Sport Vision Training is one of the fastest rising specialty areas. Once thought of as an intangible quality of outstanding athletes, we now know that this area of performance, like all others, is virtually completely trainable.
In sport about 80% of all information is obtained via vision and in order to make split second decisions and then act or react accordingly the better the information an athlete is inputting the better their performance.
But its not what you might first think. Yes, its important to have great vision but according to a study done at the Universityof Oxford the difference between casual and high performance athletes varies little in what they see but more in how quickly they react to what they see. A concept called brain speed.
The reaction times for elite athletes are about 200 milliseconds where the casual athlete is around 800 milliseconds …a massive difference. And one that we can all improve on if you know how.
When we talk about sport vision training we talk about skills like field of vision, peripheral awareness, anticipation, reaction time, focus and concentration among others. They are all trainable qualities just like strength and speed and power but may be more important in the hierarchy of athlete development because if you don’t provide yourself with accurate information and are slow to process and react to that information all of the strength, speed and power will be a fraction of a second late.
It is a science and you need to know what you are doing but some of the drills used to improve sport vision as well as brain speed are very simple. The use of marked balls for tracking, number grids for eye movement, letter charts for depth perception. It has gotten to the point that there are specialty labs set up to deal only with improving vision and brain speed performance. Its something that will benefit you well beyond sport.