Can improving visual skills make you a better bowler?

Elevate Your Game with Sports Vision by Vision Care | Part III – Cricket (Bowling)

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Bowling in Cricket is a very technical artform which has evolved into a wonderful optimization of biomechanics and creativity.

Cricket has always been a favourite pastime of Sri Lankans and many Sri Lankan cricketers have reached great heights internationally over the years. Among them were great batters and brilliant fielders, but you could say that from the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan to Lasith Malinga, Sri Lankan bowlers have always had something special about them. 

Bowling is an art that is tough to master and takes a lot of practice and skill. One needs to be fit like a bull, agile like a gymnast and precise like an eagle to be the best.

Read: Using‌ ‌Visual‌ ‌skills‌ ‌to‌ ‌become‌ ‌a‌ ‌better‌ ‌batsman‌ ‌ ‌

Most bowlers focus extensively on those first two areas, getting their bodies ripped and bowling hundreds of deliveries a day at the nets, hoping to get better at their trade. But they sometimes forget to give enough prominence the third area, related to precision. Precision is directly connected to one’s vision and cognition. 

Following are a few key visual skills that could take you from being a good bowler to a great bowler and how you could improve those skills with the help of Sports Vision by Vision Care. 

1. Eye-hand coordination – Accurate and fast hand reaction to changing targets

A target in bowling – or anything in cricket – is never a still point. It is always a moving target, near or far, or from side to side. This is not because the pitch is going to move away as you run in to bowl, but because your head is always in motion. 

At your delivery stride, when your arm comes through and your head falls away, there is a fraction of a second where your eyes try to stay locked onto the target point in your mind, at that point, in that millisecond, you are literally delivering the ball almost blindly.

In this instant, other things could happen too. For instance, the batsman could move around in the crease and then you realize that your target point has now changed. The job now is to ensure that your body is able to quickly adapt to this new change to the target point, which you see with your eyes. 

Developing good eye-hand coordination will allow you to make that change effectively, enabling you to hit the target you see with your eyes, through the coordination of your limbs. 

Sports Vision by Vision Care: Introducing state of the art technology to Sri Lankan Sport

2. Visual Clarity – See clear details from a distance 

The inability to see clearly, is definitely a challenge for anyone who wants to play sport, but on the skill of visual clarity, even those with seemingly 20-20 vision, can have difficulties if the skill is not honed.

Our brain builds quick flash images of what we see, based on the tiny details. Differences in colour or shape are cues and even our targets are pinned by those cues. 

The skill to quickly notice minute details in what you see can have a significant impact on your performance as a bowler. If you can notice a tiny boot mark or scuff mark on the pitch from the top of your mark, that could have an area through which you can attack the batsmen.

3. Go/No go – Make accurate decisions to react in pressure situations

Even a tiny bump can seem like a mountain, when you are under pressure. All the last-minute changes mentioned above in eye-hand coordination or the picking out of minute details in visual clarity, get to a whole new level of difficulty, when you are put under pressure. 

So of course, as a bowler, it is absolutely essential that you are able to handle the pressure and make good decisions in tough situations.

Practicing remaining calm under pressure and absorbing the information in what you see is vital to every bowler if they are to do so. 

By developing the go/no go skill, you push yourself to keep absorbing the information you are getting through your eyes even during pressure situations, and train to make the most appropriate decision in that split second of play. 

Want to find out more about Sports Vision? Call/Whatsapp +94 76 697 6278 OR fill in the form below and Sports Vision by Vision Care will contact you!

4. Contrast sensitivity – Judge differences in contrast

Cricket is a game that spans over many hours and even days. This means there are going to be different lighting conditions that you have to play under. You could have a sunny morning, dying evening light, or flashing flood lights, you have to execute your skills equally in all these conditions. 

Develeping the skill of contrast sensitivity facilitates you with the ability to go about your business in all lighting conditions effectively, ensuring that your eyes are able to adjust according to the environment.

5. Depth perception – Judge depth information at different distances

This is one of the most important visual skills a bowler should have develop. The length of the pitch is the depth of a bowler’s vision. In simple words, if you can’t judge how full is too full, or how short is too short, you are going to go for runs. 

Improving this skill will let you focus on your length for a longer time in your run-up before eye-hand coordination kicks in, which results in accuracy in your line and length. 

Read: Training and Technology at Sports Vision by Vision Care

How can Sports Vision by Vision Care help bowlers?

Sports Vision will help you work on not only the skills mentioned here, but also a number of other visual skills that will complement your training. Sports Vision by Vision Care uses advanced technology like Senaptec Strobe Eyewear and Virtual Reality to help bowlers improve on their visual skills.

Virtual Reality or VR, as it’s widely known, is a technology that allows to create game situations virtually. This is a massive asset, particularly, in the current situation created by the pandemic, where training regularly at grounds and stadiums may not be possible. 

Strobe eyewear ©Bernell

Strobe Eyewear are goggles with lenses that flicker between clear and opaque, removing visual information and making it harder to see. This in turn forces the eyes, brain and body to process visual information more efficiently. It is used to improve eye-hand coordination, increase visual memory and improve neuro stability. Training with the Strobe goggles are proven to enhance dynamic visual clarity, which is how clearly you can see in a dynamic environment, which could help immensely if you are a bowler. They could even be used before games to warm-up, ensuring that you are sharp as possible when the match begins. 

The great thing about working with Sports Vision by Vision Care is that not only can you work at the Sports Vision center in Colombo, but the experts there are also able to provide you with various exercises and drills that you can do to keep yourself sharp at home too.

Want to find out more about Sports Vision? Call/Whatsapp +94 76 697 6278 OR fill in the form below and Sports Vision by Vision Care will contact you!

What is Elevate Your Game with Sports Vision by Vision Care?

Elevate Your Game is a series of articles and videos put together through the collaboration of ThePapare.com and Sports Vision by Vision Care to show you how you can get better at your sport, with a little bit of help from the experts at Sports Vision. 

Watch this space for more informative articles on sports such as Gaming, Football, Tennis and Basketball if you want to Elevate Your Game.