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Improving Reaction Time in Sports

There are few skills in sports more important than the ability to react quickly to a stimulus.

Having a quick reaction time allows a sprinter to start running the moment a race begins, and a football player to avoid a tackle. It’s the same skill a race car driver needs when someone swerves into their lane at 200 mph.

The good news is that reaction time is a skill that can be improved.

What is reaction time?

The central nervous system (which includes the spinal cord and brain) and the peripheral nervous system (which includes the rest of the body) define and govern our reactions.

When the body detects stimuli to which it must respond, the eyes send a signal to the brain via neurons in the optic nerve, the only neural communication connecting the eyes and the brain. The central nervous system then processes these impulses and sends commands to the muscles of the body, which carry out the commands. This process occurs in a matter of seconds.

Reactions and reflexes

Is there a distinction between a reaction and a reflex? Yes. A reflex is an involuntary or automatic action that the body carries out in response to something.

Reflexes are designed to protect us from injury, whereas responses allow us to respond to a wide range of stimuli. Since reflex signals must be processed faster than a reaction, they travel directly down the spinal cord and bypass our brain. Our reactions, on the other hand, must first be processed by the brain.

Sports Vision Training

A quick reaction time is necessary for a variety of sports and activities. Fortunately, sports vision training can help any athlete improve their reaction time.

Sports vision training, a type of vision therapy, consists of individually prescribed and monitored eye exercises and activities aimed at enhancing specific visual abilities and processing in athletes of all ages. These customized exercises teach the brain and eyes to communicate more effectively, so the body can react faster.

Weekly in-office appointments and at-home exercises are usually part of this therapy. The program can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Close monitoring and follow-up consultations are required throughout sports vision training to guarantee that the patient’s visual functions continue to improve.

Your sports vision eye doctor will work with you to enhance your visual skills and gain a competitive edge and confidence in your favorite sports.

Contact The Sports Vision Center At Coleman Vision to learn more about how sports vision therapy can not only improve your reaction time but your overall performance as well.

Our practice serves patients from Joplin, Rogers, Miami, OK, and Springfield , Missouri and surrounding communities.
Book An Appointment
Call Us 417-238-0229
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Sports Vision Exercises To Improve Your Performance

Athletes who are serious about their sport are known to go to great lengths to achieve success. When it comes to achieving maximum performance, commitment to training is paramount.

Yet when it comes to sports training, exercise is more than just lifting weights, [memorizing] playbooks, and eating the appropriate foods.

Even the fittest athletes won’t succeed if their visual skills are subpar. That’s where sports vision exercises come in.

A customized sports vision training program designed by an optometrist is a proven way to improve athletic performance and has become a crucial part of many athletic training programs. Any athlete can improve their skills with sports vision training exercises and specific equipment. Your eye doctor can advise you on which pieces of equipment are best for your chosen sport.

What is Sports Vision Training?

Sports vision training is a customized program of eye exercises that helps athletes hone the visual skills needed to excel in their sport. Some of these skills include focusing, eye-tracking, visual reaction time, hand-eye-body coordination, dynamic visual acuity and peripheral awareness.

By improving your visual skills, your eyes, brain and body begin to work together more efficiently. Your timing improves and your movements become smoother.

Working on visual skills can help a football player see other players approaching from the side, or a baseball player track a moving ball against a cloudy sky.

Your eye doctor will assess your visual skills and create a training program to address any visual skills deficits.

Sports Vision Training Exercises at Home

The type of sports vision training program your eye doctor prescribes for you will depend on the sport and the visual skills you’re aiming to improve. Until you can make it to your optometrist’s office, here are some very basic exercises you can try at home. That said, it’s important to note that there is no substitute for a customized sports vision assessment and training program, specifically tailored to your visual strengths and weaknesses.

Focus Flexibility

Focus flexibility refers to your ability to adjust your focus from objects that are far away to ones that are nearby.

To improve your focus flexibility, focus on an object close to you, and then switch your focus to an object behind the first one in the same line of sight. For example, a bowl sitting on a table in front of you and a picture on the wall in the background.

Go back and forth between focusing on the bowl and picture. This exercise is also recommended for people who spend a lot of time working at their computer. Not only will it help with your focus flexibility, but it can relieve eye strain caused by extended screen time.

Peripheral Awareness

Peripheral awareness is important when it comes to sports, as athletes need to perceive the world around them without turning their heads. By enhancing this visual skill, they can significantly improve their game.

One way to boost your peripheral awareness is to stand at an intersection and look straight ahead at the road in front of you. Without moving the position of your head, practice seeing cars traveling horizontally from the left to right, by perceiving through the edges of your visual field.

Depth Perception

Depth perception is important for several sports. Football players need it to judge where the ball is going to land, and baseball players need it to hit the ball as it crosses the plate. Even swimmers use depth perception when they do a flip-turn at the pool’s edge during a race.

A great way to practice this skill is by holding a drinking straw at arm’s length and trying to drop a tiny pebble or balled-up piece of paper through the straw with your free hand.

So whether you are a competitive sports player or just play for pleasure on the weekends, sports vision training will help boost your performance. To learn more, contact Dr. David Coleman & Dr. Jeffrey Coleman today!

Our practice serves patients from Joplin, Rogers, Miami, OK, and Springfield , Missouri and surrounding communities.
Book An Appointment
Call Us 417-238-0229
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Sports Vision Training Improves Sports Performance

Are you a serious athlete, or do you simply enjoy playing sports in the neighborhood? Either way, sports vision training is an effective way to help boost the visual skills needed to excel at your chosen sport.

Sports vision training is a customized program to help improve the performance of an athlete by ensuring the body and brain efficiently process the information obtained through vision. It trains all athletes—professional or amateur—to process what they see more accurately. At The Sports Vision Center At Coleman Vision we offer sports vision training to help you be the best athlete you can be.

Effectiveness of Sports Vision for Athletes

Well-developed and strong visual skills can help you improve your throwing, hitting, and catching skills, so you can excel in games such as baseball, basketball, football, and hockey—actually, just about any sport!

Sharpening your focusing, tracking, depth perception, and peripheral awareness skills will help you determine the distance between a baseball and the bat or the proximity of another player as you run to the end zone. It’s no surprise that vision training helps athletes to become more effective in any sport they pursue.

Sports vision training helps hone these and other visual skills:

  • Eye Tracking – the ability to “keep your eye on the ball.”
  • Eye-Hand or Eye-Body Coordination – the ability to use your eyes to direct the movements of your body and hands.
  • Peripheral Awareness – the ability to see things out of the corner of your eye.
  • Balance – the ability to stay in control of body movement.
  • Depth Perception – the ability to accurately and quickly judge the speed and distance of objects.
  • Contrast Sensitivity – the ability to distinguish between an object and its background.
  • Dynamic Visual Acuity – the ability to clearly see objects in motion.
  • Focusing – the ability to rapidly change focus from one object to another efficiently and quickly.
  • Reaction Time – the faster you see it, the faster you react, and the faster you move.

The sharper your visual skills, the better you’ll do in any sport you play. Your eye doctor will test your visual skills in specific areas to identify which ones need improvement and will offer you a customized program to sharpen and strengthen your skills in those areas.

At The Sports Vision Center At Coleman Vision we offer sports vision training to improve your visual skills so you can become the athlete you know you can be. To learn more about ways sports vision training can give you that extra edge, contact us today!

Our practice serves patients from Joplin, Rogers, Miami, OK, and Springfield , Missouri and surrounding communities.
Book An Appointment
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