top of page
  • Writer's pictureCarina Lee

What is Sports Vision?

Dr. Carina Lee, June 21, 2022

Do you believe that your athletic prowess does not reflect in your sports performance?

Continue reading to learn if you could have a vision issue.

vision and sports.

The 17 separate visual abilities that enable accurate, fluid, and precise eye movements for clear and pleasant vision—all essential for many daily activities—are part of vision, which is more than just how well you can see. You can visualize, use your peripheral vision, switch between target points at various distances, maintain focus on a moving target, and more with the help of these visual talents.

For reading, writing, and athletic achievement, the 17 visual abilities are crucial. Reduced performance in any of these tests could be a sign that the visual skills aren't working properly.

In other words, the difficulties you're having participating in sports could possibly be due to a vision issue.

common indicators that your sports performance is being affected by a visual issue:

  • Aversion to team sports

  • Diminished interest in sports

  • Difficulty catching or throwing

  • Inability to see the ball clearly

  • Struggling to track the ball or other players

  • Over or under estimating distances

  • Poor sports performance even with strong athletic skills

  • Improvement is not noticed even with practice

  • Trouble remembering plays

Visual skills necessary for sports performance For best results, sports activities demand both accuracy and quickness. These abilities enable you to precisely pass the ball to another player, stand in the right spot to catch a ball, and track a ball as it goes through the air.

Reduced visual abilities will make it challenging to engage in physical activity and team sports, and may even result in a negative self-image or low self-esteem.

For the best possible athletic performance, the following abilities are necessary:

1 Dynamic visual acuity You are able to clearly detect moving things with dynamic visual acuity. This capacity to see the ball and other players clearly while you and/or the other objects are moving swiftly is crucial for sports like tennis, racquetball, hockey, or soccer.

2 Eye tracking Eye tracking enables you to maintain greater balance and a quicker reaction time by allowing you to keep your eyes fixed on the ball at all times without having to move your head. Any sport or activity involving a ball that moves quickly requires this talent.

3 Eye focusing You may switch between two distances with pinpoint accuracy by employing eye focussing (near and far). All sports that require managing and maneuvering around opponents up close while keeping an eye on the goal in the distance require this ability.

4 Peripheral vision While focusing on a target, peripheral vision enables you to notice images and objects, such as a teammate or an opponent, "out of the corner of your eye." This talent is crucial for all sports since it allows you to keep an eye on everything going on without having to move your head.

5 Depth perception You can rapidly and precisely determine an object's speed and distance thanks to depth perception. Estimating the placement of the ball, teammates, opponents, boundary lines, goals, and other things is dependent on this ability.

6 Visual reaction time You can evaluate and respond to an opponent's or your teammate's activity in real time by using your visual reaction time. Swinging a bat, catching a ball, and returning a tennis serve all require this ability.

7 Eye-hand coordination You can respond to incoming visual information with precise bodily motions when you have good eye-hand coordination. This ability is crucial for sports because it allows precise timing and control over motions of the body, such swinging a bat, taking a shot, and making baskets.

8 Visual memory

You can comprehend and retain a quick-moving, intricate image that includes both people and objects using your visual memory. This ability is crucial for sports, especially "being in the right place at the right time," which entails remembering the positions of your teammates and opponents while attempting to keep the ball in your possession.

9 Visualization Through visualization, you can picture yourself succeeding while focusing on something else. This ability is crucial for sports because it allows you to concentrate on the ball while visualizing yourself serving the ball perfectly or shooting the ball into the hoop. Visualizing your action succeeding will help it happen. The parts of the brain that light up during performance, according to studies, also light up when someone visualizes the performance..

10 Visual concentration You can retain focus on an object or objective while there are distracting elements in your range of vision by using visual concentration. This ability is crucial for sports, especially when fans are reacting or cheering nearby, if anything is thrown on the court, or when the clock on the scoreboard is getting close to the end of the session.

Can vision therapy improve visual skills for sports? Yes.

The majority of binocular vision disorders are brought on by issues with the eye-brain connections, or more specifically, how the brain interprets visual input from the eyes (also known as visual processing). If a vision issue is found, a vision therapy program can assist retrain your visual system and enhance your vision abilities.

Vision therapy can be defined as the science of achieving clear and comfortable vision. Vision therapy is a completely individualized treatment plan created to enhance and strengthen visual skills and retrain the eye-brain connections to more accurately and efficiently process visual data.

The aim of vision therapy is to enhance the visual skills— eye-tracking, focusing, eye-hand coordination, peripheral vision, visual processing speed and more! In your eye doctor's office, vision therapy is offered once a week for 30-45 minutes at a time. Each program includes a variety of eye exercises and activities to improve visual abilities and is tailored to the individual needs of each patient. In addition to office sessions, homework is assigned to help students practice the skills they have acquired.

Ever heard of Larry Fitzgerald? Famous NFL wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald Jr. At Pittsburgh, where he played collegiate football, he was unanimously named to the All-America team. The Cardinals selected him with the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.

Just a few of Larry Fitzgerald's sporting accomplishments are listed below:

  • Selected for the Pro Bowl eleven times, he was named First-team All-Pro in 2008 and Second-team All-Pro twice in 2009 and 2011.

  • Fitzgerald and Hall of Famer Jerry Rice are the only wide receivers in NFL history to be selected for the Pro Bowl at least 11 times.

  • His 234 games played are tied with K Jim Bakken (1962-78) for the most in franchise history.

  • Named a co-winner of the 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award— the only league award that recognizes a player’s community services as well as his playing achievements.

  • Franchise career leader in receptions (1,303), receiving yards (16,279), receiving TDs (116), total TDs (116), 100-yard receiving games (47) and consecutive games with a reception (227).

  • Ranked second in NFL history in career receiving yards (16,279), third in receptions (1,303) and is tied for sixth in NFL history with 116 career TD receptions.

For many years, Larry Fitzgerald has promoted vision therapy.

Mr. Fitzgerald experienced academic difficulties as a young child. Fortunately, his grandpa Robert Johnson, who established an optometry practice in Chicago, recognized the significance of visual abilities in reading, writing, and athletic endeavors.

Mr. Fitzgerald attended a visual treatment program to hone the abilities required for academic success. By the time he was 12 years old, Mr. Fitzgerald had developed an interest in sports and required additional visual skill development specifically connected to his athletic performance. Dr. Johnson then started to modify his grandson's vision treatment activities so they would help him succeed on the field. Through vision therapy, Mr. Fitzgerald improved his visual dominance, control, precision, spatial judgment and rhythm. Mr. Fitzgerald is a firm believer that his visual training helped him to be successful on the football field. As Mr. Fitzgerald says, “When you’re at that age, anything that helps strengthen your eyes and eye-hand coordination is going to definitely help with catching the ball”.

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page