Olympic Vision Day 14: Hockey Vision


Team Canada has been criticized for the lack of goal production from their forwards and that if it wasn’t for the defense they would be dire straits.  During the preliminary rounds Team Canada has 7 goals from defensemen and 6 from forwards.

If you are looking for a possible answer perhaps it has to do with hand-eye reaction time.

In a previous post we looked at what it takes to stop a slapshot in the NHL.  Let’s say you have an average NHL defenseman with an 85mph slapshot, shooting at you from the blueline, about 55 feet away.  It will take that slap shot 430 milliseconds to reach you.

olympic ice

Everyone knows that the Olympic ice is wider, but you may not remember that the goal line and blue line are closer together as well….6 feet closer.  That means the defense is shooting from 6 feet closer.  So now that 85mph slapshot is reaching the goalie in 393 milliseconds.

To save it the goalies must react 10% faster.

So knowing this, do you think the increased goal production by the defense is an accident?


Stickhandling Research Study

eyegym studyEyeGym Stickhandling Study 2014 DETAILS
Waverley Eye Care Centre, home of EyeGym Canada, is currently investigating the potential benefit of strobe glasses on stickhandling training in youth hockey players.  A recent study conducted with the Carolina Hurricanes showed the use of strobe glasses were beneficial in training hockey skills.  If you are born in 2001 or 2002 and are enrolled in a youth hockey program you may be eligible to participate.  Contact Dr. Michael Nelson to find out more information.

Assess Your Sports Vision At Your Annual Eye Exam

sports eyechartIt’s back to school time and that means it is time to schedule your annual eye exam.  Annual eye exams will ensure that you are seeing well for the upcoming school year.  We will check and improve your vision so you are seeing well and we will also check the health of your eyes to make sure there are no underlying concerns. 

If you play sports, why not book a sports vision baseline assessment at the same time?  In addition to the comprehensive eye exam and the Optomap Retinal Photos ($45)  that we would perform at your regular eye exam we will also perform the following:

  • Evaluation of 8 sports-relevant visual skills
  • Review of sports related skills and recommended areas for improvement
  • Baseline Concussion Testing: Used to assist in diagnosis and return to ice readiness
  • $50 credit towards a 5 week sports vision training program

The additional fee for this sports vision assessment, in addition to the annual eye exam fees ($45 for Optomap photos), is only $30.

For more information or to book an appointment call or email us.

Heads Up Stickhandling


Hockey Player Skating with Puck

When you are watching a hockey game have you ever noticed that some kids that always seem to make that perfect pass.  Announcers describe players like this as having ‘great vision’.  Sports vision specialists can measure the size of an athlete’s detailed vision zone but the first step is quite simple – look up.  If you are stickhandling with your head down you can’t see who is open and you can’t avoid collisions with other players. 

The great news is that heads-up stickhandling can be trained, the bad news is that it is rarely trained in regular hockey practices or even hockey camps.  You can train your eyes and your brain to use your peripheral vision for viewing the puck while keeping your eyes up watching the play.   Our Pre-Season Hockey Tune-Up will train your visual system to use heads-up stickhandling as well as improve your stickhandling speed and precision.

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.