph Curry or Damian Lillard, a player must position himself correctly in relation to static objects, such as the basket and the 3-point line. The shooter must also be aware of the defenders’ movements on the floor. This requires accurate localization skills and peripheral vision.

Visual reaction speed. Whether creating a turnover, grabbing a rebound, or taking the last shot, the visual input the player receives must be processed instantaneously. This allows him or her to respond fast enough to beat both, their opponent and the buzzer.

Hand-eye-body coordination. Basketball players are constantly in motion; coordination of movements of eyes, hands, and feet must be synchronized simultaneously to sink any shot on the crowded court.

Visual Boundaries and Peripheral Vision. Establishing precise visual boundaries that enclose the area in which the player must focus his or her attention during the game—in this case, the basketball court— is critical. The athlete must also be able to disregard whatever is located outside these boundaries, such as the audience and advertising signs. One of the reasons teams tend to do better in their home court is that familiar surroundings do not draw the athlete’s visual attention and cause distraction. Excellent control over peripheral vision helps sustain clear visual boundaries.

Visual Attention. A player must be able to maintain a high level of visual attention throughout the entire game. To beat the buzzer, he or she must remain visually alert until the very last second.

Sink That Buzzer Beater With Sports Vision Training from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

Training Visual Skills

Top athletic performance requires elite visual skills. By training an athlete’s basketball-specific visual skills, our optometrists can help improve the overall performance on the court

At Livingston EyeCare Associates we will evaluate your vision skills and determine which to improve for optimal basketball performance. For a functional vision evaluation and to receive your personalized sports vision training program, contact our optometrists today.

Livingston EyeCare Associates trains athletes of all ages from Livingston County, Ann Arbor, Detroit Metropolitan Area, Lansing, and throughout Michigan.

exam-checklist Find Out If Sports Vision Training Is Right For You
Call To Schedule An Evaluation 810-231-5800