The Eyes - An Athletes Biggest Asset

When it comes to performance, every athlete has their own unique recipe for success. There are often elements of strength, power, and endurance training, as well as a focus on mobility. Where we have seen a major gap in an athletes training program is from a neurocognitive perspective. In layman’s terms, this means a focus on hand-eye coordination and reaction time by strengthening peripheral vision and spatial awareness.

As a former NCAA baseball athlete, I wish that this type of training would have been available before my collegiate career. For any athletes who have the passion, ability, and drive to go to the next level of competition, I highly encourage and recommend vision training. It will change your game dramatically. Since joining the team at Honsberger Physio+, I have utilized the vision equipment for my own personal baseball training. Each piece of technology in the Vision Performance Centre had a significant impact on my performance during the 2017 season.

Vision Training is a simultaneous workout between the brain and eyes that focuses on improving an athletes hand-eye coordination and reaction time. Through consistent training, results are noticed relatively quickly. Consistency is key. Training once or twice will not yield optimal results. On average, results begin to show after roughly six vision training sessions. This allows the brain and eyes to learn and adapt to basic Vision Training. Once an athlete exhibits signs of improvement, the training becomes significantly tougher. This rigorous training becomes a simulation of the sport that the athlete competes in. The athlete trains through multiple levels of difficulty to work on each tool of their game.

Playing baseball in the NCAA and hockey throughout high school, combined with learning and applying Vision Training to my personal life, I understand the reaction time necessary for these athletes to succeed. For baseball players, it takes about 0.35-0.4 seconds for a pitch to leave the pitchers hand and hit the catcher’s glove. That means that hitters have less than this amount of time to react and time their swing. Pulling the baseball requires significantly fast hand-eye coordination skills and reaction (if the pitch is a fastball). In my 2017 season, Vision Training made me feel as if I could see the pitches sooner, almost slowing the game down. Since my eyes noticed the type of pitch and rotation of the ball, I was able to put an effective swing on the pitch, regardless of where the pitch was in the strike zone.

This is similar to hockey players and especially hockey goalies. Getting the glove hand up to catch the puck by simply reacting instead of looking to the glove when catching it shows confidence in your spatial awareness and peripheral vision. This peripheral strength allows goalies to react quicker to the puck while keeping an eye on the players in and around the defensive zone, ultimately controlling the play. For forwards and defensemen, seeing the play before it develops is key to defending or scoring a goal. The 30-45 seconds that you’re on the ice requires you to be 100% focused. If you took a bad penalty or missed an open net, the worst thing to do is dwell and think about it. Learning to sub-focus on the immediate task on hand, such as having an effective shift or killing a penalty, is what separates good players and great players.

When it comes to becoming a better athlete, personal improvement and (vs) improvement over your competition is what matters most. The latter is what takes you to that next level. Honsberger Physio+ believes Vision Training can improve an athlete’s performance because it helps develop your peripheral vision, dynamic acuity, attention deficit correction, depth perception and neuroplasticity which ultimately decreases your overall reaction time. Your eyes are the key to success in sport. Training your eyes is vital to your skill set and progression as you move up to higher levels of competition. It cannot be stressed enough how much your eye strength can improve with consistent Vision Training. As the Sports Performance Manager at Honsberger Physio+, and a former NCAA athlete, it is imperative to incorporate Vision Training into your routine when training for your sport.

Chrisotpher Fafalios, Sports Performance Manager 


Interested in incorporating this into your training regimine? Would you like to see how you can provide this for your team or sports organization? Email programs@honsbergerphysioplus.com to schedule for FREE Vision Training Demo. 

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