Many teams and athletes are pursuing sports vision training to boost performance. Athletes perform better on visual acuity and stereopsis/depth perception testing relative to non-athletes. Each type and level of sport has specific visual demands that must be met by the athlete. Sports vision training helps athletes advance to a higher level of performance by improving visual skills that are essential to the sport.
With sports vision training, baseball players achieved greater batting statistics. Football players had a significant reduction in concussions with the addition of sports vision training pre-season.
Sports vision training offers athletes a competitive edge, as many organizations and teams have not implemented it on a wide scale. This could be due to lack of the equipment necessary and the proper vision testing performed by a neuro-optometrist. Dr. Talaber understands the importance of gaining the competitive edge for sport as she was a national-level competitive figure skater for 12 years.
A Neuro-Vision Evaluation is the first step in sports vision training. The evaluation will uncover any visual inefficiencies and assesses visual performance in 20 main areas of vision that are vital to sports performance. A full report of visual performance is generated, so the athlete (parents and coach) understand whether or not vision is efficient to support the athlete’s skill or if vision could be improved to produce better sports performance.
- Clarity – Ability to see targets with crisp vision
- Dynamic Clarity – Ability to see targets clearly when in motion
- Contrast Sensitivity – Ability to discriminate targets with changing environments, multiple stimuli, and varying lighting
- Eye Tracking – Accurate eye movements for fast, accurate and smooth eye movements
- Depth Perception – Ability to accurately judge depth in space at all distances away from the athlete
- Eye Teaming – Ability to move the eyes together to maintain binocular vision from target to target
- Eye Focusing – Maintaining clarity of targets from near to far and far to near
- Fixation – Ability to maintain both eyes on target for a steady image
- Color Discrimination – Ability to detect various color differences
- Eye Dominance – The brain develops a dominant eye, just like hand; dominance is important to know for each athlete
- Visual Reaction Time – Responding quickly and accurately to a stimulus
- Eye-Body Coordination – Visually-guided hand or body movements
- Peripheral Awareness – Ability to process targets in the peripheral visual field
- Balance – Receives input from brain centers that process visual input
- Visual Information Processing – Includes 7 subsets which are discrimination, spatial relations, visual memory, sequential memory, figure-ground, closure, and processing speed
- Visualization – Forming mental images of what athletes would like to see happen or replaying an event in their favor
Enhancements from sports vision training can be achieved in as little as 6 weeks for some athletes. Others may take longer based on the initial visual abilities and commitment to the program.
Clark, JF, Ellis, JK, Bench, J, et al. High-Performance Vision Training Improves Batting Statistics for University of Cincinnati Baseball Players. Plos One. 2012;7(1):e29109.
Clark, JF, Graman, P, Ellis, JK. Depth Perception Improvement in Collegiate Baseball Players with Vision Training. Optometry and Visual Performance. 2015;3(2):106-115.
Clark, JF, Graman, P, Ellis, JK, et al. An Exploratory Study of the Potential Effects of Vision Training on Concussion Incidence in Football. Optometry and Visual Performance. 2015;3(2):116-125.