Whether you’re heavily engaged in sports or you simply enjoy taking part in the occasional sports-related weekend activity, you depend on your vision skills in order to perform well athletically. From having good hand-eye coordination to being able to detect quick actions, you need to see clearly in order to do your best.
At Spectrum Eye Care, we want you to be able to see your best in order to do your best, whether in sports or in everyday life. As your eye doctor in Gleneagle and beyond, we’re here to help sharpen your vision. Here are several tips to help you improve your sports vision skills and get the most out of your favorite active pursuits.
Increase Your Depth Perception
Just as you get better at sports with practice, you can also improve your visual abilities through practice. For better depth perception, you need to first make sure that your eyes are seeing the best they can. If you are nearsighted or have double-vision, your depth perception will suffer significantly. Get your vision corrected with the right pair of contact lenses or glasses to make sure you’re seeing as clearly as possible.
Once that’s taken care of, you can practice improving your depth perception a number of ways. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Place random items on a table or counter at approximately arms-length reach. The objects can be of varying sizes and shapes, and they should be positioned at somewhat varying distances from you. Close your left eye and focus on retrieving and returning items with your right hand. Open both your eyes and readjust your vision by blinking a few times. Then, close your right eye and retrieve and return objects with your left hand. Finally, with both eyes open, alternate picking up and putting back items with each arm, first the left, then the right.
- With either arm outstretched, hold your index finger up. Slowly bring your finger to your nose, keeping your focus on your finger without your vision blurring.
- Sit comfortably in any room. Shift your eyes from object to object in the room, alternating between objects that are close to you and ones that are far away.
- To further practice your depth perception ability, sit at a window with a book. Read a paragraph, then shift your focus to items outside your window. Try to estimate how far away they are. Browse your entire far-sight field of view. After several moments, return to your book and read another paragraph. Then, return your gaze to objects outside your window.
Improve Your Ability To Detect Motion
Things move quickly in sports. Whether it’s a ball traveling at high speeds or a competitor with fast reflexes making a sudden change in direction, you have to be able to detect these motions easily. Practice detecting quick motions through the following exercises:
- Toss and catch a ball, either by yourself or with another person. Work your way up to faster speeds and changes in the direction the ball is thrown.
- Try using a yo-yo. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at it; the faster that the yo-yo moves, the better you’ll get at detecting and following quick motions.
- Find an interesting article on your computer. Scroll through the article quickly; as you do so, try to pick out and read individual words.
Practice Seeing Through Your Peripheral Vision
As your optometrist serving Gleneagle, CO and the surrounding communities, Spectrum Eye Care includes peripheral vision testing during your comprehensive eye exam. That’s because you depend on your peripheral (or side) vision far more than you may realize.
There are many ways to improve your peripheral vision. Here are a few suggestions:
- Put a number of tennis balls in front of you, where you can easily access them. Then place a bucket or other container to your side. Without turning your head, find the container using your peripheral vision. Without looking directly at the bucket, pick up each tennis ball and drop it into the container. Use only your side vision to fill the bucket with tennis balls.
- Go to a busy place, such as a park or a mall on a day when many people are there. Take a seat and get comfortable. With your head facing forward, take notice of what goes on in your side vision. As people walk by, try to pick out details using only your peripheral vision. Take note of clothing colors, types of accessories worn, people’s heights, and other details about the people moving past you.
- Take the previous exercise a step further. Bring a journal with you. As you detect activity in your peripheral vision, write down what you perceive. Whether it’s a cyclist, a jogger, a dog walker, or anyone else going by, jot down what you see, including as many specific details as possible.
Improve Your Eyes’ Ability To Focus
When you’re playing sports, your focus has to change constantly from what’s happening near you to what’s going on far away. For example, you have to shift your focus from the ball in your hands to the person in the distance waiting to catch your throw. Or, you need to be able to quickly adjust your focus from the baseball that was just pitched to you to the base you’re running to, all the while keeping an eye on what other players are doing on the field. The quicker you can change your focus from near to far, and vice-versa, the better you’ll do in your chosen sports activity.
Spectrum Eye Care, your eye doctor serving Gleneagle, CO and beyond, recommends the following for improving your eyes’ ability to focus:
- If you’re sitting at a desk, take a few minutes to practice shifting your focus. Turn your gaze from your computer screen or other close-up items to objects that are far away, even out the window. Switch back and forth quickly, maintaining whatever’s in your current field of view in clear focus.
- If you’re driving in an area that’s not crowded and with no pedestrians around (for safety reasons), practice shifting your focus. Read a sign up ahead. Check your speed on your dashboard. Look in your rearview mirror. (Of course, you already do these things automatically, but this time, do so mindfully.)
- Practice sketching what you see. Indoors or outdoors, grab a sketchpad and draw the scene that’s before you. This will force you to shift your focus between near and far while carefully observing details of the scene you’re sketching. Don’t worry about the artistic quality of what you’re drawing; it’s just an exercise, after all, designed to improve your vision (not an art contest)!
Make An Appointment With Your Optometrist In Gleneagle
We hope you’ve benefited from our tips to help you improve your vision for better performance in sports and other activities. Now we’d like to invite you to schedule your next eye exam with Spectrum Eye Care. As a skilled optometrist serving Gleneagle and beyond, we can help improve your vision, whether you need new glasses or contacts, or you’ve noticed any recent changes in your visual perception.
We serve our community through top-quality eye care services including comprehensive exams, dry eye treatment, prescription sunglasses, and more. Has it been a while since your last eye exam? Give us a call to schedule your appointment!
Spectrum Eye Care also serves young patients through pediatric eye care services. We aim to serve as your trusted family optometrist here in Gleneagle and in surrounding communities. For more information, contact us today!