The underrated skill that is key to peak athletic performance
When we play sports, read or look at anything we predominantly use the center of our visual focus (called “fovea”) to see with. It provides clear detail of what we are looking at. Within our eyes the fovea has a concentration of 6 million cones in a tight area with which to see details. The remainder of our visual field is called peripheral vision and takes up the greatest area. It relies on 120 million cones and rods, spread out across our retina. Our peripheral vision is at its best near the fovea, and gets progressively less detail-oriented as it moves away. Peripheral vision can capture movement and light contrast well, but lacks in the details.
Better anticipation and more efficient movements
If you stretch out your arm in front of you and hold up your index finger, the nail represents your fovea. The rest of your visual field is all peripheral vision. This illustrates the vast area covered and hence the importance of peripheral vision. The importance of peripheral vision cannot be understated. Elite athletes use it to their advantage every day. By strengthening and reacting to a larger visual field, they are better able to see multiple moving objects, recognize patterns, and react more accurately. This leads to better anticipation and more efficient movements, which are key in most sports.
Train peripheral vision quickly
The Qball trains peripheral vision quickly and efficiently. By fixing the center of your focus on a spot on the ground and bouncing the Qball in all quadrants around this focus point, one must rely on peripheral vision to see, react and catch the erratic Qball. This not only strengthens the ability to track the Qball in 3 dimensions, but also builds confidence. It teaches a person to rely on their peripheral vision, and also trains fast, accurate reactions. As an individual improves it will appear as though the speed of a sport is slowing down. More time equals more options, resulting in better decisions and improved performance.