Volleyball Reaction Time: Are you a Scott Sterling?

If you are a fan of volleyball and YouTube I’m sure you have seen the Scott Sterling volleyball video.

As great as Scott is as returning kills with his face, most players would prefer to have a fast enough reaction time to return it with their hands. So how fast do you need to be?

So here is clip from a Junior Varisty Provincials game.

As you can see this spike is traveling at almost 80km/hr which leaves the player 290ms to react so that he doesn’t get “Scott Sterlinged”. In this time the player must decide the direction and speed of the ball, decide if it is in or out, decide how he will react to play the ball and then react. Not much time.

Two important take home messages for volleyball players here:

1. Train reaction time: just like any other sport skill, you can train reaction time. Train you body and brain to react that millisecond faster.
2. Muscle memory: While it is one thing to get your hands up in time, it’s another to get them in a position that actually makes a play. If you watch to then end of this clip you will notice that this player gets returns the spike back into play and they actually win the point. This was not an accident…hundreds of reps has trained this player how and where to place his hands so that he doesn’t have to think about that, the brain just knows; novice players would like be hit in the face or have the hit deflect out of play because their brain was thinking about how and where they should move to.

Michael Nelson, OD
EyeGym Canada

Why more ballplayers should give their eyes a workout


Baseball and Vision training

unt new Blue Jay Randal Grichuk among the believers in vision training, which takes many forms and has a long history of success, especially in a sport where decisions are made in milliseconds.  Dr. Nelson speaks to staff reporter Laura Armstrong with the Toronto Star about sports vision training.


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, info@eyegym.ca






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,  info@eyegym.ca

March Madness Multiviewing

Everyone has heard of multi-tasking…how about multi-viewing?  March Madness is a great time for testing your multi-viewing skills…..trying to watch 4 or more games simultaneously so you don’t miss that buzzer beater finish.

The term we use in sports vision training for this is Multi-object tracking.  This is the ability to keep track of your teammates and opponents while they move around on the court.  This is also the skill that is used when you talk about an athlete have great court vision – players with great multi object tracking also tend to make better and more accurate passes because they know where everyone is.

Take a look at this video of basketball playerAlvin Abreu using neurotracker to train his multi object tracking.


EyeGym Canada is the only facility in Manitoba that has Neurotracker available.  Call us and book an appointment to learn more.

Michael Nelson, OD FAAO

EyeGym Canada