Vision is a key skill in most sports and no amount of training to improve strength, stamina and flexibility will make up for a problem with the visual processing. A lot of the visual assessment tests undertaken are sport-specific and as such may be new even to those who have had their eyes tested. Remember, we are trying to get information about the processing of the information as well as the sight. Even if you already wear glasses or contact lenses for sport, the visual skills you need for optimum performance may need attention and could possibly be improved.


The following may be assessed, depending on the sport involved:

ACCOMMODATION – The ability to focus from one point in space to another. This is linked to the vergence system (see below) and problems can lead to eye strain, transient blur and lack of concentration.

CONFRONTATION – This tests the extent of the visual field.

CONTRAST SENSITIVITY – The ability to pick out an object from the background which can be difficult in different conditions when brightness and colours are similar.

COLOUR VISION – It is important that a player can differentiate between his team’s strip and the opposition’s strip.

DYNAMIC FIXATION – Problems can affect concentration. This tests ability to move eyes quickly from one position to another and maintain focus.

EYE DOMINANCE  – The reference eye, used to align an object.

HAND DOMINANCE – The stronger / preferred hand.

EYE HAND-BODY CO-ORDINATION – Deficits can affect performance in sports such as cricket, rugby and tennis which are eye led

GLARE RECOVERY – Comfort and visual performance can be affected by a bright light source in the visual field, assesses how quickly recovery takes place.

DEPTH PERCEPTION – The ability to assess if something is nearer or farther than surrounding objects or people.

FUSION FLEXIBILITY – How much ‘stress’ can the system take before it is likely to break down and give problems.

MUSCLE BALANCE – This relates to how the eyes work together at different distances to give binocular single vision. Binocular single vision is necessary for depth perception.

VISUALISATION – This is the skill of being able to imagine certain situations and play them out in your mind prior to actual sporting competition. This has been proven to enhance performance.

PERIPHERAL AWARENESS – Making use of information from the periphery is very important in sport, even target shooting. It is of particular importance in team sports because teaches you to be hyper-aware of your team mates’ positions in relation to yourself. Training in peripheral wareness is thought to have contributed to England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup success.

VERGENCE – The ability to point the eyes at the point of focus, regardless of distance. Also to keep the two eyes working together to avoid strain or double vision.

VISUAL ACUITY – This is what people understand by vision perhaps better termed ‘sight’ – how far down a letter chart you can see.

VISUAL TRACKING – Assess the eyes ability to follow a moving object.

VISUAL PERCEPTION – The processing of information from the eyes including many of the skills mentioned above.

VISUAL MEMORY – How good are you at remembering an image, for example where other players are on a pitch.

Arrange an Appointment

Parkstone Practice

If you would like to arrange an appointment
please call us on:

Tel: 01202 741963

We are open:

Monday to Friday
(excludes bank holidays)

8.45 am to 1.00 pm
2.00 pm to 5.15 pm
8.45 am to 12.45 pm