Varsity vision – team benefits from specialist performance training
Swansea University Rugby Team are preparing for the Welsh Varsity in a groundbreaking and innovative way.
Eurfron Nyhan and the team at Sports Vision Wales in Cardiff have been working with the Varsity squad to improve awareness and speed of information processing in their peripheral vision. Sports vision performance training is a technique currently being explored by the Welsh senior team in their bid for World Cup success in September.
Swansea’s players worked at the centre to improve connections between their peripheral visual field and motor reactions so that vision and body movement may work more efficiently to support one another during a game. Tests were included to evaluate their speed of physical reaction to visual stimuli and training targeted the efficiency of response to multiple visual targets whilst multitasking in the visual system and coping with challenging balance requirements.
Eurfron said, “I think the players have been surprised by the extent to which small changes in performance, such as reducing the need for more extreme eye or head movement, can improve postural stability and speed, and the efficiency with which they can be aware of, and move to intercept, targets approaching from a wider area of space.
“The team has been a pleasure to work with and their efforts are reflected in the improvements in before and after scores for tasks that require efficient integration between vision and motor skills for success”.
Richard Lancaster, Swansea University Head Coach, said “Being a University side we are always looking for research that may help improve the performance of the side. Eurfron’s work with the players will hopefully allow them to be able to process more of what is in their visual field and be able to quickly react to that.
“We fully appreciate the help and support that Sports Vision Wales have afforded the team as it is these small one percent differences in performance that so often make the difference in tight games.”
In preparation for Varsity, Richard Lancaster has incorporated a wide range of different techniques into the training programme to ensure the team are fully prepared, sharp and primed for the big match. He said: “We are extremely lucky that we have been able to work with the Sports Vision Performance Training team who are already demonstrating success with the national side.”
Cardiff Blues and Wales Sevens squad member Tom Rowlands said “It was something we never really work on that much, even with professional teams however it is something that affects you in every aspect of a game, how you react to information coming at you in a wider visual field when off balance under pressure. It’s a lot to take in but hopefully this training will help us all to improve”.
This article was taken from: http://www.swan.ac.uk/media-centre/news-archive/2010-2011/varsityvision-teambenefitsfromspecialistperformancetraining.php