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:
- 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, firstname.lastname@example.org