See To Play picked up some kind words today from athletic trainer, Joe Sharpe. Joe has been a head athletic trainer in the NBA for over 10 years, served as assistant trainer for a few years before that and was UConn’s head trainer for 9 years prior to joining the professional ranks. He was also the trainer for 2010’s USA Basketball Team.
He understands what is required of the human body to compete at an elite level. He also understands the important role that vision plays.
Here’s what he wrote about my book,
“See to Play is a wonderful resource for athletic trainers. The book provides insight on understanding the purpose of vision to enhance athletic performance, offers guidance with return to play decisions following head and eye injuries, and stresses the importance of eye protection.”
Hilary Clinton wrote a book entitled “It Takes A Village” and that theme has never been more evident than by the role athletic trainers play in every stage of an athlete’s evolution to the elite and professional levels.
I wrote this book as a tool for athletes AND their support team. Be a part of the village that helps the 40% of athletes who don't make it because of their eyes. Help them see to play!
Last night, I attended a meeting on the launch of Alcon’s one day disposable contact lens, the Dailies Total 1 and boy, did I walk away impressed! This lens is designed with advance technology to stay moist and not dry out because of how it interacts with the eyes’ tear layer. For those of you that follow my blog, you know that my mind immediately went to the implication of using these in sports and what type of benefit would there be for the professional athlete.
LASIK and the NBA
I’m a sports fan and an eye doc. So, I spend a lot of my free time watching sports and doing research on athletes in the sporting world who wears contact, glasses or have had LASIK.
This year’s Miami Heat got me thinking. I know Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosch and Mario Chalmers had LASIK (you can click on each of their names to view the websites where I found this information.) That’s a whopping 27% of the team. In the NBA, only 19% have had LASIK, wear contacts or glasses. Miami skews the LASIK statistic.
Most athletes opt for LASIK when they’ve been unsuccessful with contact lenses. Either the contacts don’t’ feel good, dry out too much or move too much which causes a temporary blur in vision. Any temporary blur may mean that athletic performance will be hampered.
The problem with LASIK is that sometimes it does not correct vision as accurately as wearing glasses or contacts. There is a possibility that the best vision a person can achieve through contacts, say 20/10, may be decreased to 20/15 with LASIK. LASIK can also cause the eyes to become drier affecting vision and play.
The Dailies Total 1 presentation got me excited because this lens will combat many of the dryness problems head on. This will give athletes an even better chance to see to play!
The stage is set. Heat versus Spurs. Best of seven to decide the 2013 NBA Champion.
One thing is certaint before the series begins; both teams have better eyes than the rest of us mere mortals.
That makes sense. These basketball players jump higher, run faster, dribble better, shoot better….and… oh yeah... they see better.
The teams this year consist of mostly athletes that need no vision correction such as contacts or surgery, several did have LASIK or refractive surgery, and a couple of guys who wear contact lenses. The actual percentage for players in the NBA this year who needed some form of vision correction to see to play was 19% (a far cry from the 54 % of people who need correction from the ages of 18 to 29).
The quote I just read in a national study stated, “Optimal acuity (in pro athletes) is probably due to self-selection—i.e, if they had poor vision they probably would not have been initially drawn to sports nor would they have succeeded”……I call that being weeded out by your eyes!
What are the most important visual traits needed to make it to the NBA and ultimately become a champion?
The first is visual acuity…or better yet…call it, High Def Vision. Most elite athletes see better than 20/20. Usually elite athletes see 20/15 or better. Some guys see 20/10. Clear vision is important to see the rim for the most accurate shot possible. If one eye is slightly blurry, the shooter will miss his shot to the side of his better seeing eye. Clear vision is also the building block that starts the eye hand body response. Blurred vision creates slower reaction times.
A simple trip to the eye doctor's office can help you find out if you are seeing the best that you can so that you can reach your genetic potential in sports.
The second important vision trait of these elite basketball players is having large zones of their High Def vision. This isn’t the normal peripheral vision or side vision that we have out to our ears. This zone is represented by how large of an area their high def vision is in their straight ahead gaze. Elite athletes see more of the court and see it clearer.
Eye exercises found in See To Play can help improve this area. Find a quick exercise from Dr Peters that was mentioned in Men's Health (Click here) which helps improve your detailed vision zone.
Don't find yourself giving up basketball due to "Self Selection" because you can't see or were weeded out of basketball because of your vision. Only the best eyes make it! See like a NBA Champion.
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.