Growing up, I played softball. I never understood the importance of playing softball, I just knew it was fun and I loved being part of a team. Little did I know just playing catch was building up my visual system.
Here's why playing catch is important: First and foremost while throwing and catching we are building our visual skills. It can also help us detect visual problems.
Many times as I am talking with our patients' parents, aside from asking about school performance I ask, "Do they like to play sports?" or, "How are they with catching?" Most of parents say, "They hate sports, and are not very good at catching." Bingo! That tells me that their visual system needs to learn to work in a different way to accomplish the task.
In a previous blog about Sports Therapy, I wrote about sports and how they have different visual demands. Check it out:
- Passing/shooting aim (depth perception and eye/hand coordination)
- Improved defensive and offensive awareness (peripheral vision)
- Enhanced reaction time (eye/hand coordination)
- Improved fielding (tracking and depth perception)
Starting this weekend, go out and play ball with your children! It will strengthen their visual skills, help their eyes (and brain) learn to refocus and work together.
If you find that your child is having difficulty catching, it is time for a Comprehensive Evaluation here at Optometric Physicians.