Sports Vision

Winning is all about ‘Having the Edge’, whether it be hundredths of a second or millimetres, it can be the difference between 1st and also ran.  Having good sight means that you should be able to see the ball well, but what if your opponent sees the ball before you, and can track the ball better than you?

You are immediately at a disadvantage and your opponent has that all important edge. You may be an elite athlete or a recreational sports player but if you have reached a plateau in performance or your performance has unexpectedly gone worse, your visual system may be letting you down.

About Andrew Lomas

Andrew has a diploma in Sportvision Practice and is on the board of the Association of Sportvision Practitioners.  He has undertaken screenings on the National Netball Umpires Panel and a local Rugby Union team.  Individually he has assessed players and helped to improve their sporting performance in a range of sports from Tennis to Football, Golf and Snooker to Clay Pigeon Shooting.

Sport Vision Assessment

If you, your team or club wish to benefit from a Sport Vision assessment, please get in touch. When consulting for a club or sporting association, Andrew will work closely with coaching staff and provide a detailed report about each athletes visual status along with recommendations as to possible treatment and visual management programs.

Whilst this is an invaluable tool for Senior players, it is just as important at Junior level: at a young age, our visual system can be very responsive to treatment, and the early diagnosis and management of an otherwise undetected visual deficiency will allow the player to progress and develop unhindered to their full potential.  From a team or club point of view Andrew can give advice on why a player may not be performing to his full potential in a particular playing position.

Andrew Lomas Optometrist Ltd is a member of the Association of SportVision Practitioners, following the code of conduct set by SportVision UK. This is the leading Sportvision body in the world and is supported by the industry.

Any Sports Vision questions? email me: info@andrewlomas.co.uk

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SPORT SPECIFIC VISION ASSESSMENT

Whether you are an Olympic athlete or a recreational sports player, a customised sport specific eye examination could help raise your game.

Did you know that over 80% of all sensory information about your environment is visual – how clearly we see is only a small part of this.  The other facets of visual function are Binocular Vision, Dynamic Fixation, Spatial Awareness, Depth Perception, Tracking and Eye Dominance.  Our research at the Association of Sportvision Practitioners shows that vision and sport are directly linked, so deficiencies in any of these areas may not affect your ability to see but may stop you performing to your ultimate ability.The assessment begins with an in depth discussion about your sport and any aspects of your ability that you find difficult or frustrating so that we can fully understand the problem. Then a number of very specific tests to assess all aspects of vision are conducted and using his training and expertise Andrew can determine the specific visual needs for your sport and your visual strengths and weaknesses.  He will then offer appropriate advice to assist in overcoming any problems you may have.We as a team are able to provide the highest standards in optical solutions for your sport, giving you the best quality vision, combined with practicality and safety using eyewear from brands such as Adidas and Maui Jim, and sports specific lenses from the world renowned Rupp & Hubrach.

SPORTING PERFORMANCE

Many people feel that clarity of sight is all that matters. However, vision is very complex, with many contributing processes; clarity of sight is just one.

Other visual processes are speed and accuracy of focus, depth perception, peripheral awareness, stability of eye dominance, binocular vision and much more.Elite athletes understand the need to train and keep the body in peak fitness. Vision is the dominant sense in most sports, so the visual system must also be working at peak performance.  Links between the eyes, brain, and muscles are very complex and the way the visual system works will have an effect on;• \

  • Aiming Accuracy
  • Timing and Balance
  • Reaction times and Anticipation
  • Hand-Eye-Foot co-ordination
  • Maintaining concentration

Under performing Visual Systems are affected by, Fatigue and Dehydration which affect how the eye muscles work, leading to focus, binocular vision, depth perception, pursuit and convergence problems, and Stress, which reduces peripheral awareness due the sympathetic nervous system becoming more dominant.Visual processes affecting sporting performance are:

Clarity of Sight (Visual Acuity) – What you see and the clarity of a stationary target.Dynamic Visual Acuity – The clarity of a moving target.Accommodative Function – How accurately you focus on what you are looking at, how well you maintain that focus and how quickly you can change your focus as a target moves.

Binocular Vision – How well the eyes work together (especially when the system is stressed), has an effect on performance consistency and spatial location of the ball / target.

Ocular Movement Skills – How accurately the eyes move. This includes pursuit tracking and converging on a closing target. Inefficiencies will lead to miss-timing (early or late).

Glare Sensitivity – Ability to cope with glare (low sun / stadium lights). Glare sensitivity is often caused by (correctable) problems with the focussing or binocular vision systems.

Depth Perception – 3D judgement, spatial sensitivity. Dramatically affected by binocular vision inefficiencies.

Eye Dominance – Unstable eye dominance will affect balance and aiming. Its relationship to hand and foot dominance will have a dramatic effect on how well a player will perform. Certain eye-hand, eye-foot dominances will give advantages in certain sports.

Visual Field and Peripheral Awareness – How aware you are of things happening around you, and how that integrates with your central vision.

Fusional Reserves – Eye Muscle strength and flexibility.

Colour Vision and Contrast Sensitivity – Ability to see subtle differences in colour and grey tones in a range of lighting levels.

Visual Centring (Spatial Awareness) – Relating where you are to other objects are in your visual space.

VISION TRAINING

The SportVision Practice provides tailor-made one-on-one vision training. Sport is a 3-dimensional activity and best results are from individualised 3-dimensional training.

We recommend discussing Training Programmes with the coach, sport scientist or physio so that vision training can be bolted onto the athlete’s normal training routine. Vision training is generally undertaken off-season as there may be changes in perception which can take time to adjust to.

SPORTSWEAR

Needing to wear spectacles does not have to be a barrier to playing sport. Most prescriptions can now be corrected with contact lenses which are comfortable almost immediately.If you are sensitive to contact lenses, ask about frames that can now be made in ‘wrap’ format, ideal for all round sport vision.

We stock Adidas sport frames which have been specifically designed and trialled by leading athletes across a range of challenging sports. Many frames in the collection are sport specific; cycling, running, skiing, golf, rock climbing, etc.To glaze these frames we use specialist sport lenses from Rupp & Hubrach who are one of the worlds leading manufacturers of lenses for wrap frames. In a wrap frame the lens prescription has to be recalculated to give the correct visual outcome, Using the wrong lens in wrap frame will distort vision.Other sports corrections such as swimming goggles, shooting frames, specialist contrast tints, diving masks, football eye protection for kids can also be supplied through Andrew Lomas Optometrist Ltd.

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