Fundamental Elements of Vision Training | STACK

Fundamental Elements of Vision Training

September 25, 2012 | Dr. Larry Lampert

Lining Up Putt
Most athletes think that if they don't have to wear eyeglasses, they have perfect vision. However, optimal vision is more complicated than that. I like to think of vision as having three components: clarity, speed and endurance.

Clarity includes three main elements: contrast sensitivity, ability to see through glare or haze, and acuity (i.e., whether you need eyeglasses). You can think of ideal clarity as what you experience when wearing polarized lenses.

Speed refers to visual temporal processing—or how quickly your eyes process what you're seeing. A good way to picture this is to imagine a ceiling fan. How fast can it go before you can no longer make out the individual blades? The better your visual temporal processing, the faster the fan can go before you lose sight of the individual blades.

Endurance, or comfort, refers to things like light sensitivity, eye fatigue and eye dryness. A number of recent studies reveal that our eyes experience fatigue after activities such as extended computer use. Many people who wear contact lenses, or who've had Lasik surgery, or who have allergies experience eye dryness.

Even athletes who have superior eyesight need to evaluate these different aspects of their vision. A sports vision training program can improve many of them (discover drills to improve your eye performance). Peak visual skills are critical to achieving the coordination, concentration, balance and accuracy athletes need to excel at their sports.

In my work with athletes in a broad range of sports, optimal vision is a key success factor, one that can elevate a good player to a great player. A batter facing a 95-mph pitch has only 100 milliseconds to make a decision whether to swing. A small (15%) improvement in neural processing speed can slow the baseball's perceived speed to about 80 mph. Although it's often overlooked, improving and maintaining visual performance—which boosts neural processing speed—should be an integral part of any athlete's training regimen.


Every day, I see first-hand how improved vision significantly improves the skills of athletes. For example, I worked with a pro golfer who was having difficulty looking at the hole, then the ball, then the hole again. It seemed to change position. Through exercises to address her putting alignment confusion, she improved her game considerably.  (Find out how to improve your putting with vision training.) A famous tennis star described his fast racket head speed and quick visual reaction time as key elements to his success.

The professional athletes I see in my practice depend on being physically fit to earn a living. It's my belief that the health of their eyes requires as much attention as their pitching arm or their Achilles tendon. In addition to vision training exercises, it's imperative to take care of your eyes with proper nutrition, like you do for the rest of your body. (Learn how to improve your vision with a supplement.)


Larry Lampert
- Dr. Larry Lampert is a board-certified optometric physician and a developmental/behavioral optometrist in Boca Raton, Fla. He is one of only 450 individuals in the...
Larry Lampert
- Dr. Larry Lampert is a board-certified optometric physician and a developmental/behavioral optometrist in Boca Raton, Fla. He is one of only 450 individuals in the...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

What is there were ways to increase athletic performance by changing signals that increase brain speed? What if you nearly see things happen before they...

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

A Coach Describes What It

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

Develop Your Visual Tracking Skills With a Bug Walk

Prepare for Any Situation With Mental Sunscreen

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

6 Ideas to Build a More Cohesive Team

Fundamental Elements of Vision Training

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

Improve Vision With Nike Vapor Strobe Goggles

3 Ways to Develop Your Football Warrior Mentality

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

4 Obstacles to Better Goal Setting

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

How Mentally Tough Are You?

3 Air Force Exercises to Improve Your Vision

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

Drills to Improve Every Aspect of Your Vision

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

Summer Mental Training Plan for Wrestling

Tips to Be a Better Leader

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

How to Protect Your Eyes During the Summer

4 Tips for Building Confidence

Air Force Study Confirms Efficacy of Vision Training

What Is Sports Vision Training?

How Vision Training Contributes to Athletic Success

So You Didn't Make the Team? 5 Ways to Move On

Vision Training: Four-Corner Fixation Drill

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

Improve Eye Focus With This Vision Training Drill

4 Ways to Turn Mental Toughness Into Physical Toughness

Don't Take Your Headphones to the Gym

5 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

Improve Your Vision With a Nutrition Supplement

Dynavision Visual Training For Performance & Rehab

3 Steps to Building Healthier Eyes

Improve Your Peripheral Vision With This Drill

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

Make Goals, Not Deals

Are You Playing With a Winning Mindset?

How Nik Wallenda Prepared to Walk Across the Grand Canyon

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

Visualize Yourself Winning, and You're Halfway There

Study: Athletes Think Faster, More Accurately Than Non-Athletes

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

How Losing Can Ultimately Help You Win