Sports Vision Expert
In sports, vision has the potential to affect an athlete’s performance. Sports Vision, the science of helping athletes reach peak levels of performance through the enhancement of visual skills, is becoming more and more important in training individuals of many sports. Athletes that use their visual system to its maximum potential will gain optimal performance and a competitive edge.
Optometrists with expertise in sports vision assessment and training, along with other professionals such as ophthalmologists, athletic trainers, and coaches work together to train athletes and improve visual function, leading to improved performance.
If you have a question about how improving visual function may help lead to improved performance in the sport(s) you play, please submit your question below. ISVA will not answer all questions nor will we respond directly to you, but we will post questions and responses and archive them here.
Ask a Sports Vision Expert is a feature of the International Sports Vision Association (ISVA). Content is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. ISVA does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, or procedures. We encourage you to direct any questions you have concerning your personal health to licensed physicians or other appropriate health care professionals. In no event shall ISVA be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information contained therein.
Q: Is there a difference in vision training programs for amateur vs. professional athletes?
Answered by: Melissa Bussey, OD
Sometimes, but not always. When thinking about vision training programs it is better to think about the athlete as an individual and not just amateur vs professional, as it is not that cut and dry. Each assessment performed by a sports vision specialist allows us to tailor programs specifically to that athlete’s needs and abilities. Not all athletes within the same level or same sport have the same set of skills, and there may be certain areas that we need to focus on with one athlete compared to another.
A lot of professional athletes already have enhanced systems, so we may be able to begin with more advanced activities. These athletes may also be able to handle more loading and distractors compared to amateur athletes, but this is not always the case. In addition, age and level of concentration may need to be taken into consideration. For instance, we may need to change and modify how we do things for younger athletes so we can keep them engaged.