When it comes to sports, many people tend to think that the best players are those that can jump the highest, bench the most pounds, run the fastest, throw the farthest, etc. While all of that may be true, none of it will matter if you cannot see well. Instead, your overall game is going to suffer, and it will suffer dramatically. In some cases, even players with 20/20 vision don’t perform their best because they have problems with their functional vision. What sports performers need to know is that good vision is directly related to good sports performance, and just like one’s sports technique, vision can be improved with exercises, practice, and coaching.
Vision Is More Than Just the Basic 20/20 Vision
When you think of “good” vision, you probably think of having 20/20 vision, right? If so, then you are like most people. However, 20/20 vision refers to your visual acuity, which simply means your ability to see detail at a certain distance.
While being able to do this is good for sports, such as see distance markets, catching a ball, and plenty of other game tasks, there are numerous other vision-related skills that are necessary for the game. These are called functional vision skills and include things like eye focusing, eye tracking and eye-hand or eye-body coordination.
When those functional vision skills aren’t working well, you don’t have solid depth perception, which makes it difficult for you to assess the distance and speed of items. This can lead to major troubles in sports.
Why Athletes Require Good Depth Perception
Solid depth perception is vital to any sport, but it is most important for those where an object must be tracked. Some examples include football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, and tennis. If you have good depth perception, it will be easy for you to accurately and swiftly track the ball (or any object for that matter) as it approached you because you can see where it is. For instance, in baseball, players literally make split-second decisions on when to take a swing in order to make contact with the baseball. Players with solid depth perception may see a bigger ball, which makes the ball easier to hit.
Now, even if you have poor depth perception, don’t let it get your hopes down. It is possible to improve your vision as well as your game. Did you know that Larry Fitzgerald—the wider receiver for the Arizona Cardinals—had depth perception issues when he was a child? He underwent vision therapy when he was a child and now he is a professional NFL player, an elite pro-bowler at that.
How to Improve Vision and Sports Performance
If you have been suffering in your sports performance and you would like to see whether it may be a result of a vision problem, contact us today at Performance Vision so that we can schedule a vision test and potentially develop a treatment plan that will work for your individual situation so that we can get you back on the field/court ready to play.
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