Vision for Athletes- Top Visual Skills Essential for Athletes

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Blog by Envision Eye Care

Healthy vision is something that is very important for athletes. Good vision factors in to athletic performance in almost every sport, so it is essential to maintain good eye health. There are several visual skills that factor into sports performance. When one or more of these skills are lacking, not only are you at risk of losing the game, but you also increase the risk of sports-related injuries.

Visual Skills that are Important for Sports

Did you know that at Envision Eye Care, we can help little athletes or elite adult athletes find the right eye wear to improve performance, and protect vision?

Most sports rely pretty heavily on visual skills. From seeing the ball to recognizing players on the field with you, your eyesight plays a pretty significant role in your success. There are many different visual skills that can affect your performance on the playing field. If you notice that one of these skills seems to be lacking in your vision, see your eye doctor as soon as possible to rule out any underlying issues.

Dynamic visual acuity

This refers to how clearly you can see moving objects. Think of a football player catching the ball or a hockey player seeing the puck coming towards him. Just because your vision is 20/20, doesn’t mean that your dynamic vision is just as clear.

Hand/Eye Coordination

This visual skill is based on how quickly your hands & body can respond to cues that are sent from your eyes to your brain. Body control and timing are important skills in the majority of sports.

Reaction time

How quickly you respond to the action your eyes see is your reaction time. A baseball player, for example, needs a good reaction time to connect his bat with the ball when it crosses home plate.

Ability to change focus quickly

An athlete needs to be able to change their focus between objects at different distances quickly and with ease. This skill tends to reduce as you age, as evidenced by an increased need for reading glasses or bifocals.

Peripheral vision

Seeing out of the corner of your eye is an essential skill in team sports like hockey, baseball, soccer and volleyball. In sports like these a player needs to be able to see what’s happening all around him on the field, even if it’s outside of the direct line of his vision.

Vision tracking

This is a skill that is especially important in sports where an object moves quickly towards the player. The ability to see the object as it’s moving, regardless of how fast it is moving, without having to move your head to follow it helps to maintain balance and have a good reaction time.

Depth perception

Having a strong ability to accurately gauge distance and speed plays strongly in your ability to play the game. Judging the distance between yourself, other players, the ball, boundary lines and other objects comes up every time you get on the field.

Colour vision

The ability to distinguish between different colours and shades of colour is important in most sports. Differentiating between all the colours on the field can be the difference between succeeding on the playing field or not.

Protect your eyes during athletic performance

Taking steps to protect your eyes, especially while playing high risk sports, is an important part of being active. Eye injuries can be serious and a loss of any of the skills mentioned above can play heavily in your ability to play sports. Every year thousands of athletes are faced with eye injuries related to the sports they play.

With proper eye protection, almost all eye injuries in sports can be prevented. Even something as simple as wearing sunglasses or tinted glasses can make all the difference in the world!

See your eye doctor to maintain healthy vision

Maintaining good eye health is not only important for everyday life, it’s imperative for athletes who value their game. Visit your eye doctor regularly for a complete eye exam in order to stay on top of any potential issues, and to keep the visual skills mentioned above in top form.