“Nothing happens in sport until the eye tells the body what to do. Vision coaching is just as important as every other aspect of coaching to achieve elite performance.”
Sir Clive Woodward OBE
Director of performance for the British Olympic Association
About Sports Vision
Seeing 20/20 isn’t the only measure of good vision. You may focus well on objects, but your vision isn’t just one skill — it’s a set of several skills, including depth perception, tracking skills and peripheral vision. And vision skills are important in sports performance, whether you play golf, football, volleyball, basketball or racket sports. Most of what we understand about our surrounding environment is experienced through our eyes, rather than our other sensory organs. Approximately 80% of the information your brain assimilates is provided by your eyes. Read more on this on the American Optometric Association website.
Sports vision also includes physical eye protection for example squash or swimming goggles, both of which can be made to your own prescription. Sports sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays while running whilst polarised spectacles are good for water sports including fishing.
Even if you have an eye exam every one or two years and your eyes are healthy, you can still benefit from seeing an eyecare practitioner who specializes in sports vision. A typical eye exam doesn’t test every single vision skill; sports vision testing is more extensive. This is because it evaluates how you use your vision while moving around outdoors and interacting with other objects and players.
Professional athletes work on their sports vision, but so too do high school and college athletes as well as recreational golfers, tennis players and even billiards players.
When you visit a sports vision specialist, he or she will probably give you a complete eye exam and will ask you a lot of questions about your activities. More testing will determine your sports-related needs.
The name 2012 Vision was chosen to reflect both Visual and Olympic excellence. Everyone has heard of 20/20 vision but not many realise that this describes normal vision and that 20/12 vision is even better. Most Britons are also aware that the Olympics are coming to London in 2012 but they may not realise that Sheffield is hoping to host some of the countries competing at the Olympics before and during the event.
About Alex Gage
I am one of few optometrists with a diploma in sports vision and I am an independent optometrist and can therefore source eyewear, prescribe and fit contact lenses from any optical supplier.
I am currently working at incorporating my skills and technology into golf and snooker. I have also worked with colleagues at the English Institute for Sport and the national Rugby Football League coaching team.
Please call me if you’d like to discuss how optimising your sports vision could raise your game.
0114 274 8582