There has been arguably the biggest breakthrough in speed and agility training in 50 years. What was once considered to be untrainable, is quickly becoming a must in the training of elite athletes and those wishing to become as much. Think of the obscure skills such as reaction speed, sport intelligence, anticipation, game tempo, field vision, timing , focus and concentration. It all starts with the fact that our body reacts to what it can see. The better the body can “see” the better reaction time, the better it can anticipate the next move of the opponent. What we are talking about is the breakthrough of sports vision training.
But even the quickest players around will be beat or make mistakes if their minds or sports vision is not up to the challenge. This is what traditional speed and agility training has not been able to do and that is why speed exercises for the mind are crucial. Most often, these are called speed and span of recognition training. These exercises help with reflexes and reactive ability, it is just one of the sports vision skills an athlete can train for in order to become the best. Using sports vision training, athletes process greater amounts of visual information faster and more precisely in order to make better decisions making their physical reactions faster and more precise, especially when under pressure. Other vision skills included in this type of training, but not entirely exhaustive include:
- peripheral awareness – while focusing on a fixed point, seeing people and objects out of the of the corner of the eye
- visual reaction time – is the interval of time between when a change or stimulus is seen and when you react to that change or stimulus
- dynamic visual acuity – the visual strengths and weaknesses of players with regard to moving objects
- eye tracking – the ability to to watch or follow the ball carefully no matter how fast it may be traveling
- eye focusing – changing focus quickly and accurately from one distance to another
- depth perception – the visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions to speedily and correctly judge the distance and speed of objects
- fusion flexibility and stamina – the ability to the eyes working together under excessive speed and physically demanding situations
This breakthrough in speed and agility training answers the question of having two athletes; same height, same weight, same strength, same training, same times in speed exercises, but one plays the game noticeably better than the other.
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