4D Sports Vision Training,
“Training Your Eyes Beyond 20/20”
Could sports vision training be the missing link in your quest for sports excellence?
Sports vision training is used by athletes and the military to enhance eye-hand coordination and reaction speed. This eye training for sports improves the visual skills necessary for peak athletic performance in many sports. For example in baseball, the ability to predict the location and speed of a pitch is crucial, and even a small improvement would mean greater success and more runs.
Sports vision training is a type of Optometric Vision Therapy that improves a person’s ability to connect with the ball. It enhances eyesight and maximizes sports performance. It can take you from average, to good, to exceptional performance.
With Vision Therapy for sports performance, “the eye-brain connection is trained to process more of what is seen.”
The US Airforce Academy Uses Sports Vision Training
This video highlights the program at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The skills that sports vision training can improve include:
• Kinetic Visual Acuity: This is the ability to see moving objects clearly.
• Static Visual Acuity: This is the ability to see stationary targets clearly
at distance .
• Depth Perception: This is the ability to quickly and accurately judge
the distance and speed of objects.
• Eye Tracking: This is the ability to follow the ball with their eyes.
• Peripheral Awareness: This is the ability to see objects to the sides
while looking straight ahead.
• Eye Focusing: This is the ability to change focus quickly and clearly.
• Eye-Hand Coordination: This is the ability to effectively direct the
movements of their hands and body.
Many professional athletes undergo sports vision training because players are always looking for a competitive edge, and sports vision therapy is very useful at helping players gain that edge.
“Optometric Vision Therapy made a big difference in my life and my career,” offers Larry Fitzgerald, who plays wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. “I was fortunate that my vision problems were caught early in life. Learning related vision problems can have a serious impact on a child’s education.”
Athletes begin sports vision training by taking a functional vision evaluation to see where their visual strengths and weaknesses are. By increasing eye-hand coordination, players can anticipate and react faster when a puck or ball is headed at them. Improving depth perception is critical to the success of runners or skiers. Ball players need to track the ball. Peripheral vision allows team sports players to know where other team members are on the field. Athletes need the ability to focus accurately and quickly while their bodies are in motion and comprehend the input their brains are receiving.
Gaining an edge in sports can mean the difference between losing and winning. That is why many amateurs and professionals find that investing time in training their eyes with sports vision training is worth the effort.
So, “Train Your Eyes Beyond 20/20!”
Inconsistent Sports Performance May Be Due to a Vision Problem
Sports vision training can help to improve the visual abilities of aspiring athletes.
Parents frequently notice that a child appears clumsy or inconsistent while playing outdoors or playing organized sports. Most parents simply hope that their son or daughter will outgrow this. Oftentimes, say experts, this could be a sign of developmental issues in children, and can lead to the appearance of clumsiness or awkwardness, both at home and on the field.
The College of Optometrists and Vision Development (COVD) has been in existence for four decades and has been getting the word out about the need for rigorous and consistent sports vision testing. Schools in all 50 states conduct regular eye exams, but these vision screenings only check for blurry distance vision, nearsightedness, and the need for corrective lenses. Some vision problems, say optometrists, go deeper.
Convergence, dyslexia, mild autism, ADD/ADHD, Estropia, Extropia, double vision, astigmatism, and even wiring problems in the brain that prevent the eyes and occipital lobes from working together can lead to problems throughout life, even in social situations. The problems, however, are often noticed first when a child is trying to read or play sports.
Children may be swinging too early or too late, follow too far behind the ball, or have difficulty catching or throwing. Also, an increased number of sports injuries could be the result of hand-eye coordination problems.
Sports vision training improves the visual skills necessary for peak athletic performance in many sports.Vision Therapy for Sports
A child who has visual difficulties in any of the above areas will have difficulties on the field. Eye training for sports can be improve all these areas.
Such signs may be symptoms of developmental issues, a short attention span, or even difficulty focusing or maintaining focus for long periods of time. Problems on the field can also contribute to difficulty reading, studying, or retaining information. According to the COVD, many of these youngsters may also fall short of their potential in school, as well. If a child keeps rubbing their eyes while staring at the blackboard, turns or tilts their head to see, suffers headaches, covers or closes one eye to read, or has difficulty reading for more than 20 minutes, parents may want to consider seeing a Behavioral Optometrist.
Many of these conditions are easily treatable. COVD estimated that approximately 25% of students suffer from a vision impairment that interferes with reading and learning, but similar issues may also affect athletic performance, resulting in kids being picked last or feeling left out.
A four year old girl named Stella recently went through a growth spurt, and the stress of that growth spurt seemed to contribute to her eyes crossing. She now wears bifocals and shows renewed interest in drawing, writing, and painting. However, she later took the Wachs Analysis of Cognitive Structures Test (WACS), which showed that she also had delayed visual motor coordination and visual processing. Although very intelligent, she noticed that simple tasks are sometimes difficult for her, which leads to some frustration.
Most of these conditions are easily treatable if detected early on. Several months of weekly, vision therapy appointments, coupled with eye exercises performed at home, can lead to great improvements in reading and sports performance.
“Parents play an important role in looking out for certain behaviors and warning signs that could indicate a problem that may have developed in between eye exams,” adds Dr. Andrea Thau, spokesperson for the American Optometric Association (AOA).
Sports vision therapy can improve visual abilities including eye-hand coordination, visual reaction time, focusing, peripheral vision and dynamic visual acuity.
Follow the advice of many eye care professional and start sports vision training now. “Don’t wait, take action today!”
Larry Fitzgerald, of the Arizona Cardinals, was recently nominated for the Walton Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. He credits his success in football to sports vision therapy. Larry is encouraging people to support one of his charities, the Plano Child Development Center by purchasing plaques that feature this statement:
“Optometric Vision Therapy made a big difference in my life and my career.
I was fortunate that my vision problems were caught early in life.
Learning-related vision problems can have a serious impact on a child’s
education. Don’t wait, take action today!
2008 NFC West Champions’ wide receiver”
Sports Vision Therapy Testimonials From Our Patients
“Basketball and Baseball are much easier, able to hit baseball much more accurately now.”
~ Quinton B.
“I can see better without double vision.” “I can play on monkey bars better. It is much easier now.” “Seeing baseball and tennis balls coming at me is much better.” ~ Ari B.
Read more about sports vision therapy here.
Learn about vision therapy for sports performance here.
*Established in 1971, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD.org) is a non-profit, international membership association of eye care professionals including optometrists, optometry students, and vision therapists.
Please note: In-office therapy under the direction of a behavioral optometrist using prisms, filters and lenses, as used with our patients, is far more effective than home-based therapy.