Sports Vision Glossary of Terms

Every athlete, from weekend warriors to professionals, is looking for a competitive edge to enhance their performance. Vision, just like speed and strength, is a critical component in helping an athlete maximize his/her potential to play at a higher level.

Different sports require different visual skill sets. For example, dynamic sports such as baseball, basketball, and hockey have different visual demands than sports that may require focus on a stationary object such as archery and golf.

But, no matter what the sport, abilities in eye-hand coordination, dynamic visual acuity, tracking, focusing, visual reaction time, and peripheral vision are among skills needed to help you hit a baseball, catch a football, sink a putt, or hit the bullseye.

Our visual system provides us with critical information about “where” and “when.” Sports Vision training can increase your ability to process visual information faster and decide when and how to react. Listed below is a glossary of visual skills and examples of how they pertain to various sports. Proper training by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist with expertise in sports/performance vision may help you improve and optimize your visual processing on and off the field.
If two similar athletes meet in competition and one has a better trained visual system, the athlete with enhanced visual system will perform better.

“If two similar athletes meet in competition and one has a better trained visual system, the athlete with enhanced visual system will perform better.”

– Loran, D., Griffiths, G., Visual performance and soccer skills in young players.

Optometry Today, v. 41, p. 32-34. 2001.

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