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Home » Sports Vision » The Vision Skills Needed for Quarterbacks to Succeed 

The Vision Skills Needed for Quarterbacks to Succeed 

man holding football and football uniform in black 140039Here’s a question for you: what do you believe to be the most important skill required for a quarterback to succeed? A good quarterback needs a strong throwing arm, quick feet, strong cognitive skills, and leadership qualities —surely everyone could agree on that. But is that enough to truly excel at the sport?

Quarterbacks tend to intensively train their physical strength without realizing that enhancing their visual and cognitive skills could render their exercise drills more effective. Acute peripheral vision and exceptional reaction time, among other visual skills, are critical to quarterback’s success. Sports vision training lays the cornerstone for these skills and helps players be the athletes they know can be. Contact Dr. Lisa Roach to see how sports vision training can help your child or players improve their game.

Quarterbacks Need Above-Average Vision Skills to Succeed

It goes without saying that a good quarterback needs to have a  strong throwing arm. But a strong arm alone does not guarantee success. The quarterback needs to evaluate distance and other players’ speeds accurately, which is where visual skills come in.

Quarterbacks need to be aware of everyone and everything around them and understand the precise location and path of movement of every player. At the same time, they need to follow the ball.

Which Visual Skills Can Sports Vision Training Improve?

In a pass play, the quarterback gets the ball and draws back. Being at the back of the action, he has only a split second to choose among up to five receivers he could throw the ball to. Why only a split second? Because there are anywhere from 3 - 11 rivaling defense players trying to run the quarterback into the ground or get him to make the wrong decision.

Given this scenario, which visual skills are needed for a quarterback to succeed?

Eye Focusing Skills

Following a quick-moving object — i.e. the wide receiver  —requires sustained focusing power control and an ability for the eyes to shift quickly and accurately.

Depth Perception

By increasing and stabilizing binocular depth perception, quarterbacks can improve their spatial judgment. If the receiver is farther than you assessed, your pass will not reach him. Is he closer than you thought? He may have to stretch, jump, or run for it.

Peripheral Vision

When the quarterback has the ball, all the opponent’s players' eyes are on him. Most dangerous are those who can see the quarterback, but he can't see them because they are at the edge of his visual field. Strong peripheral/side vision prepares quarterbacks to see where the defenders are located at any given time.

Visual Reaction Time

This refers to the speed with which the quarterbacks' brain interprets and reacts to the opponent's action. His next step depends on how quickly and efficiently his brain integrates the visual input with motor functions.

Gross-Visual Motor

The quarterback has processed all the information and reached a decision while he was moving. This requires excellent coordination between the eyes, hands, legs, and the rest of the body. Now it is time to act. With vision and movement perfectly aligned, the ball will reach the player the quarterback chooses at the exact point in space and time he decides.

What you just read was a second in a football game. Even though it wasn’t a particularly complicated situation, the advantages of superb visual skills are evident.

The Vision Skills Needed for Quarterbacks to Succeed from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

Enhancing the Performance of a Quarterback

You can train visual skills just like you would any other skill. Optometrists, such as Dr. Lisa Roach, offer sports vision training to help players achieve their goals and take their game to the next level. A functional eye exam will evaluate visual skills, after which Dr. Lisa Roach will create a personal vision training plan. The child will typically receive in-office therapy once or twice a week, coupled with home exercises.

At , we help players be the athletes they know they can be. We train players from Houston, Spring, Woodlands, Conroe, and throughout Texas.



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Dr. Inns is a 1982 graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilfred Laurier University, Canada. During his training at the University of Houston, he held positions in research and was a teaching assistant / laboratory instructor.

Postgraduate work includes therapeutic courses at Pennsylvania College of Optometry and the Optometric Glaucoma Specialist Course at the University of Texas Medical School. Dr. Inns has published in Optometry Today and Optometric Management. He also volunteers at the schools in his area.

Dr. Inns and his wife, Lynn, spend much of their spare time calling and visiting with their four boys.

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Amber Draper, Manager

As the manager of The Woodlands office, Amber Draper leads the team with the focus on patient care and assisting with their ophthalmic needs. Having over 10 years experience, Amber can aid patients with the most appropriate lens technology to match their daily needs. Everyone needs at least one pair of sun wear, especially here in Texas.

Amber is a proud graduate of Sam Houston State University with a BA in History, and a minor in Spanish.

In her spare time, she is with family, friends, and enjoying some Houston Texans Football.

Dr. Toups is a 1984 graduate of the University of Houston College of Optometry. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Northeast Louisiana University.

Being a therapeutically licensed optometrist, Dr. Toups is trained to diagnose and treat ocular conditions. He specializes in contact lenses and he is current with all refractive surgery procedures.

Dr. Toups is married, has five children and has lived in the Houston area since 1980.

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