Best Practices for Sports and Eye Protection
Besides regular practice and following your coach’s advices, there are few other things which you can practice to enhance your performance. And one of them is your vision; more specifically your sports vision skills which we will list along with some tips that are important for you as a sportsperson.
Nevertheless, an appointment with Gaya Opticians is always important so that we can give you advices which will be only for you.
Is it the same for every sports person?
Methods of improving sports vision skills for optimum athletic performance will vary, depending on your sport. Golfers need good hand-eye coordination and depth perception whereas visual memory is a crucial sports vision skill for team players. Eye-foot coordination is important for soccer and tennis players, while peripheral vision is crucial for basketball.
Here are a few more basic sports vision skills, some that you can practice at home:
This is the ability to change focus from a faraway object to a near one, or vice versa.
Quick Tip: Try frequently changing focus between your computer screen and a picture hanging on the wall across the room, or a scene outside the window. This not only helps your focus flexibility, but it also can relieve eye strain caused by extended time on the computer.
This ability involves perceiving what’s going on at either side of you without turning your head.
Quick Tip: Try looking at a busy scene with your head turned to one side (perhaps on TV or a computer screen, or on a sidewalk). Remember to practice from the left and from the right.
Dynamic Visual Acuity.
Dynamic visual acuity enables you to see objects clearly when they are moving quickly. In sports vision testing, you might be asked to view objects or words that move fast across a computer screen and then identify them before they disappear.
Quick Tip: For those who still have old-fashioned record players in the home, you can cut letters of different sizes out of a magazine, put them on the turntable and at arm’s length, identify them as they revolve. Use different speeds and then progress to smaller letters if the test becomes too easy. You can also look for such games online or apps of such games. You can ask someone to project letters or words from a PowerPoint presentation and ask them to use different speeds during the projection.
This visual ability enables you to make spatial judgments, including how far away an object or person is from you. One test for this skill involves identifying objects or shapes that are in random, dot-patterned backgrounds.
Quick Tip: Ever try to put the cap on a pen and miss? Practicing this skill at arm’s length is one way to improve your depth perception. Another method is to hold a very small pebble or BB at arm’s length and drop it into a drinking straw.
Your ability to detect different colours and shades is important in ball sports.
Quick Tip: You can’t really practice seeing in different colours if you are colour deficient. But you may be able to find special glasses or contacts for colour blindness. These specially tinted lenses enhance differences between certain colours to help people with a colour vision deficiency better distinguish an object from its background.
Hand and Eye Dominance.
Understanding which eye dominates may help an athlete adopt better strategies for improving athletic performance. Most athletes know they are either right-handed or left-handed, and they adjust body movements accordingly. But they may not realize that their dominant eye may process visual information more fully and accurately than their non-dominant eye.
Quick Tip: You need to extend both hands forward of your body and place the hands together making a small triangle (approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch per side) between your thumbs and the first knuckle. With both eyes open, look through the triangle and center something such as a doorknob in the triangle. Close your left eye. If the object remains in view, you are right eye dominant. If closing your right eye keeps the object in view, you are left eye dominant.
To know more about these little skills and how to practice them properly, call Gaya Opticians to book an appointment so that we can help you enhance your sports vision skills so that you be one step ahead in becoming the next Rafael Nadal or Anita Włodarczyk.