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4 Tips To Improve Sports Performance

child skiing improving performanceIn sports, being even just a fraction of a second slower than your opponent can make all the difference between lifting a trophy as champion or heading back to the showers.

So what is the best way to achieve your goals? Here are 4 tips to improve your sports performance and be the athlete you aspire to be.

1. Eating and Drinking Right

When planning meals, try to avoid simple carbs and sugars like baked goods, many cereals, and fruit juices from concentrate. Instead, aim for more complex carbs such as fresh (not canned) fruits and vegetables and whole grains such as quinoa. These complex carbohydrates break down more slowly, supplying your body with a more steady supply of energy, keeping you full longer.

You should also make sure to have plenty of protein-rich foods in your diet, such as fish, meat, and eggs. They support muscle growth and help your muscles recover more quickly after workouts.

When choosing what to drink, water is always the best option. It lacks the added sugars of sodas and juices, wards off dehydration, support muscle growth, and helps prevent muscle tears and cramps during workouts.

To maintain optimal hydration throughout the day, women should aim to drink approximately 2.7 liters of water each day, and men should aim for approximately 3.7 liters.

2. Change Up Your Workouts

Doing the same thing day in and day out for your workout has a number of disadvantages.

First of all, it can get boring. If workouts become monotonous, it’s much more difficult to stay motivated day after day.

Maintaining the exact same workout routine every day can also reduce the effectiveness of those workouts.

Every day or two, you should change the muscle groups you’re targeting and the type of exercise you’re doing. Set up a workout schedule for yourself that emphasizes cardio on some days and strength training on others. Concentrate on your arms one day, your legs the next day and your core another day.

Changing up your workout routine can make it easier to overcome mental blocks around working out, and make those workouts more effective overall.

3. Don’t Neglect Recovery Time After Exercise

Many people don’t realize that recovery time between workouts is just as important as the workouts themselves. Every time you work out, your muscles experience stress and tiny micro-tears. This is why your muscles feel sore and tender after a good workout.

Resting time between workouts allows the muscles to heal thicker and stronger than before. If you ignore muscle soreness and exercise despite the pain, you run a very serious risk of long-term injury that can prevent you from participating in sports for a long time.

Resting after workouts also allow your muscles to recharge their glycogen stores, which are used up during your workout. Glycogen is essentially your muscles’ energy source, so resting between workouts will ensure that your muscles have the energy to work.

Consider skipping your workout every few days to give your body time to rest and recover from the rigors of your exercise routine.

4. Sports Vision Training

Being prepared for sports means more than lifting weights and going for a run. If your eyes have trouble following a moving ball or you react too slowly to a play, your big moment may pass you by.

Sports vision training is a scientifically proven vision therapy regimen that uses in-office and at-home eye exercises to strengthen the connection between the eyes and the brain. These exercises have been shown to improve an athlete’s performance and reaction time.

During a sports vision exam, your eye doctor will evaluate your overall vision profile. This includes checking for refractive errors that may affect your ability to clearly see objects close up or far away, and visual skill deficiencies that may make it hard to track objects as they move, or to gauge distances.

Once your eye doctor has evaluated your vision and visual skills, they can construct a customized sports vision therapy regimen that addresses your specific needs, including an emphasis on the particular visual skills required for success in your sport.

To learn more about how sports vision training can boost the visual skills you need to exceed in sports, book an appointment with Blacksburg Eye Associates today!

Our practice serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, Virginia and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. John Dovie

Q: What vision skills does sports vision therapy help improve?

  • A: Strong visual skills are an essential part of success in just about any sport you play. Some important visual skills that sports vision training helps you improve include:
  • – Depth Perception – the ability to efficiently and accurately tell how far something is from you, and how fast it’s moving.
  • – Focusing – the ability to quickly and efficiently focus from one object to another.
  • – Eye Tracking – the ability to move your eyes in a continuous, smooth motion to keep moving objects in sight.
  • – Reaction Time – Quickly and accurately registering the presence and movement of an object, and translating that into appropriate action.
  • – Contrast Sensitivity – the ability to see an object and distinguish between it and the background.
  • – Peripheral Awareness – the ability to register objects and their movement in your side vision.
  • – Eye-Hand or Eye-Body Coordination – the ability to coordinate eye and body movements with visual information acquired by the eyes and sent to the brain.

Q: Is sports vision therapy effective for high school and college athletes?

  • A: Absolutely! Sports vision therapy is recommended for both professional and amateur athletes, at any age and skill level. Deficiencies in visual skills can cause high school and college athletes to get frustrated and abandon the sport they love. Sports vision therapy is an excellent way to clear the visual obstacles that may be preventing their success, paving the way to greater enjoyment of the game and greater success.

Request A Sports Vision Appointment
Find Out If Sports Vision Is Right For You 540-953-2020

Why Goalkeepers Need Strong Visual Skills

Goalkeeper blocking a goalSports require athletes to be in peak physical condition to play at their best. This doesn’t just include arms and legs, but eyes too. This is especially true for goalkeepers, who need lightning-fast reflexes and incredibly accurate vision skills to guard the goal and catch or deflect the puck or ball and prevent that scoring shot.

Our eye care professionals at Blacksburg Eye Associates can help goalies and other athletes, both amateur and pro, improve their functional vision with sports vision training.

What Visual Skills Does a Goalkeeper Need?

Goalies need to master a range of visual skills in order to prevent the opposing team from scoring. Convergence and divergence, as well as the ability to alternate between them quickly and accurately, are among the most important.

Convergence

Convergence is the eyes’ ability to efficiently and accurately focus on an object as it moves toward you, and up close. Professional soccer players send the ball flying at the net at an average of 70 miles per hour, and a hockey puck in the NHL can be slapped at the goal at a blistering 100 miles per hour. This means that for penalty shots and other fast-moving, close-up plays a goalkeeper’s eyes can have mere fractions of a second to accurately converge on the ball or puck before the goalkeeper needs to decide where to move their body and how to react.

Poor convergence can mean that the goalie’s eyes are too slow to converge on the target, or that they don’t converge accurately, leading to double vision as the ball or puck is incoming.

Either of these situations can make it difficult, if not impossible, to make the save during a fast-paced play.

Divergence

Divergence is the eyes’ ability to efficiently and accurately focus on objects at a distance, and as they move away. This skill is vital for goalkeepers, who need to save shots taken from halfway down the field or ice, and to accurately judge the position and flight of the ball or puck. Divergence also allows the goalkeeper to track shots that rebound out, as well as the movements of the puck or ball in case the opposing team quickly takes another shot.

Poor divergence makes it challenging for the goalie to find or track the target from farther out, or as it moves away from them, from close range into the distance.

Alternating

Being able to efficiently alternate between convergence and divergence is also vital in a fast-moving game. Consider the following play-by-play:

  • Using divergence, a goalkeeper can track a ball or puck from far down the field or ice, until a shot is taken.
  • As the shot comes closer in, they engage their convergence to track it moving toward them.
  • They make a successful save, resulting in a rebound out. Divergence is engaged as the ball or puck moves away from them once again.
  • Within fractions of a second, an opposing player may recover the puck or ball, and attempt another shot. The shot is incoming again, and convergence is re-engaged.

The goalkeeper has only seconds or even fractions of a second to respond, re-focus, and respond again.

How Can Sports Vision Training Help?

Sports vision training is a personalized regimen of eye exercises prescribed by eye doctors to help athletes perfect the visual skills that are most essential for their sport.

Working through the prescribed exercises retrains the athlete’s brain to work faster and more effectively with their eyes, improving convergence, divergence and other visual-motor and spatial skills.

Sports vision training can help goalkeepers of all ages and abilities gain the visual skills they need to stay on top of their game, block shots and save the day.

Have questions about how we can help you play your best game? Visit us or call our office today.

Our practice serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, Virginia and surrounding communities.

Request A Sports Vision Appointment
Find Out If Sports Vision Is Right For You 540-953-2020

Sports Vision Exercises to Try At Home

woman and her daughter exercising at homeNote: the activities here do not replace an eye exam and in-office sports vision training program from an eye doctor experienced in sports vision.

When athletes consider the skills they need to succeed, agility and strength often come to mind. But those aren’t the only skills that matter. Many athletes don’t realize that, when it comes to conditioning, their eyes are an important asset.

An athlete’s capacity to notice, understand and respond to events on the field, both near and far, has a substantial influence on the quality of their play. The intricate capabilities of their visual system are required to dunk that basket, return that serve, receive that pass or knock it out of the ballpark.

There is an entire area of optometry that provides sports vision training, with research to back it up. According to a study published by the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, visual abilities like peripheral perception and reaction time can be improved by means of appropriate visual training.

Sports vision exercises can help improve your peripheral vision, visual memory, hand-eye coordination and much more. Who wouldn’t want to improve their game by doing eye exercises?

Sports Vision Training Exercises at Home

Your eye doctor will recommend an in-office sports vision training program for you based on the sport and the visual abilities you want to develop. Here are some very basic exercises you can do at home until you get to your optometrist’s office.

While home-based exercises are a good first step toward upping your performance, they aren’t a substitute for a sports vision training program designed by an optometrist that is tailored to your individual strengths and weaknesses.

20-20-20 Rule

Your eyes, like your body, need to be as agile as possible. Switching your focus between near and distant objects is a simple way to enhance your focusing skills at home. Look up from your computer and focus on anything 20 inches away, then something farther away, such as looking out a window.

Most sports rely on the ability to change focus from near to far objects, such as a ball or other players.

Visual Memory Games

One way we understand and comprehend information is via visual memory. It’s all about recalling where players are on the field when receiving a pass, or how much spin or curvature the ball had during the previous play. When you play memory games like a children’s matching game, you’re teaching a part of your brain to remember information accurately and quickly. Playing memory games can help improve your speed.

The Turning Tray

Practice reading words in motion. Attach a piece of paper with words to a turning tray and move it at different speeds. Alternatively, attach the paper to a moving door or a bouncing ball. Experiment with font, color, size and familiarity of words to see how many you can read and how quickly.

This exercise can help improve your dynamic visual acuity, which is needed in fast-paced sports like hockey, basketball and tennis. Athletes who play these sports need to be able to see objects clearly while they are moving quickly.

Sidelong Glance

Peripheral vision allows you to see another player from the opposing team rushing toward you, or where your teammate is preparing to pass, from the edge of your visual field. When you’re using a computer or walking outside, practice ‘viewing’ from the sides of your eyes, both right and left. Look for details in your peripheral vision or lean your head to one side to ‘scan’ the activity with a sidelong glance.

One-Eyed Monster

Depth perception is one of the most essential visual tricks your binocular vision provides. This helps you know how far the goal post is. Train each eye separately by kicking or catching the ball with only one eye open. Alternatively, practice this skill 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.

Ping-Pong

Ping-Pong, or table tennis, isn’t just a classic fun game, it’s an excellent way to enhance your eye-hand coordination. It’s a fast-paced game that trains the brain to determine the speed of a moving object and respond accordingly.

Ready to improve your game? Schedule an appointment with Blacksburg Eye Associates, where our eye doctor will assess your visual skills and design a customized sports vision training program to boost your performance in your chosen sport.

Our practice serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, Virginia and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. John Dovie

Q: What is sports vision training?

  • A: Sports vision training is a custom-made program that enhances communication between the brain, body, and eyes when participating in sports. Athletes, both professional and amateur, benefit from sports vision training because it helps them process information and react faster and more accurately to what they see on the field.Sports vision training involves a set of strategies and exercises that teach the brain and body to respond to what the eyes see more efficiently and accurately.

Q: Is sports vision training beneficial for everyone?

  • A: Whether you play basketball, football, hockey or tennis, sports vision training is perfect for anyone of any age seeking to take their performance to the next level.

Request A Sports Vision Appointment
Find Out If Sports Vision Is Right For You 540-953-2020

How Sports Vision Training Can Improve a Quarterback’s Game

How Sports Vision Training Can Improve a Quarterbacks Game 640×350Quarterbacks (QBs) work hard to increase their physical strength but often don’t realize that improving their visual skills can also improve their effectiveness on the field.

In addition to having a powerful throwing arm, quarterbacks must be able to precisely judge distances and the speeds of other players. They need to be aware of everyone and everything around them, as well as every player’s specific location and course of movement — all while following the ball.

Visual skills like accurate peripheral vision and split-second reaction time are crucial to a quarterback’s success. Sports vision training provides the foundation for these abilities and allows players to be the best athletes they can be.

Contact Dr. John Dovie and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann to see how sports vision training can help you improve your game.

Which Visual Skills Can Sports Vision Training Improve?

Here are examples of how a quarterback depends on visual skills.

Eye Focusing

QBs need to be able to sustain sharp focus and to shift their eyes and focus rapidly and precisely to judge the exact position of the tight end as the linebackers close the space.

Depth Perception

The quarterback’s ability to accurately judge the position of his receivers sprinting full speed into the end zone depends on sharp and precise depth perception.

Peripheral Vision

All eyes are on the quarterback in possession of the ball, but it’s just as important for the quarterback to keep track of the defensive players as they attempt a sack. QBs with good peripheral vision can see where all the defenders are at any given time.

Visual Reaction Time

Visual reaction time is the speed with which a quarterback’s brain analyzes and reacts to the opponent’s actions. A QB’s next move will be determined by how quickly and well their brain integrates visual and motor functions.

Gross-Visual Motor Integration

While on the move, a quarterback needs to analyze all of the information the eyes are transmitting, and act on it quickly. This requires a high level of coordination between the QB’s brain, eyes and body. The more the quarterback’s vision and movement are synchronized, the more successful the plays will be.

All of this takes a matter of seconds. With good visual skills, a quarterback can make that play seem flawless.

Enhancing the Performance of a Quarterback

We offer sports vision training to help all kinds of athletes achieve their goals and take their game to the next level. A functional eye exam will evaluate visual skills, after which we can create a personalized sports vision training program.

At Blacksburg Eye Associates, we help players be the athletes they know they can be. We offer sports vision training to patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, Virginia and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. John Dovie

Q: What is sports vision training?

  • A: Sports vision training is a custom-made program that improves coordination between your brain, eyes and body while playing sports. Through a series of eye exercises and techniques, it helps athletes react faster and more accurately to what they see on the field.

Q: Who can benefit from sports vision training?

  • A: Whether you’re a quarterback or a linebacker, an avid baseball or hockey player, sports vision training is perfect for athletes of any age and ability seeking to improve their sports performance.

Request A Sports Vision Appointment
Find Out If Sports Vision Is Right For You 540-953-2020

What it Takes to Succeed as a Formula 1 Driver

What it Takes to Succeed as a Formula 1 Driver 640×350During a 90-minute race, a Formula 1 driver’s body meets many challenges. Controlling a vehicle that may reach speeds of over 200 miles per hour requires not only the highest level of fitness but also the ability to react — literally — in the blink of an eye.

Without top-notch visual skills, drivers aren’t able to respond effectively to the constantly changing conditions on the race track. Sports vision training can help race car drivers and other athletes hone their visual skills to improve their performance.

What is Sports Vision Training?

Sports vision training is a tailored program that enhances neural communication between your eyes, brain, and body, and is specifically tailored to your specific activity. Athletes who receive sports vision training can absorb information faster and react more precisely to what they see on the field or track.

The training entails a specific set of strategies and exercises that teach the brain and body to respond to the environment around them more quickly and effectively. Visual skills such as hand-eye coordination, depth perception, dynamic visual acuity and peripheral awareness are all [emphasized] during the training.

Visional Skills Needed for F1 Drivers

F1 drivers need to have excellent peripheral vision and reaction time to succeed on the race track.

Peripheral Vision

Peripheral vision is the ability to see things where you are not directly looking, but can see “out of the corner of your eye.” Well-developed peripheral awareness enables drivers to see other cars or obstacles at the edge of their visual field and to process the race’s rapidly shifting dynamics.

Reaction Time

When it comes to racing at high speeds, every second counts. Even a slight lag in reaction time can be disastrous.

The reaction speed of F1 drivers is typically 3x faster than that of other individuals.

Sports vision training exercises hone the brain’s ability to respond to visual stimuli, and to transmit the necessary information the body needs to respond. Speeding up their brain’s synaptic reaction time allows drivers to pivot more quickly on the racetrack in the face of unexpected situations.

Exercises for Peripheral Awareness and Reaction Time

To improve peripheral awareness, drivers use many different exercises and tools. Here are two that we recommend.

Lightboard Exercise

A lightboard is a device that flashes a succession of lights, powered by electricity. Touch receptors are incorporated into many of them, providing an element of engagement that can improve the driver’s peripheral awareness and reaction time.

Here’s how it works: A person stands in front of the board and concentrates on a single location. Then, in their side view (peripheral vision) lights flash in random positions. The patient is required to recognize and then rapidly and efficiently touch those lights.

Seeing such lights can help drivers boost their ability to process information and make quick decisions. Simply touching the lights can significantly boost their hand-eye coordination.

Tennis Ball Drill

A basic tennis ball drill is an easy way to increase reaction times. Drivers face a wall and position themselves close to it. Then, from behind them, an instructor or a training partner tosses balls at the wall.

The task of the driver is to respond quickly and collect the ball as it bounces off the wall. The unpredictable nature of this practice keeps their minds sharp. Because of their near proximity to the wall, they must rely on their fast reaction speed and peripheral vision to succeed.

Becoming an F1 driver isn’t just about improving speed on the track. It’s about training the mind, body and eyes to work together as a team. Contact Blacksburg Eye Associates to learn more about sports vision training and become the driver you wish to be.

Blacksburg Eye Associates serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, Virginia and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. John Dovie

Q: Why is sports vision so important for athletes?

  • A: Athletes with excellent visual skills have an advantage in their field. Sports requiring great eye teaming, depth perception, and concentration skills include motor racing, skiing, football, basketball, hockey, baseball, tennis and soccer. In some sports, focusing, judging distances and tracking moving objects might mean the difference between life and death on the field or race track.

Q: Who can benefit from sports vision training?

  • A: Sports vision training is intended for athletes of all ages and abilities, including youth and adult athletes, no matter the sport they participate in.

Request A Sports Vision Appointment
Find Out If Sports Vision Is Right For You 540-953-2020

3 Visual Skills That Can Make You a Better Athlete

3 Visual Skills That Can Make You a Better Athlete 640×350To succeed in most sports, you need to be aware of your surroundings and aptly judge distances at a glance. Luckily, these skills can be enhanced through sports vision training.

Sports vision training teaches athletes how to process what their eyes see, better and faster. It not only improves the visual skills needed to excel in your sport but also helps you stay safe by diminishing your risk of concussion and other accidents.

Sports vision training enables you to thrive in sports like football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and tennis. In fact, just about any sport!

By developing your visual skills, you’ll have an easier time catching, throwing, and hitting an object. Improving your tracking, concentrating, peripheral awareness and depth perception skills can help you better gauge the distance between a basketball and the net, or the proximity of another player as you sprint to the field goal.

So it’s really no surprise that sports vision training gives athletes an advantage over their opponents.

What is Sports Vision Training?

Sports vision training is a customized program that improves the communication between the eyes, body, and brain. The program is carefully formulated for your given sport and employs strategies and exercises that train the brain and body to adapt to what the eyes see more quickly and accurately.

Ways Sports Vision Training Can Help You Become a Better Athlete

Depending on your specific needs, sports vision training can improve these and many other visual skills:

1. Focusing and Tracking

Focus flexibility (also called accommodation), refers to the eyes’ ability to quickly shift focus. Improving your eye-focusing skills will help you concentrate better and refocus your vision more quickly and precisely. This will, in turn, improve your ability to process moving objects.

Convergence (or tracking) is the ability to track objects or people with eyes operating in tandem.

2. Depth Perception

Depth perception is the ability to determine the distance between yourself and other individuals or objects in three dimensions.

People with superior depth perception have an easier time gauging the exact position in 3D of an approaching object.

In fact, depth perception is one of the visual skills baseball players rely on the most to make a great catch or steal a base.

3. Peripheral Awareness

Peripheral awareness training helps you how recognize and analyze objects and people from the ‘corners’ of your eyes. Without good peripheral vision, players on the field may not perceive a ball or other players approaching them from the left or right.

No matter your sport, the sharper your visual skills, the better your performance. Contact your eye doctor to determine which of your visual skills strengthening.

Contact Blacksburg Eye Associates today to discover how sports vision training can help you become the athlete you’d like to be.

Blacksburg Eye Associates serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, Virginia and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. John Dovie

Q: Can sports vision training improve 20/20 vision?

  • A: For most people, having 20/20 vision is ideal, since it gives them the excellent visual acuity they seek for daily tasks. Sports vision training, however, doesn’t improve visual acuity; it cannot make someone less nearsighted, but it can enhance the visual skills athletes need to succeed.
  • Q: Who can benefit from sports vision training?
  • A: Sports vision training is ideal for anyone at any age who wishes to improve their performance, in just about any sport. It’s particularly effective for athletes who play soccer, football, golf, hockey, baseball, and ping-pong — all of which involve fast-moving objects like balls and hockey pucks.

Request A Sports Vision Appointment
Find Out If Sports Vision Is Right For You 540-953-2020

Preventing Concussions With Sports Vision Exercises

Preventing Concussions With Sports Vision Exercises 640×350Between 1.7 million to 3 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur each year in the United States alone. 70-80% percent of those surveyed have vision issues.

So what can you do to avoid a concussion? Consider sports vision training. It can help you perform better and protect your head and brain from injury.

Sports Vision Training and Sport-Related Head Injuries

Concussions are among the most prevalent injuries sustained in sports.

When your visual abilities aren’t up to par, you may underestimate the distance between yourself and the ball or between yourself and other players. Due to limited peripheral vision, miscalculating the velocity of a ball or the location of competing players may result in significant head or other injuries.

This is why, like exercising your muscles, it’s important to train your eyes to communicate more efficiently with your brain and body.

Sports Vision Exercises to Prevent Concussions

If you’re looking to improve your game by improving your visual skills, visit today. Dr. John Dovie and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will prescribe a sports vision training program based on your sport and the visual abilities you need to develop.

Until then, here are some very basic exercises you can do at home. (Keep in mind that there is no alternative for a specialized sports vision assessment and training tailored to your individual visual strengths and deficiencies.)

Depth Perception

Depth perception is crucial for a variety of sports. Baseball players require it to hit the ball as it crosses the plate, while football players need it to judge where the ball will land. Even swimmers use depth perception when doing a flip-turn near the pool’s edge during a race.

You can practice this skill 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.

Peripheral Awareness

Peripheral awareness is crucial for succeeding in sports, as athletes must be able to sense the world around them without turning their heads. By honing this visual skill, they can drastically improve their game.

One thing you can do to improve peripheral awareness is to stand at a junction and look straight ahead at the road in front of you. Practice seeing cars pass horizontally from left to right without moving your head—simply perceive them through the edges of your visual field.

Focus Flexibility

The ability to shift your concentration from far away to nearby objects is referred to as focus flexibility.

Focus on an object close to you, then adjust your focus to an object behind the first one in the same line of sight to improve your focus flexibility. A bowl on a table in front of you, for example, and then a painting on the wall in the distance.

Switch between focusing on the bowl and the painting. This is also a good exercise for those who spend a lot of time at their computers. It will not only improve your focus flexibility but will also ease eye strain caused by prolonged screen use.

If you’re looking to improve sports performance, contact today. Sports vision training will help you up your game whether you’re a competitive athlete or simply enjoy playing on the weekends.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. John Dovie

Q: What is Sports Vision Training?

  • A: Sports vision training is a customized program that uses a series of techniques and exercises to teach your brain and body to respond more accurately and efficiently to a fastball or hockey puck rapidly coming toward you. The training focuses on improving visual skills, such as hand-eye coordination, eye tracking, depth perception, focusing and peripheral vision.

Q: Can sports vision training lead to a decrease in sport-related injuries?

  • A: According to a study done by the University of Cincinnati Division of Sports Medicine, football players who had undergone sports vision training to improve their peripheral vision had fewer concussions than those who did not do it.
  • This is because sports vision training helps the eyes and brain react more quickly to changes in the environment, resulting in more successes and fewer accidents.
  • Blacksburg Eye Associates serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, Virginia and surrounding communities.

Request A Sports Vision Appointment
Find Out If Sports Vision Is Right For You 540-953-2020

Elevate Your Game on the Baseball Field With Sports Vision Training

Improve How You Play Baseball With Sports Vision Training 640×350Hitting a baseball out of the park is widely regarded as one of the most difficult sporting challenges. In Major League Baseball (MLB), batters have less than half a second to meet a 90-mph fastball with the sweet spot of their bat. There is almost no other specialized action in any sport that puts a player’s visual system under such strain.

So why don’t coaches and managers ask their players to utilize sports vision training to boost their performance on the field?

That’s because the value of sports vision training is underappreciated. Many athletes, parents, and coaches don’t realize the central role that visual skills play in athletic ability, and are ignorant of the numerous ways to develop them.

Recognizing A Pitch

There are many kinds of pitches: fastballs, curveballs, screwballs and more.

Batters have only a fraction of a second to identify the type of pitch and react accordingly. Keeping an eye on the ball and assessing speed, motion and direction are highly demanding for a player’s neuro-visual system.

5 Essential Visual Skills for Keeping Eyes on the Ball

  • Convergence – Perfect convergence of both eyes is needed to follow a ball as it flies towards you.
  • Depth perception – In order to assess the distance, speed, and direction of a fast-moving ball, accurate depth perception is needed.
  • Peripheral vision – Is required to stop a base-stealer and achieve that double-play.
  • Eye teaming – To keep track of a flying ball, the eyes must be perfectly synchronized.
  • Speed of focus – Your eyes must constantly refocus when a ball is racing toward you at 70 to over 90 miles per hour.
  • Visual processing speed – It’s critical for the brain to be able to quickly process all of the visual information sent to it.

Sports Vision Training for Baseball

Just as intense physical exercise helps baseball players boost their physical endurance, strength, speed and fine motor skills, sports vision training helps them improve their depth perception, focusing and visual processing speed.

A sports vision training program is customized for each player based on an evaluation of their visual skills with a specific focus on baseball requirements.

To start boosting your visual skills and performance, contact Dr. John Dovie and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann at Blacksburg Eye Associates today.

We train athletes from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, Virginia and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. John Dovie

Q: What is sports vision training?

  • A: Sports vision training is a custom-made program that improves coordination between your eyes, body and brain while playing sports. It involves exercises and techniques that help athletes process the information their eyes are sending the brain more quickly and accurately.

Q: Who can benefit from sports vision training?

  • A: Whether you’re pitching or up at bat, sports vision training is perfect for anyone of any age and ability seeking to take their performance to the next level.

Request A Sports Vision Appointment
Find Out If Sports Vision Is Right For You 540-953-2020

3 Ways To Unlock Your True Athletic Potential

3 Ways To Unlock Your True Athletic Potential 640×350As an athlete, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and be able to gauge distances. This is where sports vision training comes into play. Sports vision is about training people to process what their eyes see, better and faster. It’s an effective way to boost the visual skills you need to excel at your chosen sport and stay safe while doing it.

3 Ways Sports Vision Training Can Improve Your Game

Having strong, well-developed visual skills enhances your ability to catch, throw, and hit a ball, allowing you to thrive in sports like baseball, basketball and tennis. By sharpening your peripheral awareness, depth perception, and eye-tracking and focusing abilities, you will be able to better gauge the distance between a tennis ball and the net, or the proximity of another player as you sprint across the field.

1. Enhanced Convergence and Accommodation

Convergence is the ability to keep both eyes working in tandem as they track objects or people, such as a player passing a ball. Accommodation, also known as focus flexibility, is the eyes’ ability to immediately change focus.

Improving your eye-focusing abilities will help you concentrate better, and swiftly and precisely refocus your vision. This makes it easier to quickly process moving objects.

2. Enhanced Depth Perception

Depth perception is the ability to judge the distance between you and people or objects, and allows you to see in three dimensions. Individuals with good depth perception have an easier time recognizing an object as it approaches because they can see where it is in space. When a baseball player makes a spectacular catch or steals a base, depth perception is one of the visual skills they most rely on.

3. Enhanced Peripheral Awareness

Peripheral awareness, also known as peripheral vision, enables us to detect and see things that aren’t directly in front of us while looking straight ahead. A well-developed peripheral field helps soccer players, tennis players and cyclists see people and objects at the edge of their visual field and sense the flow of the game or traffic as it constantly changes.

The sharper your visual skills are, the better you will be at whatever sport you participate in. Your eye doctor will assess your vision in specific areas to identify weak areas that need strengthening. After that, you’ll be prescribed a customized sports vision training program that will include a series of personalized eye exercises and assessments to measure your progress.

To learn more about how sports vision training can help you become a better athlete, contact Blacksburg Eye Associates today!

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. John Dovie

Q: What is sports vision training?

  • A: Sports vision training is a personalized program that improves the communication between your eyes, body and brain while playing sports. Enhanced communication between your eyes and brain leads to improved visual skills, allowing an athlete to unlock their fullest potential. Sports vision training uses a customized series of techniques and exercises, resulting in the brain and body learning to respond more efficiently and accurately to what the eyes are seeing.

Q: Who can benefit from sports vision training?

  • A: Whether you’re a golfer, play hockey or ski, sports vision training is perfect for anyone of any age who wants to take their performance to the next level.
Blacksburg Eye Associates serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, all throughout Virginia.


Request A Sports Vision Appointment
Find Out If Sports Vision Is Right For You 540-953-2020

Looking To Improve Your Athletic Performance This Summer?

Looking To Improve Your Sports Performance This Summer 640It’s finally summer—and there’s no better time to play outdoor sports! But if you’re like many of us, you may be a little rusty from the long winter months. While physical training is important to get back into gear, sports vision training can take you a step further by helping you hone the visual skills you need to excel at your chosen sport.

Sports vision training is a personalized program that helps professional and amateur athletes improve the way their eyes, brain and body interact. The quicker the brain processes the messages the eyes send, the better the performance.

Benefits of Sports Vision Training

Strong, well-developed visual skills can help you improve your ability to hit a tennis ball or perform the perfect dive in the swimming pool.

Sharpening your tracking, depth perception, focusing and peripheral awareness skills will help determine the proximity of the water from the diving board or the distance between a baseball and your bat. It should come as no surprise that vision training helps athletes improve their performance in just about any sport.

Sports vision training helps develop the following visual skills:

  • Balance – the ability to stay in control of body movement. A surfer, for example, must be able to stand on the board without falling off, all while riding a wave.
  • Eye Tracking – the ability to “keep your eye on the ball.”
  • Focusing – the ability to rapidly change focus from one object to another efficiently and quickly. For example, in baseball, a player needs to be able to focus on the ball while running.
  • Eye-Hand or Eye-Body Coordination – the ability to use your eyes to direct the movements of your hands and body. In tennis, for instance, a player must be able to move his or her body and hands while tracking the ball.
  • Peripheral Awareness – seeing things or people, such as opposing players, out of the corner of your eye.
  • Depth Perception – the capacity to evaluate an object’s speed and distance accurately and quickly. For example, a diver must accurately evaluate the distance from the edge of the pool in order to dive safely.
  • Contrast Sensitivity – the ability to distinguish between an object and its background, such as a baseball against the sky.
  • Dynamic Visual Acuity – the ability to clearly see objects in motion.
  • Reaction Time – the faster you see it, the faster you react and the faster you move.

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will assess your visual skills in various areas to determine which ones need to be improved. Once assessed, you’ll receive a personalized program to boost and expand your visual skills in those areas.

To learn more about sports vision training, contact Blacksburg Eye Associates today!

Blacksburg Eye Associates serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg and New River Valley, all throughout Virginia.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. John Dovie

Q: What is sports vision training?

  • A: Sports vision training is a customized program that improves coordination between your eyes, brain, and body when playing sports. Sports vision training helps athletes process information and then react faster and more accurately to what they see on the field or in the water.

Q: Who can benefit from sports vision training?

  • A: Whether for surfing, playing baseball, or biking, sports vision training benefits people of any age or level seeking to take their performance to the next level.


Request A Sports Vision Appointment
Find Out If Sports Vision Is Right For You 540-953-2020