Good at sports? You’ve probably got good eyes.
Speed is one of the most sought after attributes in athletic performance and general training, but also one that causes a lot of confusion on how to develop properly.
The route most people take when wanting to improve their speed normally revolves around doing some form of resistance training. Training the muscles for speed seems logical. But do our muscles really control our speed?
One thing that is continually glossed over time and time again is the role of the eyes in speed training. In fact, the role of the eyes in ALL training.
Your eyes are the gateway to your brain. Your muscles (as a matter of fact everything) are under your brains control whether you know it or not. Through vision training the aim is to “build” a better, stronger, more efficient brain.
Think about it this way. Is it really how fast you are? Or is it how fast you process? The quicker I can see and interpret, the quicker I can execute the necessary movement.
Is Messi the fastest player at the professional level in football? No.
He is and may well be the fastest processor of information though. This is illustrated by how quickly he can read his opposition and react accordingly.
Steph Curry, the only unanimous MVP in NBA history. He does vision training.
Vasyl Lomachenko, arguably pound for pound the best boxer on the planet. 396 Amateur fights. 1 Loss. He does vision training.
The German football national team that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup. They do vision training.
There is an increasing number of elite level athletes in all the top leagues across a spectrum of sports that are starting to use and integrate vision training as part of their routines.
When talking about visual attributes we are not generally looking for how clearly you can see, such as an optician would. We are looking for how well your eyes perform; how well do they track moving objects in motion, how fast they can change focus from a near object to a far one, how accurate is your peripheral vision and many other factors.
Did you know that there are 11 key visual attributes that can be trained in order to improve your speed and performance?
Start your vision training with two simple routines:
1. Train your eye muscles by stretching your arm out in front of you and stare at your thumb. Keeping your head still move the thumb in a large circle and track it with your eyes. Do 2 slow circles in each direction daily.
2. Look at an object near you then choose another object that’s far from you. Switch your gaze as fast as you can from the near object to the far one. Do 10 switches x 2 daily.
Heba is a Neural Performance Specialist, Z-Health Master Trainer, the Creator of the NeuroPilates method, Personal Trainer and Instructor. She is co-founder of body//HACK and can be reached on Facebook, Instagram and via bodyhack.co.
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