How To Get Vision Like Conner McDavid

So what sets players like Conner McDavid apart?

He has skill that puts him in another level than his peers….the age old ‘nature vs nurture’ question is if players like McDavid are great because they were born that way or is it because they trained to that level.

My thoughts are that it has more to do with training than just natural skill.   It seems that great players have a drive to train better, harder and longer than their peers…and they have done this from a young age.

Not only do they train more but they seek out types of training that others are not doing.

Recently the Globe and Mail had an article on McDavid training his vision ….as well as  how Gretzky (and the rest of the 80’s Oilers) trained their vision.

’Offensively, he sees things developing before anybody else’

Think of Visual Skill as another aspect of an athlete – much like you might evaluate a player’s athleticism or hockey specific skills. For example, you may have two players who are both at a similar level: one athlete might be at that level because they have superior hockey skills but is just an average athlete, the other may be a superb athlete but has poorer hockey skills. To reach the next level these two athletes would need to improve athleticism or hockey skills, respectively.

So what are Visual Skills you can train?   Everyone knows that one player who consistently seems to make the right pass, dodge checks or pick off that pass….these players have superior visual skills.  They have better peripheral awareness, are able to process visual information faster and can keep track of teammates & opponents better.  These are all visual skills, and they can be trained.

So think about this training list and which ones you could train to take you to the next level:

  • Athleticism
  • Skating speed and ability
  • Stickhandling Skills
  • Shooting Skills
  • Visual Skills

If you are a player or goalie and would like to train your visual skills, send me an email.  We have programs for all ages and skill levels, and they start at $99.  We have a programs that can train eyes-up stick-handling in 8-10 year olds and more advanced programs that can train visual skills in pro players.

Email me for more information.

Michael D. Nelson, OD

EyeGym Canada,






Eyes Up Stickhandling: Spring Break 2017

Eyes-Up Hockey Stickhandling Program

A differentiating skill in hockey players of all ages is the ability to stickhandle while keeping track of the play on ice.   Players that can do this are known to have great on-ice awareness.   Sign up for this special spring break vision training program and we will help you improve your eye-up stick handling.

Four 50 Minute Sessions:   $50

Ages: 2007, 2008, 2009


Baseline training on proper stick handling technique

Baseline assessment of eyes-up stick handling skills and multi-player tracking.

Training of heads up stick handling

At home training exercises

Free Stickhandling ball


Session Times available

Monday- Friday:  9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm , 2pm, 3pm

Contact Teagen to Book. 204 487-1901,

How’s Your Visual Endurance?

This weekend a Norwegian Hockey game broke the record for the longest game.  It went to 8 overtime periods and lasted 8 1/2 hours.    At one point the teams ordered in some food.

This type of game requires physical endurance and visual endurance.   Fortunately you don’t need to focus this long in most games and for the most part with shifts less than 1 minute most hockey players only need to focus for 1 minute at a time.

Goalies sometimes can feel the visual strain of sustained pressure in their zone and loss of focus is a big reason why goals are scored following sustained pressure.

The great news is that you can train your visual endurance and focus.  You can train your eyes and concentration to stay ‘in the zone’ longer.  A great tool we use for this is Multi-object tracking.

If you are interested in this type of training book an eye exam and sports vision assessment.

Michael Nelson, OD FAAO

EyeGym Canada



Canada Hockey Expo

Come visit us, talk about our programs and test your visual skills at our booth at the Canada Hockey Expo.

RBC Convention Centre

Saturday, June 11th: 10am – 8pm
Sunday, June 12th: 10am – 6pm


Could You Stop an NHL Slap Shot?

Hockey Goalie in Front of Goal

It’s July and hockey season is just around the corner…so it is time to start thinking about your preseason training.  Every goalie’s dream is to have the chance to stop an NHL slapshot from the point.  So do you think you could do it?

Let’s go back to physics class and figure it out.

Let’s say you have an average NHL defenseman with an 85mph slapshop, shooting at you from the blueline, about 55 feet away.  It will take that slap shot 430 milliseconds to reach you. 

In those 430 milliseconds you need to do the following:

  1. Locate and focus on the the shot. 
  2. Determine the speed, distance and direction of the puck.
  3. Process this information in your brain and make a decision on what you will do.
  4. React.

Could you do all that?   Perhaps, if your reaction time is fast enough. 

What if you could improve your reaction time?

Studies show that reaction time can be measured and trained in as little as 5 weeks.  If you would like to improve your reaction time, call us to book a sports vision evaluation and training session.