‘Nike Vision’ Workshop presented for Maties cricket players
On Saturday 8 September the Centre for Human Performance Sciences (CHPS) at Stellenbosch University presented a Nike Vision Workshop to members of the Maties Cricket Club. The workshop took place at the home of Maties Cricket on a bright Stellenbosch morning, and Maties cricketers were given the opportunity to sample cricket-specific eyewear from Nike Vision, while also being exposed to visual skills training.
Grant van Velden, sports vision specialist at CHPS, facilitated the workshop and opened proceedings with a presentation highlighting the importance of both sports vision training and eye protection on the field of play. “The idea for this workshop came largely as a result of Mark Boucher’s recent eye injury suffered on South Africa’s cricket tour of England,” he says. “While this was an unfortunate and relatively freakish incident, we do believe that it served to highlight the importance of protecting one’s eyes while on the field. As a result we decided to create this platform in partnership with Nike Vision and Mellins I-Style for Maties cricketers to be educated around this issue.”
After the opening presentation the Maties cricketers took part in various visual skills training drills under the watchful eye of Van Velden, while at the same time sampling Nike Vision eyeware during these activities. An optometrist of the Mellins branch in the Neelsie student centre was also on hand to provide valuable input to the interested cricketers.
“All athletes recognise the importance of physical and mental conditioning, but there are still many that do not focus on actual visual training despite the fact that the visual component plays a critical part in their performance,” says Van Velden. “Many athletes do not even realise that the visual system can be trained just like we train our bodies in the gym, and this is an important message that we have tried to convey during this workshop.”
According to Van Velden, another important aspect relates to the mode of training: “We believe that it is important to conduct visual skills training in a manner that closely resembles actual match situations since this serves to create a realistic scenario which the athletes are likely to find themselves in out on the field of play. As a result the drills that we have utilised today have largely incorporated cricket-specific elements such as fielding a ball and returning it over the stumps – a lot of which has been coupled with a decision-making component.”
As far as the immediate future is concerned, Van Velden indicated that the Centre for Human Performance Sciences will certainly investigate the possibility of presenting similar workshops in the future, including for additional sport codes other than cricket. “We will be discussing the options with our partners for this project, namely Nike Vision and Mellins I-Style, and we are certainly very positive about the potential that this area holds,” he said.