EyeBallSports training improves Academy scholars’ performance

Thursday 27th March 2014

Kent Cricket’s Academy Scholars received some unique training last weekend, designed to develop their dynamic ‘sport vision’ and improve speed, coordination and endurance, by training their eye muscles in a particular way.

The EyeBallSports session was run by Johan Schölvinck, and based on the principle of V-D-P, which represents vision – decision – precision.

Sportsmen and women with better vision are considered able to make better and faster decisions. With more time to make multiple decisions, these can then be executed with greater precision; improving performance and leading to greater success.

This type of work was used extensively during the FIFA World Cup 2010, when activity was carried out to develop footballers’ dominant left or right eye movement and preferred upper or lower gaze. But the training can be used by anyone wishing to train their eyes, and not just sportsmen and women.

The session with Kent Cricket’s Academy scholars focused on training six key areas of visual; focus, tracking, vergence, sequencing, eye-hand and eye-foot coordination, and visualising.

Academy scholars were given a range of tests and activities to assess and develop their eye muscles in line with the programme, as you can see in the photograph above, and in our short video (link at the end of the article). These tests and activities enable improvements to be measured effectively, and scholars will continue to work with Johan on these areas.

Visual motor skills are developed in order to assess near and far focus, tracking (following an object or ball) and also vergence, which involves the crossing or uncrossing of the eyes.

Visual perception is another area of development, which involves sequencing and visual memory, as well as visualisation and ground perception. Scholars also explored co-ordination, peripheral skills and the influence of dominant eye, and how this influences gaze during the session.

Visual behaviour influences performance, and this was explored in some detail, with the scholars shown techniques which will enable them to use their vision to their advantage in cricket.

Kent Cricket’s High Performance Director, Simon Willis commented on the training session; “Johan Schölvinck delivered a very professional and practical workshop to the Academy scholars that raised their awareness to having muscles in each eye that can be trained to help improve performance.

“When people see more, they can assess the situation much quicker, therefore exercising their options, and ultimately making better decisions. It is said that 80-90% of decisions made in sport are based upon visual information. We are very much looking forward to Johan developing this area further with our Academy scholars.”