An overview of important vision skills for Archery

and how sports vision training can improve performance

An overview of important vision skills for Archery in Olympia

Sports Vision Training for Archery

Archery is a sport which requires intense focus, concentration, and precision. The very nature of the sport requires that, and often things are compounded by both the pressure of competition, crowds, and the allotted time to make the shot. Improving key vision skills can lead to dramatic increases in performance.

Sports vision training is about identifying the neuro-visual processes that are essential for high level athletic performance, and creating a customized training program that helps the athlete excel at those critical visual skills. As over 80% of all information processed in competitive sports is visual, athletes who undergo sports vision training have an edge over their competitors.

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Core Visual Skills

While there are a number of vision skills that are important for archers, some are more crucial to performance than others.

Core vision skills for archers include:

  • Hand-Eye-Body Coordination: While there are sports in which hand-eye coordination alone is more important, archery is a discipline which requires total body control as an archer lines up his shot and prepares to release. Improving this link between the eyes and body will enable better coordination, and thus superior performance when it counts.
  • Depth Perception and Distance Estimation: It’s easy to understand why this visual skill is vital for a successful archer. Having elite depth perception and an enhanced ability to effectively judge distance is required to reliably hit small targets at great distances.
  • Contrast Sensitivity: Contrast sensitivity is the ability to identify and track objects against different backgrounds, and in different lighting conditions. For archers, the ability to properly see the target no matter the colors around it or the lighting conditions is crucial for improving consistency in hitting the bulls-eye.
  • Visualization: As with many other sports, especially those which require precision, the ability to visualize yourself successfully performing an action such as making a perfect shot can increase your ability to actually pull it off. Archery is no exception, and training this skill can result in improved performance.

Secondary Visual Skills

Secondary visual skills for archers aren’t necessarily any less important than core visual skills, though they are not quite as central to what is needed for a racer to be successful.

Secondary visual skills for archers include:

  • Visual Concentration: This is the ability to “get in the zone” and maintain complete focus on a visual task while tuning out potential distractions. For archery, a sport which requires intense focus on a single task, improving this skill can make the difference between being good and being great.
  • Dynamic Visual Acuity: This is a skill which enables an athlete to track moving objects effectively. While in archery the target is often stationary, that is not always the case, and improved ability to track moving targets is therefore a vital skill to improve.
Secondary Visual Skills
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Dr. Zurcher

Originally from Arizona, Levi received his Bachelor’s of Science in Zoology from Northern Arizona University and his Doctorate in Optometry from Pacific University in Oregon. He is board certified in developmental vision and vision therapy by COVD. He purchased the practice from the Inversos in 2012. He likes spending time with his family (wife and two children,) mountain biking, and undertaking creative projects. He wrote the vision therapy software used by the clinic, retinal camera software, and the computerized eye-chart used for exams.

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