Sports Vision Therapy is a type of vision training that helps to increase and heighten an athlete’s vision ability FIXATE, FOLLOW, TRACK AND INCREASE REACTION TIME to make them competitive in their specific sport. Most people don’t know there are multiple, identifiable visual skills needed to succeed in reading and learning, let alone in sports and in life. Seeing ‘20/20’ is just of those visual skills which also include:
- Accommodation: Being able to focus the eyes from the near to the far quickly and with precision to maintain optimal clarity. Very important in order to keep the ball, puck and other players in focus.
- 3-D Vision: Spatial judgement requires 3-D vision/Depth Perception. Normal skills in this area allow for accurate passes, balls hit and points scored.
- Fusion: The ability to use the two eyes together efficiently and comfortably. When both eyes are working together, performance is more consistent and accurate.
- Tracking Skills: Eye movements must be accurate, smooth, coordinated and quick. This allows for the eye to remain on the ball and other players.
- Eye Alignment: Straight alignment with little or no turn of the eyes inward or outward (strabismus). Accommodation, 3-D Vision, Fusion and Tracking Skills are all affected by eye alignment.
- Eye Teaming: The two eyes working together keeps the athlete from experiencing double vision, headaches, eyestrain, fatigue, or dizziness; all of which can interfere with sports performance.
- Visual Clarity: Seeing clearly in the distance. 20/20 or better is best for optimal sports performance.
Perceptual skills are just as important and include:
- Processing Speed: The ability to process information quickly and allows for quick reaction time.
- Spatial Awareness: The ability to know where the body is at in relation to space. Necessary for knowing where to shoot the ball or puck or where to pass the ball. Also important for knowing where teammates and opponents are located on the field or court.
- Visual Integration: Integrating vision with all of the other senses to make sense of world and sporting situations.
- Working Memory: A large part of most athletic competitions which allows the athlete to predict what the opponents next move might be and remembering the various plays and strategies.
Sports vision therapy can benefit athletes of any ability level including professionals, college, high school, grade school and even those who participate only for recreation, to help improve athletic performance.
A recent study of Olympic athletes showed:
- 30% of athletes had less than 20/20 vision
- 25% of athletes had decreased depth perception
- 26% of athletes had poor eye-hand coordination for the demands of their sport
- 12% of athletes had inaccurate eye movement abilities (ex: able to keep their eyes on the ball)
“There is definitely a connection between the vision therapy that I did as a child and my performance on the field.
A number of the drills in football camp reminded me of things I did in in vision therapy that helped develop reaction time, eye-hand coordination and visualization skills.”
— Larry Fitzgerald
The Sports Vision Therapy Process at Brodie Sensory Learning and Vision Therapy
- The Eye Exam: Brodie Sensory Learning and Vision Therapy provides a complete and comprehensive eye exam conducted by Dr. Brodie. At this visit, he will test for specific vision issues that can negatively impact sports performance including:
- Convergence Insufficiency
- Accommodative Deficiency
- Eye Movement Deficiencies
- Convergence Excess
- Consultation: Dr. Brodie will discuss exam findings and how Sports Vision Therapy can improve performance for the individual.
- Possible Treatment Recommendations: Depending on diagnose(s) and performance goals of the individual one or both of the following are offered:
In-Office Vision Therapy: Two, 60 minute sessions per week in office to work on sport specific procedures on our state-of-the art Sanet Vision Integrator computer system. Home exercises will be prescribed to be completed the remaining five days of the week. Two follow-up visits with Dr. Brodie to assess progress. Typically completed in 8 weeks.
Sensory Learning: 12 consecutive days of in-office therapy integrating light, sound and motion and 18 consecutive days of home light therapy. Follow-up visits at days 30, 60 and 90.
My daughter participated in the Sensory Learning Program after suffering a concussion during one of her high school basketball games. I followed the prescribed protocol of keeping her out of school, restricting her from reading, watching TV and using her phone, computer and iPad. I required her to sleep most of the day in hopes of allowing her brain to heal. I was familiar with The Sensory Learning Program and knew it was recommended to individuals who had suffered concussions and other traumatic brain injuries. I chose to have her participate in hopes of providing another way to heal her brain.
After the completion of the program, my daughter no longer suffered from the daily headaches and was able to return to her normal activities including playing basketball. She was the starting point guard for her team and we noticed along with her coaches, that after completing Sensory Learning her ball passing, awareness of other players around her, and shooting ability had all improved significantly. I am told Sensory Learning opens the peripheral vision system and improves visual processing which explains why these crucial basketball skills were so much better after therapy. We were excited that not only did we do something good for her brain after the concussion, but also made her a more competitive basketball player!
Call Brodie Optometry for more information – let us help you and your child today! 419-931-2020
Along with the education aspect of this therapy, it has also helped my daughter tremendously in baseball. Last year she could only hit the ball off the tee, not the pitching machine. So far this year she has hit a ball pitched by the machine at every up to bat!