With one of the biggest sports events happening today, Superbowl weekend may have you questioning what you can do to bring your sports performance to the next level of competition.åÊ Arizona CardinalÛªs wideout, Larry Fitzgerald has been having quite a successful season and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau says,Û IÛªve never seen anybody catching the ball any better than Larry Fitzgerald,” It has recently been brought to sports fan’s attention that some of the credit goes to his optometrist grandfather who had him doing sports vision therapy when he was younger.
You may ask what sports vision therapy is, and who would be a candidate for such a program?åÊ Sports vision therapy can really benefit any athlete looking to improve their visual skills to an above average level, but specifically those players who are inconsistent in their performance, have concentration issues and are affected by fatigue or game stress.åÊ Although vision is only one of the many components of an elite athlete, one needs to ensure that any underlying visual deficits have been addressed, since they may be the reason a player is not performing to their full potential.åÊ In any sport, an athlete is continually taking in visual information.åÊ Whether it beåÊin response toåÊthe ball or other players, the athleteåÊmust then process the information and move the body to makeåÊthe appropriate reactions. The more efficient a playeråÊisåÊwith these skills, the more successful they will be.
Depth perception, or stereopsis, has also been in the news lately in regards to the 3-D commercials set to air during the Superbowl.åÊ If you are unable to view the commercials with a sense of depth, you may have inadequate binocular vision skills andåÊaåÊdecrease in youråÊeye’s ability to team together efficiently.åÊ Being able to judge distances, how close you are to other players oråÊhow fast a ball is approaching is crucial to most sports.åÊ Even a slight reduction in your depth perception could be the difference between being a good athlete and a great athlete.
Although the goal from sports vision therapy is highly individualized for each athlete, one common goal is to ensure that all the visual processes are making a positive contribution to the athleteÛªs performance and not creating a distraction.
Sports Vision Therapy may beåÊyour answer in transforming your sports performance to that of an elite athlete!
Lindsey Stull, OD