What Are Sports Vision Skills?

If you believe that playing sports merely consists of running, jumping, throwing, and tackling, then think again, because you’re missing other important key skills that athletes need to develop.

Sports vision skills are an important part of any and every game. Did you know that the eyes assemble more than 60 percent of data that is sent to the skeletal and muscular systems? There are certain visual abilities that impact sports performance since they directly affect motor skills. The good thing is that visual skills are able to be enhanced with training similar to the way that physical exercise is able to strengthen the body.

Keep Your Eyes on the Ball—Right?

All coaches have said to keep your eyes on the ball, and each and every played has attempted to do it; however, trying to focus on an object that moves so quickly creates a significant demand on one’s vision. A baseball that is hit into left field may seem like a distorted image, but players are able to improve their visual ability by comprehending how focusing works in situations like these.

Humans are only able to focus both of their eyes on objects if they are within fairly small spaces. In order to understand the meaning of this, consider the Thumb Rule. With your thumb pointing vertically up and down, hold your arm out in front of you. The width of your thumb can give you an idea of the size of your overall visual focus. Don’t become discouraged and assume that you won’t ever be able to properly track a softball, tennis ball, or any other ball that is thrown your way; instead, you just need to be prepare yourself to learn a trick that will help you focus.

Though it’s tricky for both of your eyes to focus solely on a moving ball, you are able to peripherally concentrate your vision. It is easier to detect motion in your peripheral vision, and the faster you’re able to react to the motion in sports, the better your performance in sports will be.

Rather than focusing intensely on the ball, you will want to look to the middle. For instance, in basketball, this may mean looking between the player you are defending and the basketball. You will be able to detect the movement of the player or the ball faster, and you will be in the best position to make the best move visually.

What Is Your Eye D?

Eye D is your dominant, or preferred, eye. You may know which eye that is, and if you do, then you will be able to improve how you play specific sports. This is due to the fact that the preferred eye processes and then sends data to your brain a tad bit quicker and more precisely than your non-dominant eye.

If you aren’t sure which eye is your dominant eye, let’s do a quick test. Extend both of your arms out straight in front of your body (shoulder height). Form a small triangle with your index fingers and thumbs. Choose an object out in the distance. Now, center that object in the triangle that you just formed with your fingers. Close your eyes one at a time and focus on that object. The eye that is able to see the object more clearly is your preferred eye.

You will want to take information onto the field, court, etc. If you play golf, you will want to make sure that you line up your shots to ensure that your preferred eye has a solid view of the golf ball as well as the hole. Tilt your head so that your eye has an unobstructed view of the path that the ball needs to travel through.

Most people tend to think that a physically fit body is vital for sports, and while this may be true, your eyes are visually important. If you are unable to process visual data and have an ability focus, as an athlete, you would be lost on the field, court, etc. To ensure that your eyes are always at their best, you need to undergo routine vision exams. For more information, reach out to us at Performance Vision.