How Vision Therapy Improves a Child’s Sports Performance

Vision Therapy Training for Better Sports Performance

Success in sports depends on your visual systems to synchronize proper body movements with rapid reaction times. Many common sports require hand-eye coordination, tracking skills, focusing, and depth perception to set up and execute plays. If your child plays sports and does not show improvements through dedication and practice, there’s a possibility they could be suffering from a visual impairment and could benefit from vision therapy to improve their performance. If the eyes are not functioning optimally throughout the day (i.e. for reading, copy work, computer work, etc.) it will impede a person’s visual sports performance in practice or during a game. 80% of sensory input to the brain is vision-related, and vision plays a key role in sports performance. Therefore, tired and under-performing eyes result in more errors and less stamina in relation to sports performance.

Improving Sports Performance

While practice can improve hand-eye coordination, vision therapy guarantees training your child’s eyes to have a stronger visual connection. Sports that involve a ball, such as basketball, baseball, or soccer, require the player to track distance and follow the ball as it moves across the field or court. Similarly, depth perception is key for being able to catch, field, throw, or kick the ball. Children who play precision sports, such as golf, can benefit from vision therapy to strengthen their depth perception quickly and adequately. Additionally, vision therapy can even work to improve everyday activities such as running or bike riding by identifying strategies to improve balance, dizziness, and focusing that could be a result of vision problems.

Skills Improved Through Vision Therapy for Sports

When beginning vision therapy to improve sports performance, optometrists at OCVT will evaluate the sports your child plays and the difficulties they are having to form a personalized plan. A specialized vision training plan tailored to your child’s needs will identify key eye functions that must be strengthened to improve their sports performance. While sports-focused vision therapy can vary depending on the sport and player, most vision therapy plans will concentrate on improving the following areas.

  • Visual Depth Perception—Depth perception is crucial as it allows the athlete to see the location, speed, size, and orientation of an object. Strengthening depth perception could be the difference between catching a ball or letting it drop.
  • Awareness and Reactivity—Training athletes’ eyes to be more aware of the changing players, objects, and space around them can heighten their precision and accuracy. Strong spatial awareness enables players to visually scan the field, track plays, and anticipate objects quickly and  clearly.
  • Attention and Processing—Athletes are required to make split-second decisions. Training the visual system to process information quickly can greatly impact players reaction time and speed.
  • Visual Integration—Since vision works simultaneously with other senses to execute plays, it’s important to strengthen the connection between the visual system and the brain’s reaction time to benefit from visual integration.

Schedule Sports Vision Training Today

The knowledgeable optometrists at OVCT are skilled at helping athletes sharpen specific visual skills that will positively impact their sports performance. Learn more about our specialized sports-related vision therapy programs. Or contact us today to find out how vision therapy can identify and improve visual impairments to boost sports performance.

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