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Vision Training plays critical role at NFL Combine

Mark Herzlich does Vision Training during preparation for the 2011 NFL Combine at IMG Academy

Athletes in many sports can directly benefit from the Vision Training that's offered as one the Athletic & Personal Development program's eight disciplines, most notably baseball, tennis and lacrosse players who rely on hand-eye coordination.

Now, you can add football to that list.

Vision specialist David Da Silva has worked with all NFL Combine trainees at IMG Academy to improve their overall focus and reaction. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The draft prospects displaying their talents at the NFL scouting combine this week have worked on their sprint times and strength, their agility, and even their answers to interview questions.

In recent years, though, some training sites have added an element of preparation that focuses on attributes outside of the muscles that power running, jumping, and tackling.

At IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., David Da Silva works on improving how athletes use their eyes and speeding up the process that turns what they see into action.

"The greatest athletes in the world, they see things faster, quicker, and make decisions better than others," said Da Silva, who leads IMG's vision training program. "We're talking about split-second differences that can be obtained."

The drills, including some adapted from training for fighter pilots, often leave prospects rubbing their eyes from the exertion of a visual workout.

"We are helping the eye muscles be more efficient," and helping the brain's visual cortex respond faster, Da Silva said.

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