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Why is Peripheral Vision Important in Sports and How Do I Train It?

Staying alert during a game is essential when it comes to making big plays in intense situations. With the game on the line, you need to be totally aware of your entire surroundings. The action in front of you, the players behind you and the teammates on your side all matter. Having a keen awareness of all these factors will keep you alert, in-tune and ready for the next play. To achieve a heightened level of awareness, you need to improve your peripheral vision.

Peripheral vision in sports helps athletes see objects outside their visual focus. With a wide field of view, athletes can take in many things happening on the field at once, even if their main focus is straight ahead. When you train your peripheral vision, you will achieve a better field of view and a heightened awareness of the game and the plays happening around you. With better vision comes faster reactions, accurate plays and a better game. 

The Importance of Peripheral Vision in Sports

On the field, court or ice, accurate vision is key to success. Along with good vision, athletes should have excellent peripheral vision in sports to see a wide view of the playing field and take in the ever-changing plays around them. Sports vision requires athletes to view and perceive movement in fast-paced environments. Whereas our vision outside of sports is relatively motionless, sports vision adds in complexities such as movement tracking, eye-hand coordination and peripheral vision.

While we utilize peripheral vision outside of a game, such as when we’re driving, in the context of a sport, the need for excellent peripheral vision is heightened. On a football field, a running back has their focus on the end zone. But in their peripheral vision, they will be able to see incoming linebackers. The running back will be able to more effectively dodge and cut across the field to avoid the tackle and reach the end zone. A shortstop whose focus is on the next pitch will be able to see a runner stealing second base and call out the play and receive the throw from the catcher, all thanks to their peripheral vision.

Athletes use this aspect of their visual ability more than they may realize. That is why it is so important to improve your peripheral vision and elevate your awareness on the field. With a wider field of view, athletes can keep their focus on the action in front of them while still seeing and processing information happening around them. 

Improve Your Peripheral Vision

To expand your range of vision and process more information on the field, you need to train your peripheral vision. Just as athletes take care to train their muscles or their on-field skills, peripheral vision and visual agility is just as important for improved athletic performance

Different visual exercises exist to train your peripheral vision. First, athletes can utilize different technology that flashes lights or other signals in the peripheral vision. By focusing straight ahead and seeing the lights off to the side, athletes can focus on their awareness and improve their peripheral vision. Additionally, there are exercises that athletes can do without special technology. Different training techniques with balls, hoops and even hands are effective in targeting range of vision and enhancing awareness. Finally, athletes can train with certified Sports Vision Trainers to form a custom training plan that focuses on improving their vision in all aspects. 

Apart from physical training, athletes should maintain healthy diets and get plenty of rest. It is difficult to gain a heightened sense of awareness if your body is struggling to operate normally. Improving your peripheral vision is more than just training and seeing better. It means being present and focused on the task at hand and maintaining a healthy, focused lifestyle. 

Train and Improve Your Vision with SVT

With a dedicated training approach, you can train your peripheral vision and improve your field of view for a better performance on the field, court or ice. In a fast-paced environment, athletes need full-field awareness. Just one factor can change the entire play or outcome of the game. Improve your peripheral vision and let nothing get past you. 

The expert trainers at Sports Vision Training can help you train your peripheral vision. With comprehensive visual exercises and a customized training approach, you will find your awareness on and off the field heightened for a better performance. After an initial assessment, we will target areas of focus and improvement and create a customized training plan specific for your goals, your sport and your position. If you are looking for expert vision training in Medina, Plymouth, Maple Grove, Minnetonka or the Twin Cities Metro, schedule an assessment with Sports Vision Training and achieve your vision.