Sport is becoming increasingly competitive and this places enormous pressure on sportsmen to perform at their absolute best. For athletes to achieve their greatest potentials, aspects of sport such as reaction time and hand-eye co-ordination needs to be at their peaks. Sports vision aims to enhance performance through a variety of procedures and training techniques. Materials & Methods: Rugby players aged 18 to 26 were subjected to a sports vision battery consisting of three different hand-eye co-ordination tests. Results: An improvement in performance was observed by players exposed to the exercises. In the ‘number of catches’ test there was a meaningful improvement of 12%. A 22% improvement was observed in the number of successful catches (simultaneous ball- throwing) and an 8% and 3% improvement in the number of successful throws through a ring (accurate passing) to the left and right sides respectively. Discussion & Conclusion: It is very important to measure hand-eye co-ordination alongside the standard measuring of cardiopulmonary and metabolic status to determine the athletic abilities of sporting individuals. Visual abilities can affect both motor skill and performance. This study proves that correct training programs and hand-eye co-ordination tests can vastly improve sporting performance. Athletes are advised to complete at least 15 minutes of sport-specific visual training during each day of practice.
Poster presented at the University of Pretoria Health Sciences Faculty Day, August 2009, Pretoria, South Africa.
Poster also presented at the Biological Science Congress; North West University;