Improve Your Peripheral Vision With This Drill

January 6, 2013 | Andrew Ciccarelli

Peripheral Vision

Peripheral vision is essential for athletes in all sports since it allows you to detect movement without moving your head. Some of the greatest athletes ever, like Wayne Gretzky and Magic Johnson, had incredible peripheral vision, which allowed them to make no-look passes and better see the game all around them.

Technically, peripheral vision allows you to detect objects just outside your central vision. This may not seem like much, but peripheral vision is actually a large part of your sight. Take reading for example. When you scan a page, your central vision focuses on one word at a time. However, your peripheral vision allows you to see the page and the area around what you are reading.

Imagine if you were on the field and could only focus on the ball or one specific opponent. It would be nearly impossible to be effective at your position. Peripheral vision is particularly important for tracking a ball or puck and for making split-second decisions at high speed.

Fortunately, this skill can be improved. The drill below won't improve your vision itself, but it will enhance your reaction and response time to movements outside your central vision.

Peripheral Vision Reaction Drill

Equipment: Tennis ball

  • Stand facing a wall approximately two feet away
  • Look at a spot on the wall just above eye level
  • Throw the ball against the wall, track it with your peripheral vision and catch it with your other hand
  • Throw the ball back and forth for specified time

Sets/Duration: 3-5x30 seconds

For an additional challenge, have a partner stand behind you and toss the ball in an unpredictable pattern.

photo credit:

Andrew Ciccarelli
- Andrew Ciccarelli is a sport conditioning coach, certified personal trainer and kettlebell instructor in Toronto, Canada. He owns Brash Fitness & Conditioning, specializing in sport-specific...
Andrew Ciccarelli
- Andrew Ciccarelli is a sport conditioning coach, certified personal trainer and kettlebell instructor in Toronto, Canada. He owns Brash Fitness & Conditioning, specializing in sport-specific...
Must See
RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 25,217,362
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 4,033,431
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 4,946,245

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 66,647
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 5,931
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 127,960
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,654
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,206
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,612
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,718
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,559,831

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

The Football Route Tree, Explained

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

Teach the Layup with the Two-Step Drill