By David da Silva
One of the most interesting, difficult and entertaining of vision training programs we have at IMG Academy is the tachistoscope (Yes, it is as difficult to do as it is to pronounce!).
Basically the challenge is to identify and write down what numbers flash on a screen. However, these flashes of numbers can occur anywhere between .13 seconds and .53 seconds! To place this highly demanding exercise in perspective, a blink of an eye is typically measured at .40 seconds. The tachistoscope screen can literally appear totally black if you blink at the wrong time!
Athletes undergoing training are exposed to 10 flashes which can consist anywhere between 1 and 6 numbers with different backgrounds flashed at varying speeds and progressively getting more difficult with time.
Below is a video compilation of students that underwent vision training for the very first time. Watch for the expressions and reactions of students as they undergo some very challenging combinations of numbers and backgrounds. The first part of the video is the evaluation test in which all students undergo on their first day. The video evolves to demonstrate the most difficult level of the exercise, which can take about a year of training in order to attain proficient scores. Proficiency for the vision training program is 70% success or 7 out of 10 correct responses.
The tachistoscope is one of the integral exercises that enhances all that vision training offers; the ability to receive information through the eyes, the brain's proficiency and efficiency to process what the eyes feed it, and then the speed that information is sent to the muscles in order to react. The best athletes in the world are able to do this proficiently, quickly and accurately. It is not as easy as it appears!