Talkin' Sports with Dr. G
I have written previously about the importance of the visual process as it relates to sports. Few things in our culture say action like sports. Whether it’s for recreational purposes or a school team or the Pros, sports equals action. Anyone who’s been reading this blog probably knows what’s coming next, but I have to say it anyway: The primary purpose of the visual process is to direct action. It is very difficult to participate in sports without being able to see, not impossible, but not very easy and it certainly puts you at a disadvantage if you’re playing with those who can see.
Most people, especially those who visit most eye doctors, are left with the impression that the only thing that matters is seeing clearly in the distance. There is so much more to the visual process than just seeing clearly. The visual process enables us to better judge what happens in time and space. Some important aspects of the visual process are eye movements, eye teaming and focusing. These three skills can either add up to provide visual success or failure. All visual skills can be improved with vision therapy. Just ask Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
The link above is to an article where Fitzgerald talks about how vision therapy impacted his life and his sports. Fitzgerald also wrote the foreword to an inspiring book entitled Dear Jillian: Vision Therapy Changed My Life Too. In it he wrote,
“Vision therapy laid a foundation for my life. It has made a tremendous impact on the success I had at school and have had as a professional athlete…After evaluating me, my grandfather, Dr. Robert L. Johnson, a behavioral optometrist, suggested that I begin vision therapy, which I started when I was nine years old…As I often say, there is definitely a connection between the vision therapy I did as a child and my performance on the football field. I think vision therapy helped me develop many skills I needed to succeed in sports, such as quick reaction time, eye-hand coordination and visualization skills.”
Larry Fitzgerald’s stellar career in professional football has him on track to make it into the hall of fame. And he is very clear that vision therapy was a key ingredient of his success.
Of course football isn't the only sport whose players can benefit from vision therapy. Just about any athletic pursuit can be enhanced by including vision therapy as part of the training program. And it doesn't matter what level you're at. Beginners and seasoned pros alike will see their performance improve with the addition of vision therapy - at any age.
Next time: more Talkin' Sports with Dr. G