Every strength training program in the country has a major emphasis geared toward keeping players healthy for the upcoming season.
Cincinnati has seemingly found a way to take that a step further with vision testing that is improving players’ peripheral vision. The idea with improving a player’s peripheral vision is that if you can see a hit coming sooner, you can better prepare for it.
But does it actually work?
In the four seasons before Cincinnati was doing the vision training (2006-2009), Bearcats players suffered a total of 35 concussions. When 2010 started, Cincinnati began their vision training program and in the four years that followed, the number of concussions has dropped dramatically to just 6 in the four year span from 2010-2013.
Before the training program, the Bearcats were averaging around 9 concussions per year. With the new program in place, that number has dropped to about 1.5 concussions per year.
“What we learned is that if we create an environment, or give them an opportunity to gain strength in their eyes, it increases your peripheral awareness,” associate AD for Sports Medicine Bob Mangine explains in the clip. “Every year we add a new game or a new gimmick, and we went from simply trying to prevent the concussions to, now, trying to improve performance.”
Players are doing everything from interactive iPad games for help, to wearing special glasses on the field to help focus and concentration.
Take a closer look at Cincinnati’s vision program below.