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What Are the Best Exercises to Train Peripheral Vision?

Peripheral vision is an important sense to have, whether you’re on the field, the court or even the road. The ability to see out of the corner of your eyes gives you a better sense of your surroundings. Maintaining peripheral vision is important for athletes to keep them aware of every moment during the game. Teammates, opponents and passes come from all angles, and heightened peripheral vision can step up your reaction time and help you adjust in-game quickly. 

With these exercises to train peripheral vision, you can be more aware of your surroundings and step up your game. 

Awareness Drill

The awareness drill is simple, but one of the easiest and most effective exercises to train peripheral vision. During this exercise, the goal is to be present in your surroundings and increase your focus on everything around you. The awareness drill can prevent tunnel vision and can improve your awareness of your surroundings. 

By completing this drill regularly, you will notice that your field of vision will begin to increase, and you will have a heightened sense of awareness. Do this exercise at least once a day for 5 minutes to improve your field of vision.

  1. Pick a static target approximately 5 – 10 feet away from you.
  2. While maintaining focus on the target, notice your surroundings outside your immediate field of vision. 
  3. Focus on your surroundings up, down, left and right of you. 
  4. Identify specific details in your area, then confirm those details by looking directly at them. 

Wall Ball

Another simple yet effective way to improve your awareness is with the wall ball drill. You can do this drill by yourself or with a partner. For athletes, this is a particularly effective exercise to train peripheral vision, as it incorporates athletic movement and skills while focusing primarily on your field of vision. With a tennis ball and a wall or partner, you can complete the wall ball drill in 5 – 10 minutes every day. 

  1. Locate a wall and focus on a spot just above eye level
  2. Throw the ball to your partner or against the wall with your dominant hand
  3. Catch the ball with your opposite hand, while maintaining focus on the spot in front of you. 
  4. Use your peripheral vision to track the ball as you repeat throwing and catching with opposite hands.

Finger Wiggles

Finally, the finger wiggles exercise is a fast, easy and effective way to improve your awareness and train your peripheral vision. Just as lifting weights repeatedly stretches your muscles and makes you stronger, peripheral vision exercises such as the finger wiggles drill forces your brain and eyes to stretch your field of vision and  refine your focus. The complex movements in this drill encourage your eyes to track movement outside your immediate line of focus, emulating a fast-paced game environment. 

  1. Look straight ahead and focus on a point 5 – 10 feet ahead of you. 
  2. Hold your hands up by your temples.
  3. Wiggle your fingers at different speeds as the exercise progresses.
  4. Slowly move your hands up and down vertically while continuing to wiggle your fingers. 
  5. Maintain focus ahead of you and repeat the motions for 60 seconds. 

Access Your Peripheral Vision

For athletes, having a heightened sense of awareness and excellent peripheral vision can lead to faster reaction times and a better game. Completing these exercises to train peripheral vision can help you level up as an athlete this season. 

Sports Vision Training offers more in the way of technology, vision exercises and opportunities to improve your awareness, your field of vision and ultimately, your on-field performance. Schedule an assessment and get started on training your vision for a season like no other.