Visual Skills You Need

on the Basketball Court

October 20, 2021

As a vision training company, we often like to highlight how visual skills can be an overlooked attribute in sports with many athletes, coaches, or trainers unaware of how visual processing can be trained. In every aspect of life, 80% of your sensory information is received through the visual system, which highlights the importance of improving your visual process skills to improve and help athletes make better decisions more quickly. With the NBA regular season kicking off last night, we wanted to focus on how vision training can impact basketball players' performances on the court.

POINT GUARDS

Point guards are the captains of the offense, constantly guiding their teammates to the next move. Play calls are rarely predetermined and usually chosen based on their perception of the defense. Elite point guards have exceptional hand-eye coordination and orchestrate an offense. Redirecting a dribble based on the defense is directly related to both hand-eye coordination and playmaking ability. Additionally, a player’s ability to recognize open lanes and drive to the rim or find open areas to pass are fundamental components that can make a good point guard elite. Training recognition on our platform can aid a point guard in reading the defense and responding quickly with the correct decision.

Court Vision - Visual Skill Recognition
Court Vision - Visual Skill Recognition 2

The two drive and kick concepts above demonstrate the importance of visual recognition for point guards. The drive draws the defenders' focus inward towards the lane, leaving a man for the kick-out to take the open shot. Without the visual recognition skills of the point guards, this concept would not work.

FORWARDS AND CENTERS

Size and strength are key factors for top rebounders. However, as any 90’s Bulls’ fan that witnessed the genius of Dennis Rodman, we know that timing is another trait that can aid in rebounding. Height is static, though weight training can improve any player’s strength. Likewise, timing can improve with practice. On offense or defense, tracking the ball accurately in the air is crucial for timing one’s jump and positioning one’s self to grab a rebound. Further, the ability to react quickly and accurately to the bounce of the ball from the backboard or rim can be the difference in who grabs the ball first. In this clip, you will see when the ball hits the rim and a player goes to grab it, his eyes are going to converge on the ball. Both tracking and convergence are skills we train in our program.

Court Vision - Visual Skill Divergence

In the example above, we see Kevin Love accurately track the ball and time the jump to secure the rebound. After he secures the rebound, he shows excellent divergence by locating his open teammate streaking down the court. This sequence is an excellent display on how you can seamlessly switch between visual skills on the court to execute play-to-play.

ALL PLAYERS

When passing or shooting, we assume we know the exact location of our target. However, often in our testing of athletes (both amateur and professional), we find athletes with vision that’s misaligned. Their view of the target is NOT where the target actually is in space. While that should surely be a worry to any player, it should also be reassuring that our test can sniff out those with alignment issues AND help to correct the issue with training.

Vizual Edge is a leading solution for evaluating and training athletes' visual skills at all levels. As former NBA Champion, Dr. Jack Ramsay, says

A key basketball skill is imagery. The best players ‘see’ situations before they happen so they can be prepared.”

- Dr. Jack Ramsay, NBA Champion

Competition continues to grow in all sports and passionate players are looking to gain a competitive advantage in any way possible. Think of vision training with Vizual Edge to improve in a way that your opponents are not!

- Josh Tumpane
Follow Vizual Edge on Twitter @VizualEdge

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