As perhaps an obvious point, who better to evaluate, strategize, and implement visual enhancement than a vision professional with expertise in performance? The vision professional can also problem solve, test for, and train areas that might need further improvement. Sports vision optometrists often work with team staff to coordinate a plan for where to focus on with training the eyes.
The advantage of working with a performance vision optometrist is that any vision needs in sport can be met:
1) Addressing a specific deficit (e.g. not able to read a volleyball serve quickly, missing surrounding plays in hockey, difficulty tracking/predicting a ball/puck trajectory, etc.)
2) Addressing ocular needs, including dry eye evaluation, contact lenses, laser surgery consultation, and protective eyewear.
3) Post-concussion vision rehabilitation, while collaboratively working with other professionals such as therapists and physicians to return an athlete to sport.
4) High performance enhancement to create more of an edge with the use of the eyes.
Vision training does not teach sport strategy. As a sports vision optometrist, the goal is to make the eyes and brain as sharp as possible, which then gives the athlete the opportunity to make the decisions that are needed.
The role of a coach: Where to look and what to look for
The role of an optometrist: Looking clearly and making sure eyes are healthy
The role of a sports vision optometrist in a addition to general eyecare: ‘How’ to look (how to use the eyes efficiently, accurately, and effectively and process visual information as quickly as possible).