Study indicates a significant positive relationship between visual skills and tennis performance
The Relationship Between Visual Skills and Tennis Performance of NCAA Divis
by: Frank Spaniol
Spaniol, F., Monteiro, I., Ocker, L., Bonnette, R., Melrose, D, Temple, D.,
Sport Science Research Laboratory Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between visual skills and tennis performance of NCAA Division I tennis players. Visual skills were assessed by the Visual Edge® Performance Trainer (VEPT), a commercial software program designed to evaluate eye alignment, depth perception, convergence, divergence, visual recognition, and visual tracking. Tennis performance was determined by team player ranking (TPR). Eleven NCAA Division I tennis players (6 males, mean ± SD, age = 20.8 ± 1.3 yr, height = 181.6 ± 8.2 cm, weight 74.9 ± 5.2 kg; 5 females, age = 20.6 ± 1.3 yr, height 169.3 ± 4.2 cm, weight = 65.0 ± 10.7 kg) participated in the study. A non-significant t-test indicated that visual skills are not gender specific, and therefore males and females could be evaluated as one group. The results showed significant correlations between final VEPT scores and TPR (r = -0.61; p = 0.046), final VEPT score rank and TPR (r = 0.54; p = 0.089), visual tracking percent correct and TPR (r = -0.79; p = 0.004), and visual recognition response time and TPR (r = 0.61; p = 0.046).
The results of this study indicate that the highest ranked tennis players possessed the best VEPT scores, highest VEPT rank, most correct visual tracking percent, and fastest visual recognition response time. The results of this study indicate a significant positive relationship between visual skills and tennis performance of NCAA Division I tennis players. Subsequently, coaches may consider using visual skills programs such as VEPT to assess and train tennis athletes.