- Reaction Time
- Puck Tracking
- Goalie Skills
- Spatial Relations
Improves ability to locate the puck while receiving passes and navigating defenders in one-on-one situations.
Enhances a player’s awareness, as well as their ability to operate in space and locate teammates when passing.
Impacts a player’s ability to judge in-game distances, lining up checks, redirecting shots, and pass and receive accuracy.
Improves player’s ability to focus on the play – enabling increased accuracy on one-timers and puck handling.
Allows players to read the play by recognizing the opponent’s offensive and defensive structure and positioning.
Allows players to anticipate and react quickly to shots, deflected pucks and passes while monitoring developing plays.
Visual skills and abilities can be evaluated, taught, trained and perfected. A number of Major/Minor League Teams as well as university programs have begun to evaluate and train these visual skills, utilizing new technology in order to improve their athletes’ performance on the ice.
Talented forwards will possess a diverse visual skillset requiring the ability to locate incoming pucks then quickly adjust to find targets in the distance. This requires excellent flexibility between a player’s convergent and divergent focus. Enhanced recognition enables players to recognize patterns in defensive alignments and strategy while being able to scan the ice. Paired with strong tracking skills, the forward will be equipped to handle and redirect the puck to more effectively put it on goal.
Defensemen are required to skate with their head up to locate attacking skaters as they approach the zone – possessing strong divergence and recognition skillsets enable the defender to achieve proper positioning. Defensemen looking to make an impact on the attack will require excellent convergence skills in order to locate and move the puck effectively. A low convergence score could impact a player’s ability to connect on one-timers.
It’s no surprise goalies traditionally possess the strongest and most diverse visual skillsets in hockey. Strong visual flexibility (combination of divergence and convergence) enables the netminder to first locate the puck at a distance and follow it all way to the glove, hand, or stick. Improved recognition will enhance a goalie’s ability to recognize patterns of shooting and movement of skaters. Additionally, proper tracking will improve a goalie’s ability to track the puck throughout the play – including following the first save and enabling them to finish the play.