Healthy Eyes Are Vital How We Navigate Our Days, But Can It Enhance Our Athletic Performance?
Consider the health and wellness industry for a moment, what comes to mind? Do you conjure images of weight loss products or supplements and powders to help you build muscles?
The supplement aisle is chock full of clever marketing to enhance your endurance, increase your cognitive function and alertness, and support muscle recover — they’re all produced with the intention to improve your athletic performance, but what if supporting your eyes was the key to training harder and becoming a better athlete?
Optimal eye health is for everyone — from fitness enthusiasts and athletes to those managing chronic diseases such as diabetes. At Long Island Ophthalmic Concepts, our eye specialists are here to support you! Venture into how healthy vision may make you a better athlete in today’s post!
The Connection: Eye Health And Athletics
Whether you’re a world-class athlete or a fitness enthusiast, vision plays a large roll in your performance. After all, you need healthy vision to see and catch a baseball, shoot the puck and score the winning goal in hockey, or staying safe in the gym.
Your eyesight may be keeping you from becoming a better athlete!
Vision, in training, spans beyond just seeing clearly, you need to see optimally and utilize the scope of your visual skills fully.
What do these visual skills include?
Agile Visual Acuity
Visual acuity is the clarity in your vision, and when it’s dynamic or agile, this refers to how clearly you can see swiftly moving objects.
Good visual acuity is vital to athletes because it means the difference between catching, kicking, or hitting a ball that is moving quickly.
It will be the athlete with the strong dynamic visual acuity that will have the upper hand and make better plays.
Eye tracking can be determined by where one is looking or the movement of the eye related to the head.
In sports, eye tracking is crucial because you need to be able to track things with little movement of your head — it’s tracing where the baseball is going or where your opponent is running — it helps you maintain your balance and survey your surroundings.
Eye tracking can also be helpful when you’re pitching or bowling, again it provides stability and may create improved reaction times.
We all know the importance of eye-hand-body coordination in sports because it plays into any sport or any training we do. It takes the information and movement our body is involved in and relays it to our eyes, to improve upon and helps boost body control, thus, your overall performance.
When you’re playing sports, there is a lot of focus and concentration involved, and this involves your eyes and visual concentration.
Perhaps it’s a high stake game and you need to pitch the game of your life or you need to focus in on a specific basketball player and defend them from shooting the winning three-pointer, in each scenario, visual concentration will come into play.
Being able to focus in on and not lose focus on the goal or a person, is visual concentration.
Peripheral vision is the type of vision that allows up to see the side while still looking straight ahead.
This is critical to have as an athlete because you can observe what’s happening out of the corner of your eye, while still remaining focused on the task at hand.
You’re ready to make a layup and out of your periphery you see someone coming in to block your shot, or you’re running across the street and zoning out when you see a car approaching with no slowing — these situations require peripheral vision to not only make a shot, but to stay safe!
This is a type of visual short-term memory that allows athletes to absorb and take in events with the ability to recall them later, while still being able to focus on what is going on in the present — many describing this as being in the right place at the right time.
We’ve gathered a clear picture of why good vision is important to an athlete, and there are still more visual skills to be covered. If you want more skills to boost your athletic performance, join us in part two!