Influence of two sports vision training techniques on visual skills performance of university students

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 4
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Vision is an essential sense and crucial throughout a student’s academic career. Reading and writing during formal studies require a basic level of visual skills. Training of visual skills to students may improve the way visual stimuli are processed, and subsequently lead to visual skill-, motor- and cognitive performance enhancement. The visual system processes information by way of ‘hardware’- skills (physical, mechanical properties) and the more trainable ‘software’-skills (perceptual, cognitive abilities). Sports vision skills training in athletes indicated faster response to visual information and ultimately improved performance, particularly in fast-ball sports. The efficiency of two sports vision training programmes were tested and compared in undergraduate physiology students of various ethnicities (aged 18-25 years), during a 6-week training period. Three groups were used. One control group and two experimental groups were used. Two programmes were used for the experimental groups (a vision laboratory executed battery of repeated visual skills vs. ‘Eyedrills’ an available webbased training programme). Both comprised ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ skills, and include: visual acuity, focusing, tracking, vergence, sequencing, eye-hand coordination and visualisation. For pretest/ post-test evaluations of all students the repeated laboratory training programme was executed. The control group was only exposed to the pre- and post-test. Individuals trained in the laboratory indicated the highest improvement in all visual skills, except vergence. The ‘Eyedrills’ group displayed significant improvements in focusing, tracking and eye-hand coordination, with the control group indicating the least improvement in visual skills - ruling out the notion of improvement occurring only due to test familiarity. Visual training was verified an essential method of improving visual skills, and fundamental in the expansion of basic visual abilities of university students for enhanced performance.