Seeing Eye To Eye

What is Sports Vision Training?
Written By: | March 21, 2012

Pepose Provision sports vision training improves an athlete’s performance by training visual skills such as peripheral awareness, eye-hand coordination, and speed and span of recognition, all by using a scientifically proven system called the Sensory Motor Integration Technique. We train athletes to process greater amounts of visual information faster and more accurately so that they make better decisions, faster decisions, and their physical reactions are faster and more accurate, especially when under stress situations as found in sports.

The training program begins with an evaluation of the athlete’s current skill levels, in terms of their strengths and weaknesses, and is compared to a database of elite athletes that has been compiled since 1984. The evaluation is conducted over five sessions using the DynaVision board, Eye Span and the Vizual Edge systems. The individual training plan is designed based on the results of these evaluation sessions.

Just like weight and strength training, dynamic visual skills training requires consistency to sustain and build on peak performance.

Some Key Terms of Sports Vision:

Speed and Span of Recognition

How much information a player is able to take in at once and how quickly he is able to interpret it. An increase in an athlete’s speed in recognizing a visual stimulus results in a physical response that is much quicker and more accurate.

Eye-Hand Coordination

The eyes lead the body, not the other way around. The visual system leads the motor system. Our hands or feet or body respond to the information the eyes have sent to the brain. If this information is incorrect, even to the slightest degree, there is a good chance that we will make a mistake in our physical response. Almost every sport error, or poorly executed play, can be attributed to faulty visual judgment, and it is visual judgment alone that determines eye-hand coordination.

Peripheral Awareness

Peripheral awareness can be greatly enhanced by using retinal stimulation. Well developed peripheral awareness helps the athlete to see everything at once, to maintain the whole pattern or the flow of the play, even as they move within it.

Anticipation Timing

The ability to accurately perceive or anticipate what is about to happen, and when. Visual skills training improve your ability to selectively detect important advance physical cues. However, since timing is the key to effective performance, it’s important not to over anticipate and commit yourself too soon. Most efforts fail not because the physical movements were wrong, but because they were made at the wrong time, either too soon or too late. The ability to anticipate is a major factor in high level competitive activities, and even superior speed, size and reflexes cannot compensate for the insufficient processing of the visual information regarding when to perform.

Visual Reaction Time

The amount of time required to process the visual information and initiate a physical reaction/response.

Concentration

The ability to maintain a high level of focus on a key target or objective, in spite of distractions, while also maintaining total awareness of what is happening around you.

Focusing and Tracking

Focusing flexibility and tracking are two separate skills, but inseparable as they must work together to achieve good, clear vision; for example, keeping your eyes on the ball. This requires both the ability to change focus instantaneously as objects move closer to or further away from you (accommodation), as well as the ability to keep both eyes working in unison as they track rapidly moving objects (convergence/divergence). Studies have shown that if the athlete’s head has to move to aid in eye tracking, his performance is not only less efficient, but balance may be thrown off also.

Depth Perception

Both eyes working together to give us the ability to judge the distance, the speed and the revolution of objects in space. Poor eye teaming can cause your eyes to misjudge the precise distance of your target, which in turn will cause your brain to misjudge the correct distance. If you perceive the target closer, you will react too soon. If you perceive it farther, you will react too late.

All of these factors can be trained and improved by our proven sports vision training system. To be a superior athlete you need to have superior visual skills. Our training will give you that competitive edge.

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March is AMD Awareness Month
Written By: | March 19, 2012

Age-related macular degeneration is now a disease in plain sight.  Thanks to public service announcements, increased news coverage, and Academy Award winning actresses coming forward to speak about their disease, AMD awareness has never been higher.   However, I would like to use this blog to educate patients on the 4 latest developments in managing and treating patients with AMD.  #1:  Genetic testing for AMD.  A simple swab of saliva from the inside of the cheek can reveal whether or not an individual carries the “bad” genes for developing wet AMD after age 60.  #2:  Early detection with the Foresee Home Device.  For patients genetically at risk for wet AMD, an FDA-approved, sophisticated home monitoring device (not unlike a computerized Amsler grid) can be used to detect conversion from dry to wet AMD and allow for early treatment with anti-VEGF injections.  #3:  Eylea injections.  This is the newest FDA-approved treatment for exudative AMD.  In clinical trials Eylea was shown to be effective when given every 8 weeks compared to Lucentis given every 4 weeks.  This ushers in the possibility of half as many office visits and injections for patients.  #4:  The implantable miniature telescope.  For select patients with untreatable dry AMD and select patients with advanced wet AMD who never received or failed anti-VEGF injections, the implantable miniature telescope offers the chance to regain reading vision.  These four advances represent state-of-the-art management in AMD.  The Retina Service at the Pepose Vision Institute is currently the only place in St. Louis where all of them are being used on a daily basis to help patients.

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