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Race car drivers need sharp peripheral vision to see other cars beside them.
Whether you're monitoring opponents or balls soaring in mid-air, your peripheral vision is a key component of successful performance in sports. While focusing on an event, you need to be able to simultaneously detect motion and objects around you. While you may not be able to expand your field of vision with visual enhancement training, you can increase peripheral awareness and reactivity. Certain physical activities, such as juggling, improve not only peripheral vision but also hand-eye coordination.
Use a Vision Rod1.
Cut the arm of a hanger with a pair of pliers so you have a nine-inch-long length of wire.2.
Attach a colored bead to the one end of the wire. Loop the end of the wire so the bead doesn't come off.3.
Secure the other end of the wire to the bill of a baseball cap so the bead is positioned about a foot from your eyes.
Pivot your head from side to side, focusing on the bead.5.
Select an activity in which you need to use your peripheral vision, such as walking through the woods or hiking over rocky terrain.6.
Perform the activity for three minutes while keeping your eyes locked on the bead.7.
Increase the time spent on the activity in five-minute increments until you're able to perform the activity with the vision rod for 20 minutes.
Perform a Trunk Rotation1.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Extend your arms to your sides at shoulder level.2.
Position your hands so they are just inside your peripheral vision.3.
Slowly rotate your trunk to the right and left, keeping your head aligned with your upper body and watching your hands with your peripheral vision. Notice how your surroundings appear to be revolving even though it's only your body turning.
Perform the exercise for five minutes twice a day.
Learn to Juggle1.
Hold one ball in your right or left hand. Put two balls to the side. Position your hands in front of you with palms facing up.2.
Throw the ball up and slightly across, using only your elbow, and then catch it with your other hand. Avoid flicking your elbow. Practice this motion until you're comfortable.3.
Pick up a second ball, holding a ball in each hand. Throw the first ball up and across as you did in step two.4.
Throw the second ball up and across in the opposite direction just as the first ball is coming down.5.
Catch the first ball and then the second ball with your opposite hands and then stop.6.
Practice throwing two balls, alternating your starting hand, until you get comfortable with this stage of juggling.7.
Pick up the third ball, holding two balls in one hand and one ball in the other. Begin this step with the hand holding two balls.8.
Throw the first ball up and across and then throw the second ball as the first ball comes down. Throw the third ball as the second ball is coming down. Try and throw all the balls at the same height.9.
Catch all three balls and stop. Practice throwing the three balls and catching them until you're proficient. When you can do this comfortably, start juggling all three balls by not stopping the exercise. Continually throw the balls up into the air and catch them, establishing a smooth rhythm.
- Baseball cap
- Three small balls
- During your free time, spend a few minutes staring at a wall. By focusing on a spot and softening your focus, your field of vision will start to broaden.
- Increased levels of stress can reduce peripheral vision and lead to accidents. If you find that your peripheral vision has significantly deteriorated, contact your doctor.