Getting in peak shape doesn’t end with developing your biceps, triceps or glutes. Your eyes need a workout, too. The University of Houston’s College of Optometry puts such a workout in focus for professional, amateur and weekend athletes through the Sports Vision Performance Center.
“We’re looking at speed-of-reaction players, whether they play tennis, baseball or softball, for example,” said Dr. Kevin Gee, a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and an assistant clinical professor with the UH College of Optometry. “We’re looking for a reaction time. How quickly can they go from one spot to the next, as opposed to noticing the one spot solely?”
Tools for this new trade include a 3-D movie projected on a computer screen with pop-up shimmering objects to measure depth perception, a lighted batting test that can time up to one-thousandth of a second to gauge timing and accuracy, and a Dynavision? board — a vertical lighted peg board — that determines reaction time, peripheral awareness and accuracy of movement.
“Without your eyes, you don’t necessarily perform a sport to your optimum ability. The eyes are the foundation, the way we view it,” Gee said.
The Sports Vision Performance Center opened its doors in January of 2008 and is staffed by eye care professionals.