How To Improve Your Hand Eye Coordination ⚾️

Jul 1, 2022

How to improve your hand eye coordination:

How to improve your hand-eye coordination

 WE all know hand-eye coordination is an essential skill in most sports, but it is also something we use in everyday life too.

 Picking up a glass of water, reading and writing and even playing video games all use this vital skill. However, if you’re a budding sports star looking to brush up, Specsavers is sharing some ways you might be able to help improve your hand-eye coordination.

 What is hand-eye coordination?

 Giles Edmonds, Specsavers clinical services director, says: ‘Hand-eye coordination is the synchronisation of visual stimuli with reactive hand movement or put simply, the communication between your eyes and hands to complete a task. This skill is extremely useful for those who play racket and ball sports as it is important to be able to communicate quickly (reaction times) and efficiently (hand-eye coordination) during fast-paced situations.’

 What can impact our hand-eye coordination?

 Mr Edmonds says: ‘There are several factors that can affect our hand-eye coordination including our age and neurological disorders. As you get older your body’s processes begin to slow down, including the speed of communication between your eyes and hands. Disorders that affect your brain’s function or physical motor skills can also do the same to your hand-eye coordination too – particularly with conditions such as multiple sclerosis and ataxia.

‘While these two factors can’t be controlled, another factor that can impact on our hand-eye coordination is fatigue. When you’re tired, your body doesn’t function as efficiently as it could and can make it harder for accurate communication between the eyes and hands as the brain can’t process this information at its usual speed. So, if you have a big football or tennis match coming up, make sure to get plenty of rest beforehand.’

How to improve hand-eye coordination

 ‘Exercising your eyes is a great way to start improving your hand eye coordination,’ Mr Edmonds says. Here, he shares his top exercises[1]: 

  • Jump convergence: To do this choose two objects, one about an arm’s length away and the other 3-4m away. Focus your eyes on the far object and then ‘jump’ your gaze to the close object. Practice this ‘jumping’ between objects, making sure each are in focus before switching to the other. This exercise allows you to focus your vision more easily on objects at different distances and allows your body to accurately prepare a response. 
  • Throwing and catching: This is one of the simplest practices for hand-eye coordination. Start practising with short throws before progressing to high throws – you could even ask a friend to throw the ball for you to make it more unexpected. 
  • Play video games: While we don’t recommend looking at screens for prolonged periods of time without a break, playing video games is another way to help improve hand-eye coordination as you respond to what is happening in the game by pushing the correct controlled buttons.

 Why is hand-eye communication important in sport?

 Mr Edmonds adds: ‘Hand-eye coordination in sport is crucial for anticipating other players’ decisions, reacting to them and initiating your own action in response.

 ‘In tennis the player must quickly analyse the speed and location the ball will reach them and position themselves accordingly to be able to hit it. They also need to factor in their racket placement to make sure they have an accurate hit.

 ‘In a sport like basketball hand-eye coordination is used for catching, passing, dribbling and shooting and it is important in football too, particularly for goal keepers and when carrying out side-line throw-ins.’

 If you want to learn from the best, keep up to date with how football legend Jimmy Bullard is training our Best Worst Football team here or for more information on hand eye coordination and to test it online visit www.specsavers.co.uk/eye-health/improve-hand-eye-coordination.

 To book in for a sight and hearing test you can contact Specsavers Staines on 01784 493355 or book online

[1] https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/activities-to-sharpen-your-eyehand-coordination