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What are the 360 Athlete programs?

All 360 Athlete programs are scientifically based and designed for athletes that are trying to achieve maximum results in competitions. The three programs include Sports vision, Physical and Skill, and Focus. Athletes may need more one program than other one  to hone one particular skill set but they have to be in  multiple programs for maximum athletic performance after  assessment.

Who are the athletes that the 360 Athlete training programs are designed for?

This program is recommended for any athlete, age 10 and up, serious about taking their athletic performance to the next level.

What is the Sports vision program?

The sports vision program assesses balance and visual skills and then develops a customized training program to strengthen eye muscles while improving information transfer from the eye to the brain and from the brain to the muscle. Reaction time and the accuracy of those reactions are evaluated and tracked throughout the program.

What athletes would benefit most from the Sports vision program?

Athletes that demonstrate poor visual and brain skills; indicative signs include but are not limited to the following:

  • Making too many unnecessary mistakes in high pressure situations
  • Slow reaction time to tracking and catching objects
  • Difficulty judging distance, bounce, speed, direction or the revolution of objects
  • Difficulty in shifting focus from far to near
  • Difficulty maintaining body awareness and peripheral awareness
  • Blurred vision or headaches
  • Problems with multi-tasking or making decisions quickly

What are some of the skills athletes will learn through the Sports vision training program?

  • Balance and Sensory integration
  • Brain integration
  • Brain timing
  • Reaction time
  • Sequencing
  • Propiocepcion and joint stabilization
  • Fusion
  • Eye-hand and foot coordination
  • Peripheral awareness
  • Focus, accommodation and tracking
  • Visual memory and anticipation timing

What is the physical and Skill program?

The physical and Skill Program will help improve footwork, maximum and elastic strength, and coordination. Exercises will incorporate building speed and endurance, core stability and mobility, rotational power, biomechanical excellence, and reaction time, while decreasing the odds of injury. The result is a stronger, more explosive and balanced athlete.

Who would benefit from the physical and Skill program?

Athletes that exhibit challenges with motor response and skills. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Slow reaction, and change of direction
  • Slow to start and foot speed
  • Lack of coordination and balance
  • Injured athlete
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Lack of power
  • Displays pattern and choppy movements

What are some of the skills athletes will learn through the Motor Response training program?

  • Footwork and coordination
  • Maximum strength
  • Elastic strength
  • Core mobility and stability
  • Biomechanical foundation

What is the brain Focus program?

The Sports Psychology program will help athletes maintain control under pressure, increase consistency, and perform to the best of their ability, both in mind and body, during the biggest sporting events. Training will focus on connecting positive thinking to athletic performance

Who should join the Focus program?

Athletes that show signs of poor psychological skills. Signals include but are not limited to the following:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Tight grip, inconsistent and hard breathing, feeling of heaviness on feet
  • Not being able to stay in the present, demanding perfection
  • Negative self talk, losing a cool mind, focusing on weaknesses
  • Lack of energy at the wrong time, picking at the wrong moments
  • Learning to train from simple to complex exercises

What skills will be trained in the Focus program?

  • Concentration/focus
  • Mental imagery
  • Positive self talk
  • Self confidence
  • Mental preparation
  • Relaxation and energy management
  • Goal setting

How often should I workout?

I am asked this question numerous times a week and I answer it the same way each time, “How well are you recovering?” For the average high school athlete who is in-season, 2 days a week are spent resistance training and 6 days a week are spent playing their sport, plus any extra activities done during PE or recreationally. Adult athletes at 360-athlete train 3-4 days with a combination of weights, isokinetics exercises, and metabolic conditioning, plus any recreational activities (jogging, tennis, golf, basketball, etc). High school athletes average 8+ workouts a week and Adults 5+. The Bulgarian Method for Olympic Lifters allows athletes to build up to training multiple times per day, 6 days a week, and with heavy weight. The body can handle high workloads, but as the Bulgarian trainers understood recovery was crucial. A majority of the high school and adult athletes have a hard time recovering between workouts and therefore constantly struggle in a negative energy balance. Here are 3 simple tips to help with recovery.

  1. Hydrate
It’s recommended for males 14-18 years old to drink 14 cups/day, females ages 14-18 is 10 cups/day, and adults should get 11-16 cups/day of water. Dehydration can lead to dramatic decrease in physical work capacity by up to 48%. Activities in the heat can increase the level of dehydration. Before -Before exercise drink 17 – 20 fl oz two to three hours before exercise During -Drink 7 -10 fl oz every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise After -Drink 8 fl oz 30 minutes after exercise -For every pound of body weight lost during exercise consume 1 pint of water. -For activities less than 60 minutes water should be main hydrating source after that a sports drink has been shown to be beneficial.
  1. Sleep
General recommendation for athletes is 7-9 hours of sleep with 80-90% of that at night. Adolescent athletes and elite athletes who train 4 -6 hours a day may need 10 -12 hours of sleep. A study on the Stanford Men’s Basketball team had 11 players try to achieve 10 hours of sleep each night for a 5 – 7 week period. Players not only noted feeling more alert, but also decreased sprint time, increased free throw shooting by 9%, and increased 3pt shooting by 9.2%. Your body needs sleep to repair from workouts!
General sleep hygiene strategies
Maintain a regular schedule of going to bed and waking up
If you cannot sleep within 15 min, get out of bed and try performing a mundane task
Eliminate the bedroom clock
Avoid coffee, alcohol, and nicotine in the hours before bed
Avoid watching television, eating, working, or reading in bed
Be conscious of food and fluid intake before bedtime
Nap appropriately (30 min and not late in the afternoon)
Maintain a room temperature comfortable for sleeping (~64F)
Table from Bird: Sleep, Recovery, and Athletic Performance: A Brief Review and Recommendations
  1. Nutrition
This is a huge topic and recommendations are very different person to person. If you are working out regularly, you need to consume food. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats! Keep in mind that vegetables and fruit fall under the carb category, not only grains. Male athletes between 14 – 19 years old need 3000-6000 cal/day and female athletes 14 – 19 years old need 2200-4000 cal/day. Carbohydrates should consume 55 – 60 % of daily calories, with endurance athletes completing over 90 min of training consuming 6-10 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight. Ex. a 200 lb athlete is 90.9 kg. 90.9 x 6=545 and 90.9 x 10 = 909. A 200 lb endurance athlete should consume 545-909 grams of carbs per day. Protein recommendation is between 1-2 g/kg of body weight/day. More protein is needed for athlete’s that complete more resistance training. Fat is used as an energy source and is essential for bodily functions. 20-25% of total calories should come from fats and of that consuming no more than 10% saturated, 10% polyunsaturated or 10% monounsaturated, and total no more than 30% of calories. Calories can be scaled down based on age and overall activity level for adults. The first step is realizing what your current nutrition is like. One way to accomplish that is by using Myfitnesspal, an app that serves as a food diary to show the breakdown of Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat, as well as provide recommendations for total calories based on your goals. Bird, Stephen P. “Sleep, Recovery, and Athletic Performance: A Brief Review and Recommendations.” Strength and Conditioning Journal 35.5 (2013): 43-47. Web. Casa, Douglas J., Lawrence E. Armstrong, Scott J. Montain, Brent Rich, and Jennifer A. Stone. “NationalAthleticTrainers’Association PositionStatement: Fluid Replacement for Athletes.” Journal of Athletic Training 35.2 (2000): 212-24. Web. Cummiskey, Joseph, Konstantinos Natsis, Efthymia Papathanasiou, and Fabio Pigozzi. “Sleep and Athletic Peformance.” European Journal of Sports Medicine 1.1 (2013): 13-22. Web. “How Hydration Affects Performance.” ACE Fitness. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <https://www.acefitness.org/blog/5397/how-hydration-affects-performance/>. Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 01 May 2015. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/workout>. “Olympic Weightlifting Resource – Bulgarian Training Methodology.” Olympic Weightlifting Resource – Bulgarian Training Methodology. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2015. <http://www.owresource.com/training/bulgarian.php>. Wein, Debra. “Nutritional Considerations for the Adolescent Athlete.” Nsca’s Performance Training Journal 10.6 (2011): 17-18. Web. <www.nsca-lift.org>. Myth: The key to running faster is moving your limbs faster. QUICKER STEPS & FASTER ARMS = GREATER SPEED. The limiting factor in acceleration and top speed is usually not how fast an athlete can drive their knee or cycle their arms, but rather how much FORCE they can apply to the ground in the appropriate direction and within the appropriate time. For example, when we coach an athlete to improve their acceleration phase they are surprised to learn that in acceleration, the ground is your friend. You need to apply as much force as possible, as long as possible in order to accelerate at the greatest rate. The change in velocity is related to the force applied in the opposite direction multiplied times the amount of time that force is applied to the ground. As soon as the athlete removes their drive leg foot from the ground, they are no longer accelerating until the swing leg foot makes contact with the ground on the next step. Maintaining ground contact through an explosive, forceful and complete triple extension push will yield the greatest increase in velocity. The knee drive will set up their next powerful, triple extension push. Athletes should be coached in the acceleration phase to MAXIMIZE their push and therefore their ground contact time yielding a greater increase in velocity. Most athletes are not as fast as they can be because they are unwilling to be patient. As a business that specializes in speed development, it is not uncommon for us to have people come to us saying, “I need to get fast, and I need to get fast right now!” This, to some degree, is a reflection of our instant access culture that is speedily speeding up the speed of speed. You see, when we think about speed development, we must consider Aesop’s Fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare.” The paradox that trips most people up is that speed is gained slowly. The hare was fast, but his attention span was even faster. He couldn’t stay focused on the objective, and so didn’t achieve it. The tortoise wasn’t fast, but kept his eye on the goal, and just kept plodding towards it and ultimately won the race. With the speed and ease with which technology gets us what we want, i.e. hot food, the latest news, directions from here to anywhere, downloading Aesop’s Fables, etc., we get conditioned to expect that progress should come quickly–no, rather instantly. We believe that if we can just find the right program, gadget, or gizmo then we will achieve what we want instantly! The problem is, the body isn’t designed that way. Our muscles are much stronger and more powerful than what we can actually exert against any form of resistance. If we were able to tap into all of our strength, we would rip our tendons out, or tear ligaments, or fracture our bones. As we exert ourselves against resistance, i.e. weights, hills, bodyweight, etc., the stress causes our bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and muscles to strengthen in concert. If my strength and power grow faster than the supporting structures, I will have injury. So our bodies were designed with a protection mechanism that helps protect us from injury. We can have instant gains, and we can have significant gains, but we cannot have instant, significant gains. The gains come, similarly to the tortoise, one step at a time. We take one small step forward athletically every time we train as hard (and smart) as we can. And, Like the Hare, every time we wander off the path to that goal, we have to have to spend a certain number of steps just getting back to the path. Our athletic career, in a way, is the accumulation of the consistent days we give all we have. We must have faith that each and every opportunity to get better, no matter how small, is incalculably significant in the achievement of what we want most. And we must never sacrifice what we want most for what we want now! Too many dreams are thrown away for the urgent insistence of insignificant pleasures or comforts. Not many people are willing to work as hard as it takes for as long as it takes to realize the significant gains in speed, strength, power, or any athletic measure.

The Vision Of Cristiano Ronaldo

By Dan Peterson Last year, the Spanish newspaper Marca revealed the nicknames that Real Madrid players have given each other inside the Santiago Bernabéu locker room. While some names poked fun at a player’s appearance (“Nemo” for Mesut Özil’s bulging eyes), superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was simply known as “la máquina”, Spanish for “the machine.” With his humanoid robot physique and his superior speed and quickness, Ronaldo seems to be programmed for goal scoring. Indeed, sponsor Castrol has developed a self-proclaimed documentary, “Ronaldo – Tested To The Limit”, to attempt to explain the Portuguese player’s body strength, mental ability, technique and skill. The most interesting of the four segments, mental ability, helps us realize that without the command center of the brain, the machine-like body parts are useless. While physical attributes such as strength, speed, agility and power are necessary for athletic greatness, sport skill begins with evaluating the playing environment, taking in cues and making decisions through sensory input and perception. Vision supplies 80-90% of the information athletes use to plan their motor skill movement. Surrounded by sports scientists and testing equipment at a Madrid soundstage, Ronaldo was asked to perform two experiments that showcase his visual perception skills of gaze control and spatial awareness. First, his challenge was to keep the ball away from an opponent for at least 5 seconds in a 1v1 drill. While his opponent was a former Division One player, Andy Ansah, there was no doubt Ronaldo would succeed in keeping possession. The insight came from both players wearing eye tracker equipment that can later show the gaze or saccadic movements of their eyes. Elite athletes have more sophisticated patterns of cues that they watch for and focus on to beat their opponents versus novice players that gaze at many focal points. Professor Joan Vickers at the University of Calgary is best known for her pioneering work in athlete eye tracking and working with coaches and players to develop strategies and logic of what they should be looking at during competition. For example, hockey or soccer goalies should focus on the shooter’s hips or body angle rather than the puck or ball.   Through the eye tracking video, Ronaldo’s opponent, Ansah, looked mostly at the ball and the feet but his eyes darted in a less defined pattern. Ronaldo, on the other hand, clearly had a strategy of watching Ansah’s hips and space around Ansah that he could exploit. His command of the ball at his feet allowed him to only occasionally check its position. This superior spatial awareness allows great players to watch their opponent and react to the slightest hints of their next movement.thlete eye tracking and working with coaches and players to develop strategies and logic of what they should be looking at during competition. For example, hockey or soccer goalies should focus on the shooter’s hips or body angle rather than the puck or ball. Another aspect of visual perception in many sports is to track a moving object. An outfielder racing to catch a fly ball, a tennis player returning a 100 mph serve, or a soccer striker taking a one-time shot of a well-crossed ball all require a sophisticated, yet mostly subconscious, skill to intercept the object’s path and act on it. To show that most of this task is calculated in the brain rather than simply with the eyes, Ronaldo was asked to do something he is paid very well to do, finish off a crossed ball into the goal. However, to make it more interesting, during the ball’s flight to Ronaldo, the lights were turned off inside the arena forcing the player to calculate the final flight trajectory of the ball and make contact with it in the dark.   Just as a baseball hitter only gets about ¼ of a second to decide to swing at a 90 mph pitch (and can rarely “see” the ball all the way across the plate), an athlete often relies on his brain to complete the 3D scenario and rapidly predict the path of the flying object. As seen in the video, the first two crosses are “easily” finished off by Ronaldo when he is allowed to see about half the ball’s flight towards him. The real expertise is shown when the room goes dark immediately after Ansah kicks the ball. The only cues available to Ronaldo are angles and movement of Ansah’s hips and legs to predict where the ball will end up. Not only did he meet the ball but added a bit of Portuguese style by using his shoulder to finish the goal. There has been some debate over the years on how exactly humans track moving objects. Several studies and theories have looked at the movement of baseball outfielders as they follow a fly ball off the bat. The late Seville Chapman, a physicist at Stanford, developed the Optical Acceleration Cancellation (OAC) theory that argues a fielder must keep moving to keep the rising ball at a certain angle to him. If he moves forward too much, the ball will rise too fast and land behind him. If he mistakenly moves backward, the ball’s angular flight will drop below 45 degrees and land in front of him. By keeping a constant angle to the ball through its flight, the fielder will end up where the ball does. Subconsciously, Ronaldo may be using the OAC theory to start moving towards the ball based on its early trajectory, then computes the rest of the flight in the dark. The advanced skill of predicting the path of the ball instantly after the kick puts Ronaldo into a world class category.

Adjusting To The Speed Of Football At The Next Level

By Dan Peterson As football players move up from youth leagues to high school to college and, ultimately, the NFL, there is often a sharp learning curve to adapt to the next level. They struggle with the speed of the game and the need to “slow the game down” to make better on-field decisions. Even for elite players, with all of their physical talent, training the brain to react instinctively to game situations takes hours of preparation and repetition. Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winning behavioral psychologist, describes this education as moving from System Two to System One thinking, which applies to more in life than just football.   When Robert Griffin III was slowed down by his knee injuries last season and during his off-season surgery recovery, he was forced to spend his training time on his mental game and pattern recognition skills. “I was talking to the guys about it toward the end of last year, being slowed down kind of slowed the game down for me, because I had to slow down, and it made me have to get through all of my reads,” Griffin told the Washington Post, “For me, the biggest part was mastering the offense first, so I can continue to beat teams with my mind and get guys in the right position.” Mike Shanahan, Redskins’ head coach, agrees, “When you come in your first year, you’re just trying to learn the terminology of the system and everything’s coming at you a thousand miles an hour,” Shanahan said. “So in the second year, it does slow down a little bit, and people do feel more comfortable. If you keep on studying the game, you keep getting better and better.” Imagine a young quarterback breaking the huddle with a specific offensive play called. From repeated practices and playbook study, he knows what the formation is, what each player is supposed to do and what should happen after the ball is snapped. This type of a planned, intentional thought process is described by Kahneman as “System Two” or slow thinking, in his bestselling book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” As the young quarterback scans the defense in front of him, he begins to look for cues; the location of the safeties, the possibility of a blitz, etc. Kahneman likens this to doing a complicated multiplication problem or following directions to a new restaurant. Once the ball is in his hands, his world moves much faster. He no longer has time for deliberate thought but has to react instantly to the ever-changing scene in front of him. Who is open? Did the blitz come? Did receivers run the right routes? While he would like to stop the play for a few seconds to analyze his options, the approaching defensive end forces a snap decision. This automatic, reactive thinking is what Kahneman calls “System One” or fast thinking. Just like when we hit the brakes on our car to avoid a car or instantly recognize a familiar face, our brain triggers an instant response without conscious effort. The goal of film study and practice drills is to get through the learning curve and move as many decisions as possible from System Two to System One. When scrambling out of the pocket, a quarterback needs to rely on his vision and brain for quick, accurate choices. It’s the same on the other side of the ball as a linebacker or safety anticipates the play based on subtle cues he sees right after the snap. For an inexperienced player, his untrained System One thinking can sometimes fool him. Kahneman lists many different tricks or biases that our brain plays on us. When we pick a choice that seems correct, we might just be falling for the “availability bias” or just choosing the first option that comes to mind. This is where creative coaches can wreak havoc by designing disguised formations and movements. Seeing a linebacker up on the line pre-snap might fool a QB into looking for a blitz only to have him drop back into coverage. Confidence and emotions also play a big part in rational decision making. Players and coaches will often choose to avoid a loss rather than try for a big gain. In the “loss aversion bias”, the pain of a possible interception can prevent a QB from trying to make a difficult throw that could result in a big gain. Even Griffin hinted that he gave into this bias last season as he was still learning. “You try not to second-guess,” he said, “but the touchdown-to-interception ratio was pretty good, so yeah, were there some throws that you look back and today, ‘could I have made them?’ Yeah, I probably could have made them. But that’s why you play the game, and the more you play the game, the better you get. You can always get better. You never rest on what you did last year.” While young players don’t need to know the intricate details of Kahneman’s prospect theory, they may listen to their heroes, like RG3, encouraging them to put in the long hours of practice and studying to make the game slow down.

Seeing The World Through Tony Parker’s Eyes

By Dan Peterson After the San Antonio Spurs clinched their trip to the NBA Finals on Monday night, Tim Duncan was asked to describe the contributions of his point guard, Tony Parker. “Every year he just gets better and better and better,” he commented to the press. “I told him I’m just riding his coattails.” High praise indeed from a four-time NBA champion and 14-time All-Star. Duncan’s remarks add to the growing opinion that Parker is the best postseason point guard in NBA history. Whether its his scoring touch, 37 points in Game 4 against Memphis, or his vision on the court, a career best 18 assists in Game 2, Parker has the ability to see what is available in front of him to help his team. This specialized court vision is rare and originates from a specialized area of the brain, according to new research. As you watch the video below of Parker’s amazing performance in Game 2, notice the angles and speed with which he has to not only see teammates but then get the ball out his hands. Vision, reaction, decision and action all happen in a split second. “Behind what seems to be automatic is a lot of sophisticated machinery in our brain,” said Miguel Eckstein, professor in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. “A great part of our brain is dedicated to vision.” Eckstein’s research group recently explored how humans are able to pick out certain objects in a crowded scene (say, for example, Tim Duncan under the basket). They flashed (250 ms) 640 indoor and outdoor scenes on a screen for volunteer test observers, then asked them to find a certain object in the scene (i.e. a clock in a bedroom scene or a surfer in a beach scene). In half of the images, the target object was not there. While they searched the images for the targets, the volunteers’ eye movements were tracked as well as their brain’s electrical activity through the use of a functional MRI machine. While the volunteers successfully found the target objects 80% of the time that they were in the scene, they were not aware that some of the scenes did not contain the object. By watching where they focused their gaze to find the object, the researchers discovered that the brain uses logical, contextual clues. If searching for a surfer, they would look on the water, not the beach; if searching for a truck in a street scene, they fixated on the street, not the sidewalk. In the image below, the yellow-orange dots show where the person fixed their gaze to find the target object (click for a larger image). While this seems obvious to us, it is this contextual form of visual searching that computer algorithms still cannot accomplish due to the enormous amount of real world knowledge that we take for granted. “So, if you’re looking for a computer mouse on a cluttered desk, a machine would be looking for things shaped like a mouse. It might find it, but it might see other objects of similar shape, and classify that as a mouse,” Eckstein said. The fMRI images showed that an area of the brain called the lateral occipital complex (LOC) is most active during the test subjects’ scene search. It is this group of neurons that provides clues to us of the most likely place to look for certain objects. In the same way, by knowing the Spurs offense and through years of drills and practice, Parker’s LOC can suggest the most logical places to search for teammates and the difference between them and opponents. The research appears in the Journal of Neuroscience. “A large component of becoming an expert searcher is exploiting contextual relationships to search,” commented Eckstein. “Thus, understanding the neural basis of contextual guidance might allow us to gain a better understanding about what brain areas are critical to gain search expertise.” Training an athlete’s visual search skill is critical to success on the court or field. Repetition through tools like the Axon football or baseball training apps will provide the LOC with the rich database of contextual scenes needed to spot an open receiver, a blitzing linebacker or a curveball.   WHAT ARE VISUAL SKILLS? Visual skills are one of the four pillars that make up an athlete's so-called "intangible" skills set. These intangible skills, which we refer to globally as sports vision skills, are all in the head and include:

  • field vision and peripheral awareness • mental toughness and visualization • reaction time and anticipation • attention, focus and concentration • balance, speed and agility • game strategy and creativity
Training and conditioning their visual skills enables athletes to quickly and accurately recognize and process visual information. It is the first step in getting the body to make the proper response in competition. STEP I: Eye Exam. The first step in improving an athlete's visual skills is to ensure that their eyesight is good. Sight refers to how well you can read the eye chart. Vision, on the other hand, is how well your eyes inform your brain. In other words, the quality of your vision depends on the quality of your sight. According to the American Optometric Association, "periodic eye and vision examinations are an important part of preventive health care. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye and vision problems are important for maintaining good vision and eye health." The AOA recommends annual eye examinations after 18 years of age and an exam every two years for athletes under 18 years of age. STEP II: Eye Correction. In there is a problem with an athlete's eyesight, the next step is correction. Usually, corrective measures for an athlete would include prescription eyewear, corrective contact lenses, or laser surgery. STEP III: Eye Exercises. Training the visual system means working the muscles associated with eye movements and eye-body reflexes in order to enhance performance in sports that rely on visual input. For ease of comprehension, visual skills can be loosely categorized into two groups; visual motor skills, which are generally the ability to move and adjust the eyes, and visual perceptual skills which refer more to the ability to process visual information.

Tracking baseball

NUMBERED BALL DRILL   Using numbered balls to improve contrast sensitivity in a dynamic visual environment; that is, the ability to distinguish detail on a high velocity object  Equipment  balls with numbers  Duration Three sets/ three minutes per set  Description Tray to recognize the numbers that are on the ball , or colours when they are pitched to you, don’t worry about the hitting

PERIPHERAL basketball

Improves peripheral awareness and field vision EQUIPMENT/SET-UP: Several basketballs DURATION: Three sets | Three minutes per set   DESCRIPTION: 5-minute drill to develop post play and peripheral visual skills in basketball players Pair up players with one passer and one receiver. Receiver must, at all times, look directly into the eyes of the passer and not at the ball. Receiver must track ball using peripheral vision only. Step 1: Passer throws ball to receiver's out-stretched hand, alternating between right and left. Step 2: Passer throws bounce pass to receiver's side, alternating between right and left, and forcing the reciver to move a few steps to the side. Step 3: Passer throws the ball high, just beyond receiver's line of vision to receiver's out-stretched hand, alternating between right and left. Do this drill for 5 minutes every day to develop your peripheral visualskills.  

Dynamic visual ACUITY

    Improves dynamic visual acuity; that is, visual focus while in movement EQUIPMENT/SET-UP: Standard vision chart and a mini-trampoline, mattress or skipping rope DURATION: Three sets | Thirty seconds per set DESCRIPTION: Post the vision chart on the far wall at a distance of about 20 feet. The athlete jumps up and down on a mini-trampoline or a mattress, or skips rope and reads the letters on the chart from top to bottom. Switch the chart to counter memorization of the chart.  

Contrast Sensitivity Challenge (Hockey)

Improve dynamic visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and focused attention img Equipment: Paint or purchase a puck, ball or object that is similar to the color of the background it is used on; for example, use a white puck for ice hockey or use a green ball for field hockey. Procedure: Practice regular drills in low contrast conditions by substituting, for example, a normal black puck with a white puck. Build up to 10 minutes of practice with similarly colored object. 3 Air Force Exercises to Improve Your Vision Athletes at the Air Force Academy have been performing cadet vision training exercises for more than a decade, with impressive results. The first year the baseball team used vision training, they led the nation in batting average. Since then, Air Force athletes have achieved better than 20/20 vision and improved vision drill scores by 200 to 300 percent. Get your own results with these three vision drills. Saccadic Drill Why do it: Enhances eye stamina and focus, which pilots need to complete precision maneuvers and athletes need for games. How to do it:

  • Assume sport-specific stance in front of two different letter charts located 10 feet apart
  • Call out first letter on left chart, then rapidly move eyes to read first letter on right chart
  • Progress down both charts as quickly as possible
Sets/Duration: 2x60 seconds, 1-2x per week img Eye-Hand Speed Drill Why do it: Develops hand-eye coordination and improves ability to make split-second decisions. How to do it:
  • Assume athletic stance holding irregularly-shaped rubber reaction ball
  • Bounce ball off hard surface and catch
  • Change speed or distance to adjust difficulty
  • Can be performed alone or with a partner
Sets/Reps: 4x8-12 with 1- to 2-minute rest between sets, 1-2x per week img Accommodation Drill Why do it: Improves eye focus far and near. How to do it:
  • Stand 20 feet away from 36-point letter wall chart; hold nine-point letter chart about six inches from eyes
  • Position hand-held chart slightly below wall chart in line of sight
  • Call out first letter on wall chart, then rapidly refocus to call out first letter of hand-held chart
  • Progress through both charts as quickly as possible
Sets/Duration: 2x60 seconds, 1-2x per week imf



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