At Park Vision we encourage all our patients to have the best vision possible to enjoy their sporting activities…
We are very experienced at giving you advice on sports goggles for swimming, skiing, and rugby. The best tints for cycling, golfing or fishing and the best wrap lens so peripheral vision is optimum.
Harlequins Rugby Union
Sports Vision Assessments
On the sporting field timing is everything… Those few seconds determine a hit or a miss, a safe tackle or an injury, a win or a lose. The decision making behind all of our sporting actions is visual.
‘85% of sporting decisions in play are based on what the athlete sees.’
Sports Vision isn’t about what we can see on a standard letter chart in an optician’s examination room. Sport Vision considers speed and accuracy of focus, eye dominance, stability of the visual system, peripheral awareness and the overall efficiency of the two eyes working as an elite binocular system.
Sport Vision involves looking at the visual system in more detail and screening players/ athletes in dynamic 3D assessments. A bespoke report for each individual player is produced highlighting any visual concerns and recommendations. On an “average team screen” research has shown that 20% of players would benefit from visual enhancement.
At Park Vision a Sports Vision Assessment will include looking at:
Visual Acuity, High and Low contrast Vision
This measures the level of sight a player has. Recorded unaided and with correction worn, separately for each eye as well as binocularly.
High contrast vision is the vision in “normal” well lit conditions.
Low contrast vision gives us an indicator of the athlete’s vision when subject to poorer light conditions i.e badly lit sports halls, shadows on a pitch or court, lower light levels during dull weather and sighting a ball against a more complex background such as a crowded stadium.
This is hugely important in all sports. It is the principal behind aiming accuracy, positional judgement and binocular vision (see Howell and Brock).
Any inaccuracy or instability in eye dominance will cause “off target” reactions – miss-hits and miss-timings (fumbles). It is very unusual for a player with eye dominance issues to reach elite status.
Howell & Brock String
These two tests give key information on how efficiently a player’s binocular vision (BV) is working.
In sports this means how well a player tracks the flight of a ball – trajectory, speed, position, and arrival time.
Dynamic Fixation (DFT)
This test measures speed, stamina, and accuracy of the external eye muscles that are responsible for moving the eyes and thus tracking. These muscles “search” for and then follow the ball. They are similar to the other skeletal muscles in the body and therefore susceptible to stress, fatigue and dehydration. Muscle performance in the eyes can be inefficient and weak. They differ from other muscles in that the key to these muscles is not to train for power but to train to work cohesively with each other.
Muscle performance in the eyes can be further affected by hydration. A 2% fluid loss can reduce muscle efficiency by up to 20%.
Crazy Catch Nets
This test measures hand-eye co-ordination taking into account speed, accuracy and peripheral awareness. A slow time highlights a need to investigate what part of the hand- eye system is inefficient.
Training in this will give:
> Accuracy: Reducing handling errors.
> Speed: Improved reaction time.
> Peripheral Awareness: Assessing any quadrant weakness and spatial awareness of position and other team mates on the pitch.