Vision Therapy for Sports

Have you ever heard someone say 'that player has great vision'?

Sports commentators often describe a player's ability to accurately judge where other players or the goals are without looking, as 'great vision'.

This ability has nothing to do with the player's 'clarity of vision'; it is about peripheral awareness and efficient visual function. Some sports people have these skills naturally, others need to learn to develop them!

Vision training activities are a structured series of exercises designed to maximise the efficiency of specific visual skills required for all different types of sports.

Examples of how vision therapy can assist your game:

  • Tennis: overhead shots require locating exactly where the ball is while looking upwards and aiming the eyes in this position; this is not a natural skill but it can be improved. Vision therapy can also assist your general groundstrokes, and calculating the length of shots is related to eye-hand coordination.
  • Cricket: Vision therapy may be utilised to increase visual efficiency of one or both eyes. Many players have found improvements in fielding (judging the flight of the ball). Some batsmen have also noted improvements in seeing the ball more clearly as it leaves the bowler’s hand.
  • Football: peripheral (side) vision awareness can be developed with sports vision therapy. Activities involve improving central visual skills and then co-ordinating these skills with peripheral awareness.

So if your sport involves vision (and let’s face it - most do) then consider a vision examination and talk to your nearest Behavioural Optometrist about your specific sport and its visual requirements.

There are many types of strabismus. Some forms are best treated by Vision Therapy used in conjunction with spectacle aids and prisms. Others are best treated by surgical intervention. Strabismus is one of the most complicated visual adaptations that can occur in the human binocular system. It is not always simple to treat and treatment may be lengthy and require a number of different approaches.

Typically, vision therapy for such patients will progress through a series of activities such as monocular (using one eye) and bi-ocular (using both eyes) skills and then fusion (putting the images from both eyes together) and binocular (using both eyes together in all directions of gaze) skills.