Vision Therapy & Training for Better Sports Performance

Vision Therapy & Training for Better Sports PerformanceSports vision training can help athletes elevate their level of play and beat out the competition. At the highest levels of sports performance, most athletes share high level strength, speed, and endurance. Visual processing and reaction speed can be what separates elite athletes. Visual processing and reaction speed fuel the ability to make split-second, game-changing decisions. Any athlete can use sports vision training to improve their performance.

Many athletes, coaches, and professional trainers overlook sports vision training because they are unaware of the improvements in performance that can be achieved with an individualized sports vision training program. A professional sports vision training program from a trained neuro-optometrist is much more effective than general vision activities.

Several common sports involve seeing and tracking different kinds of balls to complete tasks. Players must efficiently follow the ball as it moves across a field, even when the ball is obstructed or distant. Many ball sports, primarily baseball and softball, also require a keen sense of depth to time catching, throwing, and kicking across long distances.

Precision sports such as golf or archery necessitate quick visual shifts from near and far distances. Sometimes shifts in focus occur in rapid succession as players attempt to judge highly precise points at a distance and compare those points to the object they are sending to that point.

Even solo sports like running and cycling benefit greatly from a sharp visual system and good sports eye training. Addressing balance and dizziness disorders related to vision as well as focusing problems that hinder safe forward movement can push solo athletes to maximize their efforts.

Optometry specialists skilled in sports vision therapy, like those at OCVT, can help athletes hone their visual skills and improve overall sports performance. If you or your child finds that even extra practice on a disciplined schedule cannot improve sports performance, you may be suffering from a visual problem.

What to Expect from Vision Therapy & Eye Training for Sports
After learning about the sports you play and your performance concerns, the experts at OCVT will determine what conditions may be affecting your performance and build a sports-focused vision therapy and eye training plan to help you overcome your vision problems and enhance your sports-playing capabilities.

The team will create a sports vision training program that relates to:

• Spatial Awareness – A player in team sports and precision sports must be aware of his or her place in space as well as that of friendly and opposing team members and the ball, which is all made possible by spatial awareness.
• Visual Perception – It’s not enough to just see in sports; players have to be able to determine likenesses and differences, changes in size and orientation, what information is valuable and what is not, and how pieces come together to form a whole. This is visual perception.
• Processing – The speed at which players are able to process information that you receive through your visual systems directly affects their reaction time, which must be exceptionally quick when playing sports.
• Visual Integration – Vision works in harmony with other senses to create a full picture of a player’s current situation. He or she must be working the visual system to maximum effect to take full advantage of visual integration.

Your sports vision therapy specialist will guide you through sports vision training that reconfigures your brain’s response to visual input in ways that can correct insufficiencies in sports performance or boost your performance beyond what you believed possible.

Sports vision training is not about improving one’s vision, but rather improving visual performance. Visual performance refers to the visual skills used when playing a sport.

Who Can Benefit from Sports Vision Training?
Sports vision training is available for all athletes, regardless of age or level of play. Sports vision training can help any athlete looking to improve their performance. Whether a middle school student hoping to compete at the high school level, or an adult looking to perform their best in the spirit of competition, improving visual performance can give athletes an advantage.

Which Skills are Improved with Sports Vision Training?
Improving visual skills can improve overall visual reaction speed. This can “slow the game down” and allow athletes to see the game in “slow motion.” This can give athletes the additional time to anticipate, react, and make decisions with better accuracy and timing.

Patients who are having trouble succeeding at sports but are unable to identify the problems they are having may be suffering from problems with visual systems such as:

• Visual processing speed (reactive agility)
• Visual attention (both central and peripheral)
• Binocular vision (depth perception)
• Eye focusing
• Eye tracking
• Convergence
• Ocular motility & posture
• Visual acuity
• Eye teaming

Other problems may also limit an athlete’s performance. OCVT’s sports-related optometric vision therapy expertise alongside the team’s personalized care can help identify what handicaps may be affecting sports performance and design a sports vision therapy plan to address those problems directly.

See one of our highly skilled COVD board-certified doctors and certified optometric vision therapists to help overcome sports problems and plateaus. Better performance through better sports vision may be only a few therapy sessions away – come see us or fill out our form for a complimentary consultation today.

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