What is Sports Vision?

Weekend or professional sports enthusiasts will benefit from a Sports Vision Assessment. Our doctors will evaluate the visual abilities that are necessary for excellence in their sport and make recommendations for optimizing sports performance and prevention of eye injuries. Many athletes have difficulty getting to that next level of performance if a vision problem persists. When it is time for your examination, make sure you let the Dr. Sam or Dr. Rishko know about the sport activities you enjoy!

Sports vision involves taking care of both the visual and health requirements of an athlete’s eyes. This includes the following areas:

Making sure the athlete is seeing their best for competition whether this is in the form of glasses or contact lenses. Specialty eyeglass lenses and frames such as for skiing, cycling, etc.

  • Making sure the athlete’s eyes are healthy.
  • Taking care of injuries during training and competition.
  • Protecting the athlete’s sight from harm.
  • Enhancing the visual abilities for peak performance with sports vision training

In many professional and top amateur teams and programs, these visual needs assessments are routinely done. However, aspiring and/or young athletes do not get the vision care that is needed. Too often you will see a young athlete playing a ball sport with regular street glasses instead of sports glasses (made not to break towards the eyes or shatter upon a strong impact). This is a disaster waiting to happen and regular dress eyewear is not made to withstand the force of a high speed projectile (i.e. ball, elbow, etc.).

Many times the prescription for glasses or contact lenses is different than your normal prescription. Sports prescriptions will vary depending on where and what the eyes need to see most. This invariably will improve athletic performance.

Sports vision testing and training began in the 1970s in the USSR and has since been used to develop the visual skills of Olympic athletes and professional athletes with much success. Sports vision training is used to

  • improve visual reaction time
  • enhance eye-hand and eye-body coordination
  • accurately and quickly judging distance and speed of targets
  • improve the ability to see objects clearly that are in motion
  • develop the ability to “keep your eye on the ball”
  • ensuring that one can change their from one object to another quickly and clearly

Our doctors provide sports vision training to many athletes who want that extra edge and have been involved in helping sports teams detect possible vision problems that may impinge on their competive edge.

Some signs of possible reduced visual abilities include:

  • Inconsistent performances
  • Performance decreases over time
  • Performs better when “in-balance” vs. “out of balance”
  • Athlete does not live up to their expectations
  • Poor ball handling
  • Drops passes
  • Performs better in one position
  • Performance decreases when running

Dr. Rishko taught sports vision at the university level to future trainers and coaches along with lecturing around the country to doctors of different disciplines on the subject. Please let our doctors know if you would like more information or have a team that could benefit from our services.