Improving Your Goaltending Skill Through Vision Therapy
In order to be effective when it comes to stopping pucks, young ice hockey goaltenders must have excellent vision. As they continue to grow, shot speed will increase. Without the establishment of effective visual tracking habits at a young age, a goaltender will not be able to keep up with these advancements in shot speed.
Here are three visual therapy exercises that you can do now in order to improve your success between the pipes at a later date.
1. Adjust your focal point.
As a goaltender, you will need to constantly make quick adjustments when it comes to your focal point. You need to be able to shift your focus from an object that is far away to an object that is close as shots come in from the opposing team. This is a visual skill that is commonly referred to as focus flexibility.
You can increase your focus flexibility by printing out two photographs. Tape one to the wall across the room from where you will be sitting, and hold the other in your hands. Shift your focal point back and forth between the two pictures, and you will help increase your ability to make quick focal adjustments in a game situation.
2. Watch television with your head turned to the side.
In addition to being aware of what is happening directly in front of you, to be a great goaltender you need to be able to spot players to either side of you when focusing on the puck as well. This is a skill that is commonly referred to as peripheral awareness.
In order to increase the sharpness of your peripheral awareness to prevent backdoor goals, you should try watching your favorite television show with your head turned to either side. This forces you to focus on the scene unfolding on your TV with your peripheral vision and allows you to get comfortable using your peripheral awareness to process visual information.
3. Tape letters cut from a magazine on an old record.
You may have perfect vision when reading the static chart in your optometrist's office, but the sharpness of your eyesight could decline quickly when trying to view an object in motion.
Improving your dynamic visual skills is simple when you take the time to cut out letters of varying sizes from a magazine and tape them to an old record. Stand at arm's length from the record while it is being played at different speeds and attempt to read the letters. This activity will force your eye to quickly scan and track moving objects, a skill that will be useful when it comes to stopping fast shots on the ice.
Use visual training techniques to become a better goaltender by allowing yourself to gain the visual skills needed to see the puck clearly at all times. For more information, contact local professionals like Vision Eyeland Super Optical LLC.