Our vision accounts for as much as 80% of the sensory input our brains process during day-to-day lives. In most cases, people seek out the help of an optometrist when they notice they aren’t seeing as clearly as they were, generally for help with vision acuity. This is common with children who have trouble reading the board in school, or with adults when they begin having difficulty reading things up close as they get older.
Visual acuity, however, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the variety of issues and treatment options available. There are a number of other key vision skills that can be addressed, treated, and improved through vision therapy and vision training. This holds true for the general population, but is of particular importance for those who rely on their vision to perform at a higher level.
What is Sports Vision?
When it comes down to hundredths of a second, a final buzzer-beating shot, or simply returning a serve properly, vision is an absolutely key training ground for athletes looking to be their absolute best. While much of the research in sports in the last few decades has relied on other factors —like nutrition and bio-mechanics— the work has been done largely without changes to the visual system, leaving potential performance improvements on the table. Sports Vision is how we can help train and tailor that visual system, and those that rely on it, to improve performance for a given athlete in their sport, and at their position!
Key Vision Skills
There are a number of key vision skills that need to be developed fully for athletes to reach their full potential. We’ve compiled a list of 10 key vision skills to improve performance and reach new heights!
As mentioned, visual acuity is based on how clear and sharp an image is when projected onto the retina. Generally, issues with acuity are treated with prescription lenses (glasses, contact lenses) or through laser-eye surgery, or even a combination of the two.
Ensuring that both eyes move together in harmony is a key first step in establishing and improving other key vision skills that rely on the binocular nature of human vision. If the eyes don’t move together to locate and track targets, other skills suffer.
Binocular vision doesn’t end at movement: overall vision can depend on the eyes working together and focusing in the same way as well. Athletes need to be able to achieve and sustain focus on targets at all times, even when their positions shift.
Part of being able to properly track targets is ensuring the eyes are properly aligned to ensure they can work together effectively to move together and focus properly.
Peripheral Vision + Awareness
Athletes are constantly being put into busy situations. Being able to track a single object is one thing, but keep tracking of teammates, opponents, and other possible distractions, can ensure athletes stay out of harm’s way —especially true in contact sports like Football and Hockey, where collisions are part of the game.
Determining where objects are in 3D space is crucial to all athletes, whether it’s tracking a ball or puck. Accurately judging distance can mean getting an out, saving a goal, or hitting that perfect launch point for a jump.
Discerning between colours can be crucial for athletes in some sports in determining friend from foe, or deciding whether to speed up, slow down, or stop.
Sports are never played in a vacuum: athletes have to be aware of their environment and what is going on in their entire visual field to be able to make good decisions in a split second.
Divided into gross motor control (running, jumping) and fine motor control (flick of the wrist, angling of a foot), visual motor-control is absolutely essential in all sports. Whether it’s to avoid a hit, catch a ball, or ensuring just the right twist and angle of a shot, this kind of coordination between the eyes and the body can mean the difference between a game-winning goal, or a swing and a miss.
Vision is one thing, but it’s only a part of the senses that make up the entire spectrum of inputs for athletes, being able to combine vision with auditory and verbal signals is crucial for team sports, and properly integrating touch with vision can have an impact on overall performance at the micro and macro levels.
Download the Info Package
Learn more about key vision skills for sports, the Binovi Platform, and how you can use it for Sports Vision Training and Rehabilitation.
What is Sports Vision Training / Rehabilitation?
Sports Vision Training (SVT) is used to help athletes achieve new heights in performance and can be an incredibly powerful tool for the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries, like concussion.
SVT works on improving individual skills but, more importantly, focuses on improving how vision skills work as a whole, each supporting the others to work better together. With a properly working and integrated visual system, athletes see better, process information more efficiently, and react faster to changing situations. This better situational awareness and reaction time means athletes are better suited to react to potential threats and dangers, reducing the chance of injury.
Much has been made of the risks and results of traumatic brain injuries suffered during play. Concussions are now being treated as the serious injury that they really are, leading to increased scrutiny and associated rate of diagnosis. Part of Sports Vision Training is being able to have a reference point from which athletes can be compared following a serious impact.
The Binovi Platform combines innovative hardware, up-to-date software, data aggregation and tracking, and a network of knowledgeable experts to create an integrated system to help improve the vision skills and performance of athletes.
Binovi Touch and Binovi Balance Board are at the forefront of data capture, creating a rich web of connected datapoints with each and every exercise completed.
Binovi Pro and the Binovi Touch App work together to create, assign, and track exercises —and athlete results and outcomes— along the way, providing an at-a-glance view of each athlete’s status while allowing for a deeper dive when warranted. The Binovi Touch App includes near-point convergence testing for athletes suffering from TBI.
Binovi Coach allows trainers to assign exercises to their clients and maintain constant communication while improving compliance with the prescribed training regimen.
Together, the Binovi Platform helps sports vision professionals assess and track performance efficiently and effectively to get the most out of sports vision training.
For Athletic Trainers
Recreate sporting contexts to promote sport-specific visual and cognitive abilities.
Track player-by player improvements through rich data-driven objectives.
Measure and train interrelated visual, cognitive, and sensorimotor skills.
Utilize existing protocols or create customizable sport-specific protocols.
Increase Visual Perceptual and Oculomotor Abilities.
Increase Accuracy and Improved Athletic Performance.
Improve Visual + Cognitive Reaction Time, Near-Far Accuracy, and Overall Quickness.
Improve Visual Spatial Awareness.
We’re happy to collaborate with Binovi! We’ve made it part of our new neuro/ocular training Facility
The game of soccer can be heavily impacted by the different components of an athlete’s eye; visual acuity, depth perception, “blind spots”, visual recognition, and hand eye coordination. With Binovi Touch, vision training will become a tremendous asset for each athlete and it will help to enhance their game on the field.
The Binovi vision therapy and training aid is an industry leader in vision training and can sharpen any player’s shooting, improve their shooting percentages, and separate themselves from the competition.
Athletes are always looking for anything that can give them a competitive edge. When asked when they perform at their best, all say that “the game slows down” —in reality it all starts with vision. I would highly recommend that any serious athlete own or work with a facility that has Binovi Touch.
I am excited to be a part of the Binovi Team. After a cochlear concussion had left me sidelined for an entire hockey season, vision therapy along with sports vision training alleviated my visual symptoms and played a crucial role in my return to playing hockey in the NHL. Not only did the therapy help me recover from this injury, but it also enabled me to see the game in a way that I hadn’t before. In joining Binovi, I have the opportunity to use my first-hand experience to contribute to the development of Binovi’s high performance products for athletes and non-athletes alike.
In a race, you have tenths, or even hundredths, of a second to respond to unexpected opportunities or threats. Binovi is a great training tool for this reaction speed which is critical in a formula car.