For athletes, strong vision is essential to success. Vision is so essential, in fact, that many athletes seek out sports vision therapy to enhance their vision, and therefore enhance their athletic performance. With the Commonwealth Games happening this April, we wanted to give you a look inside a little-known athletic training regimen: vision training.
What is sports vision therapy?
Sports vision therapy, or spots vision training, is like any other physical training you go through as an athlete. Just like you exercise and train your muscles, vision therapy is a method of training your eyes. From a more scientific point of view, vision therapy helps integrate and enhance the communication between your body’s motor, sensory, and cognitive systems to improve your vision.
Depending on what sport you play, you’ll likely need to focus on different types of vision training. For example, football players will have to train their peripheral vision and depth perception to be able to see the entire field clearly and make clean passes. While hand-eye coordination and reaction time are still important for football players, those two skills are even more important for a tennis or baseball player.
How do you train your vision?
The first step in vision training is testing what your needs are. FYidoctors has partnered with Fortius Sport & Health, one of Canada’s premiere sports development centres, to offer you performance vision care services specifically for athletes. Fortius will perform a comprehensive evaluation to establish both your history and your current visual acuity and efficiency. The evaluation will include exercises that test both eye focus and eye teaming.
Once your visual acuity is established, you will move onto more specific tests. Fortius has devised exams that are sport-specific to ensure your vision training is practical and beneficial. As part of this testing stage, you’ll get a digital look at your retina thanks to optomap® Retinal Imagery to analyze your eye health.
Finally, Fortius may create a personalized assessment and training plan for you that would focus on the demands of your sport and any visual concerns you may have. For some people, this could be just an initial consultation and some exercises to do at home. For others, it could be more intensive and require you to participate in a long-term sport-specific training program.
Do all professional athletes train their vision?
While it isn’t necessarily a requirement to train your vision as a professional athlete, some professional sports teams do incorporate vision training into their regular routine. Manchester United, a soccer team in Europe’s Premier League, trains their players’ vision with a variety of exercises. They’ve been known to use a ping-pong robot to train their goalkeeper’s hand-eye coordination and have also trained their players’ peripheral vision and eye tracking skills.
Next time you’re watching sports, think about the different vision skills different athletes rely on to be successful in their sports. Do you think vision training could help you improve your sports performance? If you have questions about how vision can hinder or enhance your performance, feel free to visit your local FYidoctors clinic for more information about Fortius Performance Vision.
Check out our sports eyewear blog to learn how to protect your vision when playing sports. If you are interested in learning more about how FYidoctors and Fortius Sport & Health can help you enhance your sports performance vision find your nearest location here.