Given the importance of vision in nearly all sports, it does seem like quite a forgotten area of focus and research. Athletes spend hours training their other muscle groups but relatively few have programmes in place with high performance vision coaches. Notable exceptions include the England Rugby squad who have been working with Dr. Sherylle Calder under Sir Clive Woodward and now Eddie Jones and Dr Zoe Wimshurst of Performance Vision who has some high profile clients and understood an amazing study with Ronaldo, worth checking out on You Tube.
I am writing this blog not as an eye expert by any means but as marketing manager of Crazy Catch, a product which I have seen first hand improving a huge number of skills linked to this topic including reactions and hand-eye coordination. The previously mentioned experts also use Crazy Catch and Crazy Catch Vision Balls in their programmes with the random nature of the rebound, being great for eye tracking exercises.
As the new cricket season, gets underway – we have created a set of quick and easy Vision Training drills covering agility, peripheral vision, reaction times and coordination featuring Tom Moores and Tammy Beaumont. Some of these are quite simple in their set up but by using the INSANE side, there is always extra challenge and unpredictability, whilst other drills are much more tricky. Remember you can always decrease your distance to reduce the reaction time or throw the ball much harder so all these drills are suitable for all ages and abilities.
The drills would also be great tools to teach young kids the basics of throwing and catching and again this strikes me as something which this iphone generation does seem to struggle with and this is reflected in various conversations with primary school teachers. Using Crazy Catch Vision Balls can really help fast track the learning process. Ask a child – what is the last colour or shape on the ball they see before making the catch and what you are in effect doing, is skipping the eyes focus to the most important part of the catch … in the catching or striking zone itself much in the same way that when a child learns to read, they use their finger to ensure they are reading the current word rather than their eyes skipping around the page. It makes perfect sense when you think about it!
We would be interested to hear from PE teachers and coaches, if exercises like these are part of your programme … they are all totally adaptable for specific sports too so the catch can be replaced by a strike in sports like hockey and tennis. Here is a link to the playlist where you can find all the drills with a short explanation https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqXqrR3PaRs7dcU2HfcJOI-dXZRZhE68B
Crazy Catch Vision Balls are available on our new website https://ukstore.crazycatch.com/ as well as the full Crazy Catch range.