Hand-Eye Coordination and Sports Performance

Kid batting on baseball field

Improve Hand-Eye Coordination and Sports Performance with Vision Therapy

Good hand-eye coordination is essential for catching a pass or connecting with the ball when you swing a baseball bat, racquet, or club. Without this crucial ability, it's difficult to excel in sports. Fortunately, vision therapy can help you enhance your hand-eye coordination, which just may help you raise your earned run average or improve your golf or tennis game.

Signs of Poor Hand-Eye Coordination

Dropped passes and inaccurately thrown balls are obvious signs of an issue with hand-eye coordination. Other signs aren't quite as noticeable but can affect your performance. If you ever struggle to hit certain types of pitches or find it difficult to track the ball as you go to catch it, you may have a hand-eye coordination problem.

The problem occurs when you can't synchronize the images you see with the movements of your body. Poor hand-eye coordination can occur even if you have 20/20 vision and may also affect other areas of your life. Common signs include:

  • Illegible Handwriting
  • Difficulty Drawing or Copying Words or Images
  • Fatigue After Reading for a Short Period
  • Balance Problems
  • Double Vision
  • Trouble Following Moving Objects
  • Poor Sense of Direction

How Can Vision Therapy Improve Hand-Eye Coordination?

Many people who have poor hand-eye condition mistakenly assume that there's nothing they can do about the problem. They may have spent countless hours swinging at golf balls or trying to shag fly balls before coming to this conclusion. Luckily, vision therapy offers an effective way to improve hand-eye coordination no matter what your age.

During vision therapy, you'll participate in games and activities designed to help your eyes, brain, and body work together more efficiently and effectively. Your vision therapist may also use prisms, filters, special lenses, balance balls, and other aids during the course of your therapy.

Before therapy begins, you'll receive a comprehensive vision examination. The examination doesn't just test visual acuity (your ability to see images clearly) but will also assess other functions essential to good vision, such as eye teaming, tracking, visual memory, spatial awareness, and depth perception. Based on the results of your exam, your vision therapist will design a vision therapy program designed to address your issues.

Does Vision Therapy Really Help?

Many college and professional sports teams, including the Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays, incorporate vision therapy exercises into their training programs for good reason. Players who participate in the therapy actually improve their accuracy and overall performance.

Vision therapy results are supported by research. After the University of California at Riverside baseball team participated in vision therapy sessions during one study, they had fewer strikeouts and more runs batted in.

A study published in the Journal of Ophthalmic Vision Research explored the effects of vision therapy on hand-eye coordination in students with visual impairments. Although the therapy had no effect on the ability to see near and far images clearly, it did improve hand-eye coordination significantly.

In addition to enhancing your hand-eye coordination, vision therapy can also improve eye tracking and teaming, skills that can help you ensure that you don't lose sight of the ball. Do you have difficulty keeping up with the fast pace of your favorite sport? Vision therapy may help you switch your focus from one part of the field to another quickly and smoothly and enhance your ability to keep track of players on the edges of your vision.

Whether you would like to help your child or teenager refine his or her skills or want to finally realize your full potential on the field or court, vision therapy offers an effective solution for sports performance issues. Contact us to schedule your comprehensive vision examination and take the first step in improving your hand-eye coordination.

Sources:

Journal of Ophthalmic Vision Research: Impact on Eye-Hand Coordination Skills in Students with Visual Impairment, 7-9/18

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6058561/

AllAboutVision: Sports Vision Tests and Training

https://www.allaboutvision.com/sportsvision/treatment.htm

Sports Illustrated: Seeing the Benefit: MLB Teams Focus on Enhancing Players' Visual Training, 4/13/15

https://www.si.com/edge/2015/04/21/seeing-the-benefit-mlb-vision-training-tampa-bay-rays

Current Biology: Improved Vision and On-Field Performance in Baseball Through Perceptual Learning, 2/17/14

http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2814%2900005-0

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/

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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.