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Importance Of Vision In Athletics

September 29, 2020


Eyes are essential for playing any sports. Not only it is essential, but in certain cases, the performance of the player depends upon his visual acuity. The vision can be used in sports in various manners, and training of the eyes is important to take advantage of the opponents.

Use Of Vision In Athletics

Vision plays an important role in athletics. Apart from strength, stamina, and skills, it is the vision that provides competitive advantages to the player. It is the reason why many teams areinvesting in vision exercises for their players. The demand for visual performance varies from sport to sport. Some of the visual skills required in athletics are:

Depth perception: Judgment of distance is important for playing any sport. Depth perceptionis an important requirement for many sports.

Hand-eye- and – body coordination: There should be perfect hand-eye-body coordination in sports.For example, in cricket, the ball is seen with the eyes and hit with the hands.

Colour vision: Appropriate color vision is important in various sports such as football, where the players have to distinguish between the team players and opponents based on the color of their jerseys.

Contrast Sensitivity: The players should have the perfect vision that clearly distinguishes between the light and dark.

Visual memory: Visual memory is also important in various sports such as football and cricket.It allows the athlete to memorize the position of the particular player and retrieve the memory while handling the ball.

Visual reaction time: The visual reaction time of the athlete should be fast enough to place himself in the correct position based on the demand of the situation.

Visualization: Visualization at the back of the mind regarding the possible tricks and strategies is of prime importance in sports. It should be done while concentrating simultaneously on the ongoing moment of play.

Dynamic visual acuity: Dynamic visual acuity is important in various sports such as racing,football, and cricket. The player should be able to visualize the fast-moving objects so as to perform at ones best ability.

Visual concentration: Eyes, while the player is playing sports, sees a lot of different things such as the fans and the audience. However, the eye should be trained in such a way so that they focus on important things.

Peripheral vision: The players should able to look at what is happening at the sides well without having to turn their head in that particular side or direction.

Eye-tracking: Eye tracking is the phenomenon of tracking the fast-moving objects without much focusing on them, thereby increasing the reaction time.

How Vision Affects The Athlete’s Performance?

The performance of the athletes due to vision is affected in the following ways:

Visual search: Through the visual search, the athletes determine, plan, and implement their strategy. Visual search tracks fast-moving objects. Visual search provides comprehensive information about the movement of the opponent.

Anticipation: Anticipation plays an important role in providing a competitive advantage. The anticipation is the clue provided to the players during visual search.

Vantage point: Vantage point plays an important role in various sports. The player should have an accurate vision and must be able to observe the motion of the object at the right angles.

Testing Vision Of Athletes

The testing of vision of the players is a part of a routine health examination. The following tests are performed to determine the status of vision in players:

Snell en Eye Chart: It is a method to evaluate the level of eyesight. If the player has reduced eyesight or visual acuity, he may be advised to wear the glasses or contact lenses or undergo lasik laser vision correction surgery.

Eye Dominance Tests: An eye dominance test is done to determine which eye has the dominant vision. It is important for people who are in photography. Eye dominance tests are done through the Miles test or Dolman method.

Contrast Sensitivity Tests: Poor contrast vision may pose a problem in looking at high contrast objects or when the object is placed in dim light. The contrast can be improved through eyeglasses with lens tint.

Ocular Alignment Tests: These tests are done to ensure that both the eyes are working in alignment. The tests used for determining the alignment are Cover tests and Hirschberg test.

Depth Perception Measurements: Howard-Dolman Apparatus is used for determining the depth perception and ability of the player in visualizing in the three-dimensional space.

Training Of Vision In Athletes

There are various training strategies available to improve the visual acuity and visual performance of the athletes depending upon the requirement of the sports. Through the visual feedback, the trainers get an idea about perception and visual performance. Various sports vision improvement exercises are available that works on motor learning, vision science,bio mechanics, and neuroanatomy. Regular vision screening also plays a role in maintaining healthy vision.


Ojas Eye Hospital A Center of Excellence for Contoura Vision, Femto Bladefree Lasik in Mumbai, India.