The vision we use for acuity and perception occurs in the most central area of our vision known as the detailed vision zone. This area has been known to shrink with disuse and improve with vision exercises. This has been evident for years in our work helping athletes reach their genetic potential through the use of vision exercises.
Duke University’s recently published research which shows that people who play video games take in more information with their vision, see better in that area, and make quicker decisions. This parallels exactly with what I (and many of my sports vision colleagues) have been saying for the past three decades: “Train your brain by training your eyes.” (click here to read more about Duke’s study)
In my book, See To Play, I describe vision exercises performed by athletes with the use of computers, TV’s and vision equipment as “fixed space” exercises. Athletes perform the exercises in one area and don’t usually get the body involved. These exercises improve eye muscle movement, strength, teaming and perception. Computer programs like vizualedge.com and sporteyesite.com are great examples of this type of vision exercising when it comes to training athlete’s vision.
Men’s Health interviewed me about the vision requirements needed in the NFL combines. Read the 5 eye exercises that I recommended by clicking here. This will give you a great example of free space eye exercises similar to the ones that I dedicated two chapters on in my book. (The card read is one of my favorite eye exercises to improve your awareness in your detailed vision zone as well as your perception.)
Elite athletes have better vision than the average athlete (20/8 – 20/10). Their area of clearer detailed vision is in a larger zone than the average athletes. That’s why you hear elite athletes talking about beng in the zone where the “ball looked real big” and “appeared to move in slow motion”.
Vision exercises can help you develop this type of vision and become a better athlete. Duke’s recent study on vision improvement resulting from increase gaming is another example on how practicing with your vision makes you better.
Now, the one side effect of sitting in front of a computer or television that the Duke study didn’t talk about is nearsightedness. As a society, we are 66% more nearsighted than we were in the 1970’s and this increase is blamed on our current use of computers and digital screen use (or in other words, doing things with our eyes like playing video games)
So, do yourself a favor: Exercise your vision in free space to become a better athlete (this will decrease the worry of causing nearsightedness). And, start these exercises an early age (which in my book is around the age of two).
Welcome to my blog! I hope this helps you learn a little more about me and also keeps you up to date on my fun world of sports vision.