State-of-the-art sports vision lab helps US Air Force Academy cadets perform at their best
by Keith Henderson
Possibly the most advanced sports vision training facility in the world today is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the United States Air Force Academy’s Human Performance Laboratory. The lab is headed up by Major Brandon Doan (Dr.), assistant athletic director for sports medicine.
Coach Al Wile-with the assistance of Dr. Thomas Wilson (OD) of Colorado Springs-started the USAFA’s sports vision program back in 1994 with the aim of filling a void in the Academy’s training program and helping its athletes take their skills to the next level. We don’t have the big ‘blue chip’ athletes coming in here, says Wile, so anything we can do to enhance their performance; we try to get it done.
Over the past decade, Coach Wile and his staff have helped thousands of cadets realize their dreams both in the Air Force and on the athletic playing field. “We had a group of individuals last year that failed the pilot qualification tests because of depth perception problems, Wile explains. We ran them through the sports vision program and they became qualified. That’s pretty rewarding when you’re able to do that kind of stuff.