For winter sports athletes with Olympic-sized dreams, it’s easy to see why competitive athletes choose vision correction procedures to boost their competitive edge.
However, athletes – especially those training in sports such as hockey, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and more – need more than talent to perform: they have to move fast, efficiently, and with confidence and they rely on their quick reflexes, excellent vision and strong hand-eye coordination to succeed.
Here are two aspects of excellent vision that can affect the accuracy of movement: depth perception and peripheral vision.
Depth perception (technically known as stereopsis) helps us see the world in three dimensions, with the ability to judge distances and spatial relationships. Since we have two eyes that sit roughly an inch apart from each other, each eye sees something slightly different. Our brains reconcile those images to give us the ability to see in stereo vision, helping us move around in our 3D world without running into things. Consequently, depth perception is something athletes pay attention to: they need excellent vision to support their coordination skills.
In particular, winter sport athletes like skiers and snowboarders require excellent vision because they are moving downhill at speeds up to 80 miles per hour – putting their depth perception to the test. The most frequent visual challenge for skiers and snowboarders involves the intense sunlight reflecting off bright white snow, making it hard to see moguls and dips. When shooting down the run at high speed, excellent vision and depth perception makes it possible to navigate the obstacles and terrain for an exhilarating ride. When you can’t see well, you are putting yourself and others on the mountain in danger. In order to deal with challenging lighting conditions, skiers […]