Most sport coaches are under the impression that if their athletes have 20/20 vision, nothing more is needed to be done in the visual arena. This is a common misconception in youth sport and professional sport. Every sport involves the visual system in one way or another, yet very few coaches or athletes spend any time training the visual system to perform optimally during competition. To perform at the highest level of competition, athletes have to be in tune with their visual motor and visual perceptual system.
Participants consisted of 200 male and female recruits enrolled for Basic Military Training (BMT) at the training academy in Ellisras, South Africa. Only recruits who completed the informed consent and adhere to the inclusion exclusion criteria participated in the study.
The primary purpose of this study was to see how the recruits improve their visual skills after intense training which included cardio-respiratory endurance, muscular strength (upper body and abdominal), muscular endurance, speed, power, agility and flexibility. The training intensity of the sessions exceeded 6 metabolic equivalents (METs). Data sampling was completed over a period of one week during weeks 1, 12 and 20. The proposed schedule for the data gathering is suggested to ensure the special requirements demanded by the different tests and to see at what rate their visual skill improve.
Results in this study suggests that a Basic Military Training (BMT) programme, focusing on intense physical training, enhances hand-eye co-ordination, visual response speed, accuracy, anticipation, visual concentration and short term visual memory. The improvement of various visual skills observed in this research provides evidence that physical exercise, along with an enhanced state of physical fitness, does have a positive effect on visual proficiency.