You just jumped off the lift and are ready to hit the slope. As an experienced skier, you look down the slope to identify obstacles, inspect the angles, and evaluate the consistency of the snow. If you want to be successful, you know that you need to plan out your line.
That’s all very nice — in theory. In real-life situations, the slope is not always visible. As you speed down you may suddenly encounter dangerous sections you weren’t previously aware of. Maybe an icy patch that is difficult to spot as contrasts is difficult to discern in the snow.
To Be an Excellent Skier, You Need Excellent Visual Skills
Contrast sensitivity is critical for skiing. A snowy landscape is a composition of white shades, and your safety depends on your ability to differentiate between them.
Let’s look at some other visual skills, which, when improved make you a better skier:
- Depth awareness. With better awareness of space and distance, you can ski with greater confidence. This allows for higher speed and increased safety.
- Peripheral vision. You are not alone on the slope, and the actions of others are not always predictable. Good peripheral vision allows you to identify any potential dangers that crop up from the side and avoid them.
- Gross visual-motor. You can be in complete control of how you move around obstacles when vision and motor skills are perfectly aligned. Visual-motor coordination is fundamental for taking every turn exactly as planned.
- Visual perception. Perceive and assess all that is going on in your visual field. Spot the next mogul before you feel it in your knees.
- Reaction time. The speed at which you react depends on how quickly your brain comprehends what the eyes see. With faster reaction time you can ski safely at an increased speed.
- Focus control. As you speed downhill, what was far away a second ago is suddenly right in front of you. Train your eyes to maintain simultaneous focus and quickly shift focus from near to far.
Sports Vision Training for Serious Skiers
Enhancing your visual skills will make skiing safer and more fun. And as a bonus, these skills will enable you to ski better and faster.
At , we provide functional eye exams to assess your visual skills and detect which ones are preventing you from becoming a champion skier.
What Is Sports Vision Training?
Dr. Patrick Quaid, Dr. Hadassah Rutman, & Dr. Daniel Cunningham will put together a personalized training program based on the results of your functional eye exam. Generally, you will attend weekly in-office training sessions followed with daily exercises to be carried out at home. The exercises may involve the use of special computer software to train your eyes, mechanical vision games, or traditional eye exercises.
Increase safety and improve performance on your next skiing vacation. Contact VUE Sports Vision Center today to schedule a functional eye exam.
We train athletes from Guelph, North York, Kitchener, York, and throughout Ontario.