Sports Vision Training

“The Eyes Lead the Body” - Blanton Collier, legendary football coach

Sports Vision Training in Olympia

Visual Processing Is How Sport Is Played

The visual skills of athletes, especially those in visually demanding sports, are essential. Focusing, tracking fast-moving objects, and reacting quickly can make a difference between winning and losing. 

Often when we think of vision, we solely focus on 20/20 clarity of vision which is extremely important, however there are many more aspects to our visual system which are essential in maximizing athletic performance.

American Family Vision Clinic

Great Athletes require better than 20/20 vision, in fact over 70% of Major League Baseball players have better than 20/15 vision. While every athlete can improve their vision, it is especially important if you notice any of the following signs in your sports performance. 

  • Inconsistent performance
  • Successful performance only when body is stationary, but not when in motion
  • Successful performance only in specific aspects of the sport
  • Decrease in performance as pressure increases
  • Discomfort during or after performance which is not related to the muscles being used

If you have noticed any of the above phenomena, there could be an underlying challenge related to a visual skill which could successfully be strengthened with the aid of a sports vision optometrist.

Which visual skills are essential for an athlete’s success?

  • Depth perception
  • Eye - hand coordination
  • Eye tracking
  • Eye focus at various distances
  • Reaction time
  • Peripheral vision
  • Visualization 
  • Visual processing
  • Visual memory

In addition, it’s important to mention that achieving effective visual skills can help with the self-confidence of athletes of all ages and stages.

Which visual skills are essential for an athlete’s success?

Professional and amateur athletes have been using sports vision training to improve core visual skills. For example the University of Cincinnati Baseball team showed improvements of 10% or more across all tracked batting parameters after sports vision training. 

Some examples include:

  • Baseball: batters are required to hit pitches thrown at speeds as fast as 100mph, leaving them less time than it takes to blink to decide whether and how to swing
  • Tennis: the entire aim is to keep track of a small, fast-moving ball, so you can hit it back onto your opponent’s side of the field, making eye tracking a vital skill
  • Hockey or cycling: the athlete must clearly see and track moving objects, such as a puck and other athletes, while they are also in motion
  • Basketball: the athlete must know where teammates and opponents are positioned, and use that information to move up the court at speed while avoiding the opponents
  • Archery: heightened visual concentration allows a professional to tune out everything except the target so they can make the perfect shot

The examples are endless, as all sports and physical activity are completely tied to the athlete’s visual abilities.In sports, nearly 80% of perceptual input is visual.

Dr. Zurcher cartoon

Sports Vision Team

Dr. Zurcher,  leads the sports vision program at American Family Vision Clinic, providing sport specific neuro-visual training to athletes from beginners to elite. As part of the Sports Vision program, a sports vision doctor can prescribe a wide variety of training and activities that help boost every athletes' performance.

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Monday-Thursday
8:30AM-5:00PM

Friday
8:30AM-3:00PM

Saturday-Sunday
Closed

Location
400 Yauger Way SW. Bldg 1, Ste A Olympia, WA 98502
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(360) 459-1097
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