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The Vision Skills Needed for Quarterbacks to Succeed 

man holding football and football uniform in black 140039Here’s a question for you: what do you believe to be the most important skill required for a quarterback to succeed? A good quarterback needs a strong throwing arm, quick feet, strong cognitive skills, and leadership qualities —surely everyone could agree on that. But is that enough to truly excel at the sport?

Quarterbacks tend to intensively train their physical strength without realizing that enhancing their visual and cognitive skills could render their exercise drills more effective. Acute peripheral vision and exceptional reaction time, among other visual skills, are critical to quarterback’s success. Sports vision training lays the cornerstone for these skills and helps players be the athletes they know can be. Contact Dr. Sarbjit S. Virk to see how sports vision training can help your child or players improve their game.

Quarterbacks Need Above-Average Vision Skills to Succeed

It goes without saying that a good quarterback needs to have a strong throwing arm. But a strong arm alone does not guarantee success. The quarterback needs to evaluate distance and other players’ speeds accurately, which is where visual skills come in.

Quarterbacks need to be aware of everyone and everything around them and understand the precise location and path of movement of every player. At the same time, they need to follow the ball.

Which Visual Skills Can Sports Vision Training Improve?

In a pass play, the quarterback gets the ball and draws back. Being at the back of the action, he has only a split second to choose among up to five receivers he could throw the ball to. Why only a split second? Because there are anywhere from 3 – 11 rivaling defense players trying to run the quarterback into the ground or get him to make the wrong decision.

Given this scenario, which visual skills are needed for a quarterback to succeed?

Eye Focusing Skills

Following a quick-moving object — i.e. the wide receiver —requires sustained focusing power control and an ability for the eyes to shift quickly and accurately.

Depth Perception

By increasing and stabilizing binocular depth perception, quarterbacks can improve their spatial judgment. If the receiver is farther than you assessed, your pass will not reach him. Is he closer than you thought? He may have to stretch, jump, or run for it.

Peripheral Vision

When the quarterback has the ball, all the opponent’s players’ eyes are on him. Most dangerous are those who can see the quarterback, but he can’t see them because they are at the edge of his visual field. Strong peripheral/side vision prepares quarterbacks to see where the defenders are located at any given time.

Visual Reaction Time

This refers to the speed with which the quarterbacks’ brain interprets and reacts to the opponent’s action. His next step depends on how quickly and efficiently his brain integrates the visual input with motor functions.

Gross-Visual Motor

The quarterback has processed all the information and reached a decision while he was moving. This requires excellent coordination between the eyes, hands, legs, and the rest of the body. Now it is time to act. With vision and movement perfectly aligned, the ball will reach the player the quarterback chooses at the exact point in space and time he decides.

What you just read was a second in a football game. Even though it wasn’t a particularly complicated situation, the advantages of superb visual skills are evident.

The Vision Skills Needed for Quarterbacks to Succeed from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

Enhancing the Performance of a Quarterback

You can train visual skills just like you would any other skill. Optometrists, such as Dr. Sarbjit S. Virk, offer sports vision training to help players achieve their goals and take their game to the next level. A functional eye exam will evaluate visual skills, after which Dr. Sarbjit S. Virk will create a personal vision training plan. The child will typically receive in-office therapy once or twice a week, coupled with home exercises.

At Advanced Eyecare Solutions, we help players be the athletes they know they can be. We train players from Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland, Redmond, and throughout WA.

Football Trivia: How Can An Eye Doctor Help Athletes After a Head Injury?

football player holding football 159515Did you know that according to the National Football League’s (NFL) injury data, NFL athletes sustain a combined total of 200-300 concussions per year? Any high-impact sport places the player at high risk for potential brain injury, which can affect other areas and functions of the body – such as vision. Neuro-optometrists can help facilitate healing after a concussion and other brain injuries to help patients regain lost visual abilities and skills.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is the mildest form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and can occur following a forceful impact to the head. In many cases, a concussion doesn’t necessarily lead to unconsciousness or lost vision, but it may result in other symptoms, such as:

  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Sluggish feeling
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Headache
  • Balance problems

Symptoms range in severity, depending on the degree of injury and impact. However, studies show that 90% of all concussions result in some form of visual dysfunction.

How Can Concussions Affect Vision?

Those having suffered a concussion may experience a host of visual disturbances, such as blurred or double vision, eyestrain, or problems with reading. Issues with eye coordination or eye-teaming may also develop, as the eyes become misaligned following head trauma. This can cause both visual and cognitive problems, such as difficulty thinking, mood swings, frustration, attention deficits, headaches, and memory issues.

If you or a loved one is faced with a concussion or displays any of the above symptoms following a head injury, it’s important to call Advanced Eyecare Solutions for a complete assessment of visual function to regain any lost visual skills and abilities.

How Neuro-Optometrists Treat Sports-Related Injuries

Neuro-optometrists are uniquely trained to diagnose and treat visual aberrations related to concussions. It’s important to note that not all optometrists are trained in this specific area, so it’s best to choose a doctor experienced in treating those with concussions or other traumatic brain injuries.

The neuro-optometrist will begin by assessing your ocular health and evaluating your visual skills, such as eye teaming, focusing, tracking, and depth perception. The diagnostic process follows standardized criteria, after which you will be provided with a personalized treatment plan. This specific therapy, called neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy, aims to improve various acquired visual dysfunctions that follow a head injury.

Football Trivia: How Can An Eye Doctor Help Athletes After A Head Injury? from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

This kind of rehabilitation promotes recovery through various therapies and activities that retrain the neural processes of the brain. By establishing new brain pathways (also known as neuroplasticity), the patient learns to use other parts of the brain in order to recover the function of the impacted regions of the brain, in this case —vision.

Neuro-optometric rehabilitation involves the use of specialized lenses and prisms (among other tools) as part of the rehabilitation strategy. Anyone who displays any of the above symptoms following a TBI should visit a neuro-optometrist to give themselves the best chance at recovery. Sometimes, visual dysfunction can manifest itself in areas that may seem unrelated to vision, such as anxiety, panic attacks or balance/posture problems. Anyone who’s suffered a concussion or TBI, no matter the age, can benefit from a neuro-optometric rehabilitation program.

Accidents occur more often than one would expect. If you or your child suffer from a concussion after a sports injury, you can rely on Dr. Sarbjit S. Virk for the expertise and professionalism you need. Call Advanced Eyecare Solutions to book your appointment today.

Dr. Sarbjit S. Virk provides neuro-optometric rehabilitation therapy and other services to patients from Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland, Redmond, and throughout WA.

How Do I Ski Better? It All Starts With Vision!

winter skiing blog imageYou just jumped off the lift and are ready to hit the slope. As an experienced skier, you look down the slope to identify obstacles, inspect the angles, and evaluate the consistency of the snow. If you want to be successful, you know that you need to plan out your line.

That’s all very nice — in theory. In real-life situations, the slope is not always visible. As you speed down you may suddenly encounter dangerous sections you weren’t previously aware of. Maybe an icy patch that is difficult to spot as contrasts is difficult to discern in the snow.

To Be an Excellent Skier, You Need Excellent Visual Skills

Contrast sensitivity is critical for skiing. A snowy landscape is a composition of white shades, and your safety depends on your ability to differentiate between them.

Let’s look at some other visual skills, which, when improved make you a better skier:

  • Depth awareness. With better awareness of space and distance, you can ski with greater confidence. This allows for higher speed and increased safety.
  • Peripheral vision. You are not alone on the slope, and the actions of others are not always predictable. Good peripheral vision allows you to identify any potential dangers that crop up from the side and avoid them.
  • Gross visual-motor. You can be in complete control of how you move around obstacles when vision and motor skills are perfectly aligned. Visual-motor coordination is fundamental for taking every turn exactly as planned.
  • Visual perception. Perceive and assess all that is going on in your visual field. Spot the next mogul before you feel it in your knees.
  • Reaction time. The speed at which you react depends on how quickly your brain comprehends what the eyes see. With faster reaction time you can ski safely at an increased speed.
  • Focus control. As you speed downhill, what was far away a second ago is suddenly right in front of you. Train your eyes to maintain simultaneous focus and quickly shift focus from near to far.

Sports Vision Training for Serious Skiers

Enhancing your visual skills will make skiing safer and more fun. And as a bonus, these skills will enable you to ski better and faster.

At , we provide functional eye exams to assess your visual skills and detect which ones are preventing you from becoming a champion skier.

How Do I Ski Better? It All Starts With Vision! from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

What Is Sports Vision Training?

Dr. Sarbjit S. Virk will put together a personalized training program based on the results of your functional eye exam. Generally, you will attend weekly in-office training sessions followed with daily exercises to be carried out at home. The exercises may involve the use of special computer software to train your eyes, mechanical vision games, or traditional eye exercises.

Increase safety and improve performance on your next skiing vacation. Contact Advanced Eyecare Solutions today to schedule a functional eye exam.

We train athletes from Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland, Redmond, and throughout WA.