Sports Vision Training

Athletes use sports vision training to elevate their level of play and edge out the competition. In today's world of competitive sports performance most athletes have the physical strength, speed and endurance necessary to play the game. However, it is visual processing and reaction speed that separates the high performing athlete. These high performing athletes have the ability to make split-second, game-changing decisions that lead their teams to victory – and many use sports vision training to rise above the competition.

Official eye Doctor of the Idaho Steel Heads.

The good news is that any athlete, regardless of level of play, can improve visual athletic visual performance with sports vision training.

Sports vision training is an aspect of athletic performance training that is overlooked by many athletes, coaches, and professional trainers. Why? Because they are unaware that visual performance can be significantly improved when using an individualized sports vision training program with a professional vision training coach. It is important to mention that using generic vision activities do not produce results comparable to that of an individualized, professional sports vision training program overseen by a residency trained neuro-optometrist. Think of sports vision training as similar to going to the gym for a workout. If you use the incorrect piece of equipment, or don't use proper form, you won't achieve the same results as you do when using a personal trainer to guide you through an individualized workout plan. Similar activities with very different results.

Sports vision training has little to do with improving the clarity of one's vision (visual acuity) and everything to do with improving visual performance (specific visual skills used during competition). These skills include:

  • Binocular vision (depth perception)
  • Eye tracking
  • Eye focusing
  • Visual attention (both central and peripheral)
  • Visual processing speed (reactive agility)

At Advanced Vision Therapy Center, our sports vision experts evaluate visual performance specific to the sport and position played. The test results generate an individualized Athlete Vision Profile. This profile shows areas of visual strengths and weaknesses as well as visual performance as compared to that of elite and professional athletes; and is used to develop a structured, sport specific sports vision training program to address visual system deficits. All sports vision training programs are performed one-on-one with a professional vision training coach and overseen by residency trained neuro-optometrist Dr. Ryan C. Johnson – Idaho's sports vision specialist.


Who Can Benefit from Sports Vision Training?

Sports vision training was once reserved for collegiate and professional athletes. Now, sports vision training is available for both youth and adult athletes of all ages and levels of play. Sports vision training is a good fit for any athlete who wants to take performance to the next level.

At Advanced Vision Therapy Center, our youth athletes are typically old enough to have identified a sport (or sports) in which they wish to excel, and view the sport as competitive rather than purely recreational. This group of youth athletes includes players in middle school who want to compete in high school, and high school athletes who wish to play at the collegiate level or pursue scholarships. Youth athletes benefit from sports vision training because it provides a competitive edge and enhances performance – improving prospects of play at the next level and beyond.

At Advanced Vision Therapy Center, adult athletes in our sports vision training program vary in their level of play from weekend warriors to collegiate and semi-professional athletes; but they all have one thing in common - they want to perform at their personal best. Sports vision training is ideal for adults who have a competitive spirit. Whether playing a sport as a career professional or for the sheer joy of beating out friends on the weekend, improving visual performance gives any athlete the upper hand.   

Which Skills are Improved with Sports Vision Training?

Sports vision training at Advanced Vision Therapy Center develops visual skills used during visual input as well as visual processing in order to improve overall visual reaction speed. Improved visual reaction speed in essence allows the athlete to see the game in “slow motion”; giving the athlete time to anticipate, react and make game changing decisions all with improved accuracy and split-second timing.

Skill improvement is achieved through a series of specific vision activities utilizing specialized equipment and under the guidance of a professional vision training coach. This allows the athlete to maximize his or her ability to accurately, quickly, precisely and consistently interpret what they see during competition.

Every sports vision training program at Advanced Vision Therapy Center is individualized and specific to the results of the Athlete Vision Assessment and the Athlete Vision Profile. Sports vision training programs are used to improve:

Accommodation (Eye Focusing)
Quick and accurate changes in eye focusing allow an athlete to maintain clear vision at all times during competition. This is especially important when changing gaze while scanning the field of play or visually tracking an object (such as a ball) that is rapidly approaching.
Depth Perception
Seeing the exact location, distance and speed of an object is critical to athletic performance. Precise depth perception is often the difference between success or failure during competition.
Reactive Agility (Visual Reaction Speed)
Seeing, and reacting to, an ever changing visual environment depends on the visual system's ability to process what is seen, the brain's ability to quickly process the visual input and ultimately initiate physical movement with accuracy and split-second timing.
Scanning and Tracking
Sports vision training improves the speed and accuracy of eye tracking abilities. Combined with activities designed to improve processing speed, athletes are able to scan, track, and react at levels that beat the competition.
Vergence (Binocular Vision)
Vergence describes the coordinated ability of the eyes to follow an object as it moves closer to further away. Training vergence skills improves an athlete's ability to accurately identify the location and speed of another player, ball, puck, or a specific target.
Visual Attention & Processing
While the quality of visual input is important, so is the athlete's ability to think about what they are seeing. Visual attention and processing allows an athlete to “see the game” and make accurate, split-second decisions.

The Advanced Vision Therapy Center Difference

The sports vision training program at Advanced Vision Therapy Center is considered a premiere Pacific Northwest sports vision training program. Our program is recognized for delivering research based sports vision training that is goal oriented and results driven. We provide a comprehensive approach to athlete vision care and visual skill development.

Athlete Vision Assessment

Every athlete undergoes an Athlete Vision Assessment. This allows our doctor to evaluate the visual skills necessary to compete at optimum levels. An Athlete Vision Assessment differs from an eye exam in that sport-specific visual skills are evaluated and compared to those of elite and professional athletes. This allows our doctor to:

  • Prescribe competition specific correction to achieve better than 20/20 visual acuity
  • Determine the precision, speed and accuracy of visual input
  • Evaluate how efficiently the visual system interprets the game

Athlete Vision Profile

The visual abilities evaluated during the Athlete Vision Assessment are analyzed and, in conjunction with the elite and professional athlete performance comparison, are used to develop the Athlete Vision Profile. The Athlete Vision Profile is a sport specific overview of the visual strengths and weaknesses in context to the position played and the desired level of competition. This Athlete Vision Profile is the foundation of our individualized sports vision training program, and allows our doctor and professional vision training coaches to tailor the program to the specific needs of the athlete.

Individualized Vision Training Program

Sports vision training makes good athletes great. The individualized sports vision training programs at Advanced Vision Therapy Center provide targeted vision performance training, with sport and position specificity, to enhance and develop elevated levels of sports performance. All athletes work one-on-one with a professional sports vision training coach to improve visual performance deficits and address areas of weakness identified in the Athlete Vision Profile. The sports vision training programs at Advanced Vision Therapy Center are unique in that they are tailored to meet each athlete at their current level of visual performance, ameliorate visual performance deficits, and elevate the athlete's level of play. All sports vision training programs are under the supervision and direction of residency trained neuro-optometrist Dr. Ryan C. Johnson, who closely monitors progress toward performance goals throughout the sports vision training program.


If you are an athlete, or know of an athlete, ready to gain a competitive edge and take performance to the next level – call Advanced Vision Therapy Center (208) 377.1310 to schedule a Sports Vision Assessment.  


Before vision therapy, Sarah struggled with reading, experienced frequent headaches, and overall had difficulties focusing during school.  Despite tutoring and summer literacy programs, she continued to struggle with reading; she skipped lines and never volunteered to read aloud.  Following vision therapy, Sarah no longer loses her place while reading and even volunteers to read aloud. "Until Dr. Johnson tested for Sarah's vision issues we all were unaware they existed.  This experience help… 
- Sarah's Story
In the few weeks Erin has been attending vision therapy, we are already beginning to notice changes. Homework doesn't take as long as it did two months ago, there are no more tears when she has a lot to write, she is becoming more and more independent as time goes on. She still needs a lot of guidance, but seems to "catch on" to what is expected of her a lot faster. The greatest improvement, however, has been in her report card. Last year, Erin's third grade teacher wanted to fail her because s… 
- Erin's Story
"Bella loves reading now, whereas before she hated it. I have already recommended that two of my friends bring their children here because they are struggling with similar issues. Bella had so much fun with therapy and I have enjoyed seeing her improve in her reading and the rest of school."  
- J.G.
"Before I started vision therapy, I hated doing homework or reading.  I would give my mom a hard time and homework would take forever.  Now, I love school, schoolwork, homework, and reading.  My glasses helped out a lot.  I have seen a difference in my handwriting, reading and just seeing things in a new way.  Vision therapy has helped me open up and accept changes, it has helped me be more aware of what is going on.  Vision therapy kept me out of the Special Ed. class at my old school and help… 
- K.A.
"Before vision therapy Aidan hated school and homework.  He would jump from line to line while reading, he rubbed his eyes a lot while doing homework, and he turned words completely around when reading (saw became was).  After vision therapy with Advanced Vision Therapy Center, his reading scores have improved drastically, he is less disruptive in class, and his overall view of school is much better.  He is looking forward to starting second grade and reads like a champ!"  
- F.L.
"About two years ago I went to the eye doctor and he discovered I had a problem with my vision.  We tried glasses, but it made it worse.  My doctor recommended vision therapy.  From the start of vision therapy I loved the sessions.  I got to play games while fixing my eyes.  I went to vision therapy for a few months and my eyes made huge improvements, my regular eye doctor was amazed.  It is remarkable how exercises and games can improve somone's eyesight dramatically.  If anyone has eye proble… 
- L.B.
"Thank you so much for introducing me to vision therapy.  This was brand new to me and it surprised me with it's effectiveness.  I can definitely tell a difference in my eyes while reading.  This has particularly improved at times when my eyes are tired, when I used to get most uncomfortable.  As a student, I can tell a difference in my study habits, and vision therapy has also helped me enjoy reading more than I used to. I would recommend vision therapy to anyone with a similar problem with… 
- C.W.
My son's eyes were consistently red after school and while attempting to sit down and do homework, he complained that he was seeing two of everything. He just fought me when it came time to read. This started in kindergarten and followed into first grade, so I had patience with his struggles, basing it on the fact that maybe he still needs some time to learn how to read. It was not until the school started to reach out to me that he was not at reading level and also acting out in class that I d… 
- Rachelle T.

Call 208.377.1310 to Schedule Your Assessment

Advanced Vision Therapy Center is Idaho’s premier clinic for Vision Therapy, Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation and Sports Vision Training. We offer vision assessments and customized treatment for both children and adults that are tailored to the specific vision condition of each individual.

Not sure which type of vision assessment is right for you? Call us today and we'll help you determine the best assessment to achieve your visual goals.

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