Visual performance training for all scholars

EYEGYM – THE PROGRAM THAT WON 2 RUGBY WORLD CUPS

Have you ever thought about training your eyes like you train your body? The Springbok (2007) and England Rugby (2003) teams did and it played a role in winning the World Cup.

“Since our squad started using the Visual Performance Training drills, our accuracy of passing, handling, awareness of space and decision making have all improved dramatically. I’m a firm believer that visual skills training can add another level of performance to an individual player’s game.” Jake White, Springbok Coach, 2007 World Cup Winners 

Visual Performance training is critical not only in sport, but also in everything we do in life, and in future, is likely to become an integral part of sports training and academic performance. One of the leading proponents of visual performance training is Dr Sherylle Calder. She has researched and demonstrated that visual skills like physical skills, play an important role in sporting and academic performance, and that these skills can be taught, trained, practiced and enhanced. It assists the player/scholar to improve what they see, how they process information and how they respond/give information back and ultimately make better decisions.

“We initially entered the program to improve Ethan’s results in surfing but could see other potential benefits in his concentration and ultimately his school work. Ethan competed in competitions and he did phenomenally well in his surfing. These programmes are definitely helping with his focus and concentration” Parents – Ethan Fletcher, junior surfer

According to Calder, the specialised training done not only involves developing visual skills for sport (such as following a ball, reacting more quickly, judging depth accurately and eye/hand co-ordination) but also enhances skills needed for reading, comprehending, and concentration.

“We knew that the visual performance programme would benefit our sporting elite students within their individual sports but were not prepare for the impressive improvement made by 72% of the group in their academic studies. Our non-sporting students were as keen, if not more so, to succeed in the challenge of the programme to reach the highest levels. In addition many of the students who took part in the programme noticed changes in their concentration levels in class and ability in other aspects of school life” Pat Cottis – Director of Specialism (The Harefield Academy, UK)

Visual performance skills, which are the ability to identify, interpret and understand what is seen, can be trained and developed.  Dr Sherylle Calder has designed a school program, EyeGym that has been developed to address these skills specifically. Since 80-90% of all information we receive is visual, it becomes clear that training and enhancing visual skills is a critical part of sport and academic performance. There can be no doubt that a scholar’s visual skills (good or bad) have a significant impact (positive or negative) on their performance.

Visual performance training enables sportspersons and scholars to perform and achieve their maximum potential by improving their visual fitness. Just as training and practice improves physical ability (speed, agility, flexibility, etc.) so does visual training improve visual performance skills, and ultimately academic and sporting performance.

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