Vision and sports: a review of the literature

J Am Optom Assoc. 1982 Aug;53(8):627-33.


The basis for training visual abilities to enhance sports performance is explored. Optometric intervention in sports assumes the following statements to be true: 1. Athletes have better visual abilities than non-athletes and better athletes have better visual abilities than the poorer athletes, 2. Visual abilities are trainable, and 3. Visual training is transferable to the performance of the athlete. The literature demonstrates that athletes have better visual abilities than non-athletes. Studies have shown this to be true in the following areas of vision: Larger extent of visual fields, larger fields of recognition (peripheral acuity), larger motion perception fields, lower amounts of heterophoria at near and far, more consistent simultaneous vision, more accurate depth perception, better dynamic visual acuity, and better ocular motilities. The literature also shows that all of the above skills are trainable. Two studies are cited that support the belief that visual training is transferable to athletic performance but they suffer from inadequate experimental design.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Baseball
  • Child
  • Depth Perception
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Optometry / methods*
  • Sports*
  • Tennis
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Fields
  • Visual Perception