Have you ever wondered why some of the biggest, tallest, fastest high school athletes never even have a chance to play in college much less in the pros? Here are some statistics compiled by the NCAA:
• 3.3% of high school women basketball players compete in college
• 3.0% of high school men basketball players compete in college
• 5.7% of high school football players compete in college
• 5.5% of high school men soccer players compete in college
• 9.3% of high school women soccer players compete in college
Here is a common, and often overlooked reason, for not being able to continue as quoted by the head athletic trainer of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes:
“As I look at all the trends in sports medicine and how things are constantly changing to improve the athlete’s performance, one aspect stands alone as the most underrated attribute an athlete can develop. Without question, in my 30 years as a physical therapist, athletic trainer and strength coach, I have found that we underestimate the importance of vision.
To realize just how important vision is, try testing athletes’ muscles with the athletes looking at their own muscle and then again with them looking away. They will immediately notice an improvement in strength. Another quick test is to have athletes evaluate their vertical jump with a downward gaze versus an upward gaze. The upward gaze adds a minimum of two inches to their vertical height. The old adage that the eyes drive the body is very appropriate for these two tests.
The subject of eyes is in every aspect of my sports medicine program. It starts at the NHL combine where results of vision scores are taken under serious consideration during the NHL Draft. It has been shown that the single-best fitness score that correlates to the chance of making the NHL are results from the combine vision tests. During preseason testing, eye scores are again scrutinized by management and coaching staff. It is almost always a certainty that our best goaltenders and best face-off athletes score the highest.
Another area in which we utilize eye scores is when making sure an athlete’s vision is back to normal after suffering a concussion. I believe this is a critical area to which we often don’t devote enough attention. We generally look at many other signs and symptoms but fall short when it comes to making sure the vision is back to normal. This, then, may put the athlete in harm’s way and at risk of another injury or exacerbating the present symptoms, thus setting back the athlete.”
The eye scores that he is referring to involve more than just whether the athlete needs contacts or glasses to see 20/20 or better. Don’t let vision hold you or your athlete back from achieving his/her best. Be evaluated. We can help improve your vision for sports. We have already done so for a number of athletes.
For more information, contact Dr. Edward Fong and the Sugar Land, TX eye doctors and optometrists at Bright Eye Care & Vision Development.
References available upon request.
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