Vision therapy for Goalies

Want to Improve Your Save Percentage? Vision Therapy Offers Important Benefits for Goalies

Guarding the net requires quick reflexes and the ability to anticipate the movements of the puck and players. Unfortunately, subtle problems with your vision may make it much harder to prevent goals. Vision therapy may be just what you need to improve your goaltending skills.

What is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy consists of a series of exercises and activities that help your eyes work together and strengthens the connection between your eyes and the visual processing centers in your brain. It's an excellent solution for athletes who train hard yet don't feel that they're quite as effective as they could be. In fact, many college and pro sports teams make vision therapy part of their training programs. The therapy offers proven results. In one research study, college baseball players at the University of California, Riverside decreased strikeouts and improved their batting averages after the therapy.

How Can Vision Therapy Help Me?

Vision therapy can help improve:

  • Ability to Change Focus. Visual acuity, the ability to see near and far objects clearly, is necessary for good vision, but it's not the only ability you need if you play sports. During a hockey game, your eyes must constantly switch between near and far objects, which requires them to work as a team. If there's a little lag time in the adjustment, you may temporarily lose track of the puck.
  • Tracking. Keeping up with a fast-moving puck can be difficult if your eyes don't work well together or your eye muscles are weak. Unfortunately, if you lose sight of the puck for a second, the other team may score. As tracking problems may only present a problem when the puck crosses a particular area of your visual field, you may not even be aware of the issue.
  • Depth Perception. Without good depth perception, it can be difficult to judge distances or anticipate the movement of the puck.
  • Peripheral Vision. Much of the action takes place on the edge of your vision when you're a goalie. Concentrating on the puck while still being aware of distant objects can be a challenge.
  • Focus on Moving Objects. Objects in motion are much harder to follow. Good vision helps you ensure that you can easily follow the puck, no matter how fast it moves.
  • Visual Memory. What happened to that player who just passed in back of the net? Improving your visual memory will help you keep track of players and prevent an unanticipated attack on the goal.
  • Hand-Eye Coordination. Hand-eye coordination is an important ability no matter what your position, but is particularly crucial for goalies.
  • Ability to See Color and Contrast. It's not always easy to spot a tiny puck in a sea of white ice. Vision therapy helps you easily spot color differences and improves your ability to see contrasting dark and light areas.

What Happens During Vision Therapy?

Before your first therapy session, you'll visit a vision therapist, an optometrist who has received extensive training in problems that can affect your ability to use your vision to its fullest. Your therapist will determine a diagnosis and create a treatment plan for you based on the results of your comprehensive vision examination.

During treatment, you may play a computer game designed to improve eye tracking or improve your convergence skills by focusing on moving balls attached to strings. Your vision therapist may also use prisms or special filters during therapy sessions. Activities will be tailored to your sports goals and vision deficiencies.

Whether you're a goalie or play another position or sport, vision therapy can help you improve your performance. Call us to schedule an appointment for your comprehensive vision examination.

Sources:

Current Biology: Improved Vision and On Field Performance, 2/17/14

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(14)00005-0

All About Vision: Sports Vision Skills You Can Practice at Home

http://www.allaboutvision.com/sportsvision/skills.htm

NY Times: Vision Training to Boost Sports Performance, 5/6/14

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/26/eye-practice-for-the-big-game/

NHL.com: Unmasked: Vision Training a New Tool for Goaltenders, 12/3/15

https://www.nhl.com/news/unmasked-vision-training-a-new-tool-for-goaltenders/c-790786

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Testimonial

  • "Before our daughter began vision therapy she was struggling with reading and sports. We thought she was just clumsy (walking into walls and falling a lot). My wife and I know something was't quite right; so we had our daughter tested for Central Auditory Processing Disorder, took her to an optometrist and to an eye specialist at a hospital. My wife's mother urged us to see Dr. Gordon. A significant visual tracking problem was found.
    After vision therapy our daughter went from needing extra help with reading to reading above grade level. She is now excelling in softball and has been named to the All-Star Team this year. She has become more confident and willing to try new things."
    "We can't thank Dr. Gordon's office enough for our daughter's success."
    Drew D.
  • "Before vision therapy reading was terrible. Nothing made sense on the paper. Vision therapy helped me with spelling and reading. I'm not skipping lines when reading and I love how I was taught to spell. I bring home 100's in spelling and reading is coming along too!
    I'm also on the Honor Roll at school too!"
    Elizabeth S.
  • "Our son was in 2nd grade when we found out that he had vision problems. He was referred to the occupational therapist in school for his handwriting. After her testing she called to tell us that all of signs were related to vision problems. Our son complained of headaches, motion sickness and very bad handwriting.
    Most of his teachers were telling us they thought he had ADD or ADHD.
    His attention span in school was short and he rushed through his work. He absolutely hated anything that had to do with writing.
    After starting vision therapy we saw improvements very quickly; as well as his teachers. His handwriting has improved tremendously and his posture is much better.
    We are so thankful for the occupational therapist discovering his vision challenge. We drove an hour and a half each way to Dr. Gordon's office for our weekly vision therapy sessions.
    The success of our son was well worth the drive."
    Amber W.
  • "What a difference! It has been an emotional roller coaster dealing with certain aspects of our son's left. But it was refreshing to know that we could count on the staff administering vision therapy to have his best interest in mind. To watch our son overcome the obstacles he had prior to vision therapy is worth everything. We absolutely recommend vision therapy because we have seen what it can do for our child. We are grateful for vision therapy and couldn't imagine his life without it!"
    Jerome K.
  • "I saw words differently and struggled throughout my childhood with my sight. After years of testing and appointments I found Dr. Gordon who diagnosed a Convergence Insufficiency. After a few months of vision therapy I was amazed at the my improvement.
    My life is truly changed!"
    Ella S.
  • "My son has always struggled in school. As an educator I looked for answers based on what I knew; learning disabilities, ADHD, etc. By the time he was in 4th grade I had to find some way to help my son. I realized that many of his symptoms were similar to many of my students who had Central Auditory Processing difficulties. Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center confirmed the diagnosis and recommended a visual processing evaluation. No one ever considered his reading challenges to be related to a visual processing problem. Since starting vision therapy his struggles in school have decreased, his math grades have improved as well as his reading; and he is more confident in his ability to succeed."
    Joanne L.
  • "Dr. Gordon is a developmental optometrist, which means...he is trained to deal with eye dysfunctions beyond simple near-sightedness/far-sightedness and...he can help improve vision through behavior programs. Dr. Gordon patiently worked with me to get the best possible prescription...He's a compassionate and very competent eyecare professional, and I strongly recommend him."
    Michael L.