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Combine360: Vision Training

Combine360 is the new feature from IMG Academy and Under Armour. It is a benchmark for measuring and improving athletic performance and highlighting what specific areas an athlete needs to enhance.

Obviously a huge part of success in sports can be a product of great vision. Seeing the ball for batters, the hole for running backs, the open man for point guards, etc. It is so important, in-fact, that part of Combine360 and the curriculum at IMG Academy is dedicated to vision training. Our vision specialist David DaSilva lends a hand to tell you more:

Did you know that vision is a complex process that involves more than several visual abilities and not just 20/20 vision? In fact 65% of the pathways to the brain accounts for the visual system.

Did you know that 90% of information we extract from the outside is through the visual system? Don't believe me? Try and walking around the room with your eyes closed.

Nearly 90% of athletic mistakes may be due to an immediate loss of concentration? Think of poor Bill Buckner, whose costly fielding error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series cost the Red Sox the championship. Similarly, we recall Greg Norman, who surrendered a six stroke lead in the final round to Nick Faldo during the 1996 Masters.

Did you know that there are six external muscles around the eye that coordinate movement which in turn feed the brain vital sensory information? Because of this fact vision training follows the same training principle as strength and conditioning trainers. The principle of training specificity is crucial, which indicates that a training program must stress the physiological systems that are critical for optimal performance.

A simple way of understanding vision training can be highlighted in the fact of what you as the reader are doing at this very moment. In reading the words on this page your eyes are feeding sensory information to the brain, the brain then interprets and integrates the visual data so that you may comprehend the messages and ideas on this paper. In sport this process would then be accompanied by the brain sending out a signal out to the appropriate motor signals to the muscles. In its most basic form, the eyes lead the body.

This process is used to predict, anticipate, decide and react in almost every waking moment. Training the visual system thus allows for visual skills to be evaluated, trained, practiced and perfected just as an athlete would do to improve their technical and physical abilities. Combine 360 has embraced the potential and the value of vision training. If you want to create an edge for yourself, vision training is the start of it all…what the eyes see, the body follows.

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