Elite Vision for Optimum Performance
Elite and successful athletes do some type of vision drill, period. Steph Curry, Lebron James, Tom Brady, all of them. Exceptional vision is the hallmark of great performance.
The average Major League Baseball player has the visual acuity of 20/15 – a titan climb from what many think to be “perfect” 20/20 vision- which is actually average vision, NOT elite. We do not want to be average, some even can see as acutely as 20/9. Not to mention most of those visual tests are in a seated, maybe standing position, but how well do you see in a sport-specific stance or game situation? That’s what matters. How well you see directly impacts how well you play.
You may be asking ‘why vision?’ You see (see what we did there?), visual sensory is by far the most dominant system responsible for elite athletic performance. About 70-90% of information is received through the eyes during any given sports match. Athletes who want to be ahead of the game prioritize a variety of vision drills as well as movement and balance drills into DAILY training.
Its simple. Elite Vision = Improved Movement = Competitive Advantage.
We want you to get better, grow stronger, jump higher and move quicker. So today we’re sharing one of our favorite vision drills – “The Letter Ball.”
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting “The Letter Ball” –
How well can you see?
Can you identify, locate and process the object coming into your visual field?
How much time do you need to react?
Materials: Tennis Ball, Permanent Marker
Set-up Instructions: Take a clean tennis ball and mark it with 7-9 different letters or numbers spaced evenly around the ball.
Step 1: Grab your letter ball and find either a wall or partner. Get into any sport-specific stance or an athletic-ready stance
Step 2: Stand three to six feet away from the wall or from your partner to start. You will throw the ball against the wall or play catch with your partner with minimal spin using a knuckle throw technique, pushing the ball forward.
Step 3: As the athlete, you have to identify the letter you see coming into your field of vision and call out the letter before catching the ball. Hit different areas on the wall or have your partner throw in all angles to increase difficulty. Play for 1 minute or so.
Step 4: Can progress to catching with only one hand, catching in challenging positions from challenging locations or catching with spin on the ball.
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