Understanding Vision Training

Vision training is a program implemented to improve the efficiency in which the visual system is used. Vision training works to improve a long list of visual skills, improved visual skills can translate into improved athletic performance. Developing efficient visual skills is extremely important, but often this area of training goes unaddressed. Vision is the signal that directs the body to respond. The more efficient the visual system, the quicker and more accurate the body response can be.

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The 6 pairs of extra-ocular muscles that are used to point the eyes are much stronger than they need to be; the eyeball is quite light, and the muscles are quite strong. Vision training is not a set of exercises designed to strengthen those eye muscles. Even so, if strengthening was the reason for vision training the results may not be sufficient; improving strength doesn’t necessarily translate to improved athletic performance. Vision training works to improve the coordination and information processing of the visual system, not to improve strength. This is why Vizual Edge works.

These skills can include:

  • Eye Tracking: this is the ability to keep your eyes fixated accurately on a target, whether it be a ball, puck or another player.
  • Eye Focusing: the eye contains a lens that changes shape as the focus is shifted from distance to near & vice versa. This needs to be accurate & efficient. Efficient focusing will reduce blurry vision when tracking objects that are moving towards or away.
  • Eye Teaming: it would be one thing if we only had one eye, but the fact we have two eyes means that they have to be continually pointed in the same spot. Eye teaming position changes in the form of convergence & divergence when an object is moving towards or away.
  • Visual Anticipation & Timing: being able to point your eyes exactly at the ball is extremely important when batting. If your eyes are pointed in front or behind the ball, the brain perceives that the ball will be in a different spot; the swing may be too early or too late.
  • Depth Perception: this crucial skill helps a baseball player determine the path of a ball, whether it be a fly ball headed towards centerfield or the ball trajectory & spin coming out of a pitcher’s hand.
  • Dynamic Visual Acuity: being able to see & gain an understanding of a moving object, even while you’re in motion is a very crucial skill to develop.

Many of the skills mentioned can be improved upon with the Vizual Edge software program. Prior to initiating a visual training program, Vizual Edge initially tests these visual skills to determine if there are any low performing areas. From that information, a custom training program is designed to address the identified delays.

Ryan Edwards, OD, FCOVD
Developmental Optometrist
Dynamic Center for Vision Therapy

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