There are hundreds of different sports played across the world today. Some use balls, some involve race cars, and others involve no instruments or tools, like running. Although each sport has many major differences, there is one skill that every sport uses— vision.
All athletes rely on their vision as an essential part of their skill set. But why is vision so important and what makes it so unique in the sporting world?
Why Vision Is Important to Athletes
Vision is most commonly defined as the ability to see. Vision can also be the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. Both definitions of vision are important for an athlete to have. The ability to visualize the future is what separates good athletes from great athletes.
In soccer, our ability to see what is happening on the field is vital. One of the most common expressions in the sporting world is the cue to “get your eyes up”. Go to a youth soccer game one weekend and count the number of times you hear this during the chaos of the game.
We’ve all heard this once or twice in our own lives or sporting careers. Getting your eyes up allows you to see what is going on in front of you and around you. It allows for better communication with your teammates.
But what if you do not understand what you are looking at? What if an athlete can get their eyes up but they do not know where to look? What if they know where to look but are unsure how to process the information in front of them?
How to Use Vision in Soccer
For soccer players, vision is the ability to see AND the ability to think about or plan the next move. To be able to see around you on the field and know your potential future options. Soccer players need to be able to think about what is currently happening on the field and what is about to happen.
Getting your eyes up is essential in soccer because there are so many things happening around you that you need to be aware of and think about, all while either attacking or defending. In moments of transition from offense to defense, soccer players need to know where their teammates are on the field and where there is an opportunity to attack.
Watch the video and notice how many times the young player uses his vision. He checks over his shoulders multiple times to know where his teammates are and what options he has. The player checks his shoulder twice before he even gets the ball.
It is not only about what he sees, but also about what he sees that is about to happen. As the ball travels to him, he is already finding solutions to different problems arising on the field.
A young player can have all the talent in the world, but if they do not know what to do with that talent then they will become overwhelmed on the field. Getting your eyes up is only step one in improving your vision.
The other step is using what you see with your eyes to imagine or envision what is about to happen next.
For example, when you look up and see a teammate making a run, do you play the ball where they are or where they are going to be? Ultimately, your decision-making relies on your ability to get your eyes up. But your decision-making should not be a result of what you see in front of you. Your decision-making should be a result of what you think and imagine is about to happen around you.
Learn More With Blaze!
The secret to mastering any skill is practice! Are you looking to become a stronger player? Could you use direct feedback from a professional coach on how to improve your passing skills, communication, or vision on the field?
At Blayze we give you personalized video analysis coaching sessions and individual training programs, plus mentorship from professional coaches.
Our Blayze+ program breaks down the barriers to finding elite-level training by making top-tier coaches available for ALL athletes. Custom-developed coaching sessions can help you improve your on-field skills, so you are performing at your very best in every game. For a truly unique and personalized feedback experience, click HERE to learn more about the Blayze+ program!