Review Article

Vision and sports: An overview

Joas R. Ramaja, Rekha Hansraj
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 82, No 1 | a679 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v82i1.679 | © 2023 Joas R. Ramaja, Rekha Hansraj | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 2021 | Published: 28 June 2023

About the author(s)

Joas R. Ramaja, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa
Rekha Hansraj, Discipline of Optometry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Visual skills and their components are thought to be responsible for much of the manner whereby athletes obtain information about the sporting environment. The field of sports vision deals with the vision care services that are provided to athletes. If visual skills of athletes are not assumed as natural attributes, they should be assessed and be subjected to training according to need. Studies have shown that the visual abilities of the athletes can be divided into software and hardware visual skills, and it is the software visual skills that separate expert athletes from non-experts.

Aim: The study aims to collate (1) studies that show the importance of visual skills in sports performance, (2) studies that show that visual skills are trainable and (3) studies that show the effect of training on the visual skills and performance in sports.

Method: An extensive search of literature was performed on studies that supported the importance of vision in sports performance. Also included were studies that supported the transfer of improved visual skills to improved performance on the field of play.

Results: There is literature that supports the significance of visual skills in sport. There is also literature that attempts to show evidence that improved visual skills can improve performance on the field of play.

Conclusion: Sports vision practitioners need to develop standardised testing and training protocols for visual skills. Standard protocols will harmonise the development of visual skills norms.

Contribution: Literature has shown the importance of vision in sports performance. Literature has also shown that improved visual skills can improve performance on the field of play. The current paper is an attempt at calling for the development of standardised protocols and norms for sports vision training.

 


Keywords

sports vision; visual skills; athletes; sports performance; visual skills enhancement; visual skills norms

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