Of all the senses that sportsmen and women rely on, perhaps none is as important as their vision. Your eyes allow you to process what is happening on the field, and they help you to react or respond as needed.
Regardless of your chosen sport, your eyesight is vital for optimal performance, and you need a combination of different visual skills to excel. These include:
This is the ability to perceive whatever is happening on either side of you without turning your head. When playing sports, much of the action does not happen in front of you. It is therefore important to be able to see out of the corners of your eyes.
Have you ever played archery and constantly shot your arrows way above or below the mark? If you have, then you might have poor depth perception. This vision ability allows you to quickly make spatial judgments to gauge the distance between you and a target, object, or teammate.
This refers to your eyes’ ability to shift focus from near objects to those that are farther away and vice versa. We tend to gradually lose this ability with age. This explains why older people require bifocal or multifocal reading glasses to correct their vision.
Dynamic visual acuity
If you play sports such as hockey, skiing, or soccer, you need to be able to clearly see fast-moving objects. This ability is known as dynamic visual acuity. Without it, your reaction time in fast sports would be severely impeded.
Your eyes feed massive amounts of information to your brain, which then determines how to react to any situation you encounter. Eye-hand or eye-body coordination refers to how your hands and other body muscles respond to this information transmitted from your brain. It is one of the most vital vision skills because it also affects your timing and reaction.
Tips for improving these skills
For better sports vision and performance, consider consulting a sports vision specialist for generalized or sports-specific vision training. These are special exercises designed to improve athletes’ vision.
Alternatively, you can consult an eye doctor specializing in sports vision for advice about performance-enhancing contact lenses and eye wear. The use of sports-specific tinted contact lenses can help to filter out different colors while enhancing others. This can tremendously improve your color vision and reaction time on the field. Another alternative would be to visit a Dallas Lasik eye surgery center to get laser eye surgery. The surgery would enable you to play sports unencumbered by eyeglasses or contacts.
You can also do some simple eye exercises at home to strengthen your vision. For instance, you can practice shifting focus from objects close to you to those farther away several times a day to improve your focus flexibility. Furthermore, there are exercises and games available to download online that assist you to work on your visual memory and tracking.
Your eyes are important for sports and daily living. Take care of them, and consult a specialist at the first sign of trouble.