At SportSight our passion is helping all athletes (from professional ranks to recreational leagues) to compete at their peak performance. Not every athlete is destined for the Big Leagues but every athlete should have the tools to perform their best. Our job is to assess where each athlete is and create a custom program based on their individual visual system and the sports and positions they play. Every Athlete, Every Sport, Every Advantage!
“Sports Vision is based on the simple but powerful premise that vision is a learned skill, and like any other learned skill it can be improved with practice. Elite level performers in any endeavor require both finely honed visual and motor skills and an essential part of their competitive edge depends on how well they are able to integrate these skills in dynamic situations.
The average person utilizes only 30-40% of their visual potential and although elite athletes utilize much more, there is still room for improvement. Research has shown that up to 80% of common athletic mistakes can be accounted for by vision errors, but despite this, and the fact that visual skills are vital in almost every sport, very few coaches or athletes are aware of the benefits of the training techniques collectively known as Sports Vision.
In fact, the concept has been around and practiced in Optometric circles as early as the mid 70’s. An Optometrist from New Jersey by the name of Leon Revien was working with minor league athletes and then with the New York Islanders when they won the cup in 1981. But the fact of the matter is that until very recently most programs revolved around the use of mainly low-tech, home-made equipment, which gave the training an almost ‘playground’ feel. In this day and age, it’s hard to instill confidence without a high-tech, competitive approach and results that are easy to validate scientifically. Also, no matter how much that low-tech approach may actually have helped the athletes, unless they are really motivated, it’s difficult to get them to take the training seriously enough, to actually do the exercises often enough to make a difference.
The other draw back has been a tendency to associate Sports Vision with ‘therapy’ as opposed to ‘training’. The term ‘training’ has a much more positive connotation; it’s used to improve and advance a player’s game and therefore, his or her worth. So, consequently you want to advertise your hard work and dedication to the world. Therapy, on the other hand, has a more negative ring to it; that implication that something is wrong with me, so I’m going to be viewed as flawed and therefore somehow less valuable. So, the tendency is to keep this a close guarded secret, no matter how much it may actually have improved performance.
Now, however, through a sophisticated program of electronic perception/reaction exercises, the Dynamic Edge sports vision program has been shown to produce dramatic results in: eye-hand coordination, peripheral awareness, concentration under stress conditions, speed and span of recognition, depth perception and anticipation timing. Professional athletes who have trained with our program report significant improvements in their ability to react, with greater speed and confidence, to events happening in their periphery, without having to move their eyes from a key central target. They read plays faster, concentrate better and longer, judge the speed and distance of moving objects with greater accuracy, and adjust their focus more quickly to objects moving toward or away from them.
© Dynamic Edge Sports Vision Training
Focusing flexibility and eye-tracking…two separate skills, but inseparable as they must work together to achieve good, clear vision. Accommodation is the ability to change focus instantaneously as objects move closer to, or farther away from you. Convergence/divergence is the ability to keep both eyes working in unison as they track rapidly moving objects.
The visual system provides an individual with the information needed in order to act, as well as the information needed to judge when to act. Timing is the key to effective performance. Most efforts fail not because the physical movements were wrong, but because they were made at the wrong time. The ability to anticipate is a major factor in high level competitive activities, and even superior speed, size and reflexes cannot compensate for the insufficient processing of the visual information regarding when to perform.
The ability to maintain a high level of focus on a specific task or key target, in spite of distractions, while also maintaining total awareness of what is happening peripherally.
This should not be confused with staring, which is just another form of distraction. Staring eyes are not focused on a target. They are actually disassociated from it, and as a result there is a total loss of concentration, with little or no awareness of what is actually going on. The noticeably higher levels of performance evident during playoff or title games can usually be attributed to that ‘will to win’ …or determination that boils down to an intense concentration of the game…unwavering focus on every bit of pertinent action, near and far, and finally…the discipline not to be distracted.
The epitome of fine vision. We are able to perceive depth in space because we are endowed with stereopsis or binocular vision, whereby each eye actually records a separate, two dimensional image on the retina. If both eyes are working in unison, the brain perceives the object as one, three dimensional entity. This allows us to judge the distance, the speed and the revolution of objects in space.
“Vision in Motion”, or the ability to resolve the details of an object while there is relative motion between the target and the observer.
The eyes lead the body, not the other way around. Coaches and players who refer to hand-eye coordination have missed the significance of this relationship. The visual system leads the motor system. Our hands or feet or body respond to the information the eyes have sent to the brain. If this information is incorrect, even to the slightest degree, there is a good chance that we will err in our physical response. Almost every sport error, or poorly executed play, can be attributed to faulty visual judgment, and it is visual judgment alone that determines eye-hand coordination.
This is the amount of time it takes to process what you see, make a decision and just get started.
This must not be confused with peripheral vision, which cannot be changed. That field is strictly dictated by the skeletal structure and the shape of the retina. However, we can enhance peripheral awareness, or the ability of the athlete to maintain an awareness of what is happening around him while keeping his concentration on a key target directly in front of him. A well-developed peripheral field helps the athlete to see everything at once, to maintain the whole pattern, to sense the flow of the play, even as they move within it.
How much information an individual is able to take in at once; in other words, how much of the field/ice/play they see at a glance. An increase in an athlete’s speed in recognizing a visual stimulus has a very special effect in terms of overall performance. It drives the physical impulses to a better reflex level. The reflex action becomes more automatic and less thought out. As a result, the physical response or the performance is much quicker, more accurate and more efficient.
This is a measurement of how stress and fatigue affects our ability to perform. Individuals are affected in different ways and to varying degrees. It can cause us to miss the ‘big picture’ (forcing us to react to only pieces of the play/action); it can cause tunnel vision (making us less aware of both peripheral action and verbal cues); it can create mental tunneling (making it harder for us to think outside the box and see the more obscure links); it can slow down the thought process and therefore the initiation of our responses (making it harder to ‘think on the fly’ and be consistently effective); it can cause us to over-anticipate and react too soon (making ill-timed or simply inappropriate responses).
The act or process by which one creates a visual image based on his/her recollection of visual memory of an object, location, event or action. Visualization may serve as a training procedure, a mental rehearsal of a performance. It is a physiologically learned skill, and as such, visualization helps to shorten the learning curve. Research suggests that mental imagery can produce certain changes in visual motor coordination that persist even after the images are no longer formed. The findings also suggest that the utilization of mental imagery, to precipitate such changes, may have important practical implications.
‘Closed skill’ sports/activities: these skills take place in a stable, predictable environment and the performer knows exactly what to do and when. Skills are not affected by the environment and movements follow set patterns and have a clear beginning and end. The skills tend to be self-paced, for example a free throw in basketball.
‘Open skill’ sports/activities: these include sports such as football and hockey. The environment is constantly changing and so movements have to be continually adapted. Skills are predominantly perceptual and externally paced, for example a pass in football. For these sports, visualization helps to build intuition ... that connection between mind and muscle helping to improve anticipatory response time.