Ryan Harrison is the Director of Visual Performance at SlowTheGameDown/ NEURODYNAMIC Vision Every time you see athletes in any sport do incredible things and wonder, “How did they do that,” it involves an amazing successful coordination of sensorimotor skills. The same is true when athletes struggle and make mistakes—this time there is a breakdown in the sensorimotor skills.
Sometimes the right second practice is not an optometric practice at all. But it’s made possible because of optometry. This sounds a bit like a riddle, but it makes perfect sense to me. Two years ago, I opened Performance 20/20, a sports training facility focusing on vision performance as a critical factor in sports performance.
In a recent post Competing with Online Retailers: Strategies & Best Practices. I noticed an emphasis on competing with better products and retail strategies. I would encourage Optometry to add Performance Vision to the toolbox of competitive strategies.
Sports vision is often referred to as a specialty within optometry, but I see it differently: as a core optometric service that can be part of most every optometric practice.
Reacting to a fastball coming in at 100 miles per hour is one of the most difficult feats in professional sports. A hitter has a mere four-tenths of a second to react to a pitch. When a baseball travels that quickly, the margin for error is razor-thin. A batter can have all the power in the world, but if their timing is off by a fraction of a second, that’s the difference between fouling off a pitch and parking a ball in the stands.
Nationally recognized sports performance consultant Scot Prohaska has developed a training program based on these six areas, helping young athletes become better than ever. These are Scot’s 6 Lanes of Preparation
NEURODYNAMIC VISION - Improve elite athlete performance by harnessing the power of the brain to see faster and react quicker
The Tide and Tigers use Senaptec’s Sensory Station, which features a large touchscreen that tests various skills such as hand-eye coordination, object tracking, and dynamic vision through a user tracking and responding to moving lights.
Basic low-cost tools like boxing pads, cones, and touch lights can be really useful for customizing training routines to the needs of any athlete. That said, high-end technology is moving fast. Virtually every month new hi-tech gear gets released with the promise to take athletic performance to the next level
Integrating sports and performance vision training into a practice is a great way to develop a niche, attract new patients, and provide another service to existing patients. There are numerous ways to add training at different levels to a practice, including traditional vision therapy tools, computer-based learning, and advanced technology incorporating balance and motor skills.