39 aspects of vision for shooting that go beyond 20/20, readers, and astigmatism.

It’s very common when I talk with people about vision training that they immediately start talking about wearing bifocals, trifocals, or progressives…or what type of vision correction surgery they’ve had.

In most cases, they’re just referring to visual acuity…their ability to see objects clearly and sharply at various distances.

But there’s so much more to vision, and how clearly people see can normally be helped super-easily with lenses.

So here are some of the higher leverage aspects of vision that I look at:

1. Contrast sensitivity: This is the ability to clearly determine what things are, even when they blend in with their background…especially under low light conditions.
2. Static fusion: How good is your brain at quickly and accurately fusing the images from both eyes into a single image you can trust and that’s not confusing when you and your target are stationary.
3. Dynamic fusion: How good is your brain at quickly and accurately fusing the images from both eyes into a single image you can trust and that’s not confusing when you and/or your target are moving.
4. Visual dominance: Not just right vs. left but all 4 forms of visual dominance.
5. How visual dominance changes based on context: There are several factors that can influence visual dominance, including whether you’re holding an object in your right hand, left hand, or both hands and stance.
6. Depth perception: The ability to judge distance and the distance/size relationship between objects.
7. Peripheral awareness: Being able to identify movement in the periphery while visually engaged with something straight ahead.
8. Peripheral vision: Being able to identify things/people in the periphery while visually engaged with something straight ahead.
9. Visual reaction time: The time it takes to visually identify what you’re seeing, make a decision based on it, and begin to take appropriate physical action.
10. Smooth eye tracking: Both the ability and the speed that you can track objects…with each eye individually AND with both eyes together in each of the 8 cardinal directions.
11. Hand-eye coordination: The ability to accurately point/grab where you’re looking (touchscreen and gesture activated device studies have shown that a shocking number of people are off by as much as 10” at 10 feet!)
12. Foot-eye coordination: The ability to avoid trip hazards with your feet based on what you see with your eyes.
13. Vergence: Having the eyes correctly pointed at what you’re focused on. Critical for distance estimation, but 39% of the population has their eyes pointed closer than what they’re focused on and 9% have their eyes pointed beyond what they’re focused on.
14. Dynamic visual acuity: The ability to see moving objects clearly and accurately.
15. Accommodation: The ability to keep the image of an object clear as it’s coming towards you or switching back and forth between clearly seeing close and far objects.
16. Color vision: The ability to perceive and tell the difference between colors.
17. Visual memory: Remembering what you saw.
18. Visual attention: The ability to pay attention to one thing while ignoring others.
19. Minimizing saccadic blindness: Minimizing visual suppression during jerky movements of the eyes.
20. Accuracy of jerky movement of the eye. Minimizing overtravel and undertravel of the eye during fast movement between objects.
21. Single and coordinated gaze fixation. Can you keep your eyes still?
22. Single and coordinated smooth pursuits: Can you track something with both eyes smoothly and at the same speed?
23. Single and coordinated saccades: How quickly can you shift focus and process what you see, both individually and with both eyes at the same time?
24. Visual decision making speed: How quickly can you make an accurate decision based on what you see?
25. Linked visual decision making with psychomotor skills: How quickly can you physically do the right thing after a visual stimulus?
26. Vision during balance perturbation: How clearly can you see as you’re recovering from having balance challenged?
27. Vision during cognitive load: How is vision impacted by complex thought?
28. Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex: Fastest reflex in the body. How smooth and clear is your vision while your head is moving?
29. VOR-C: Can you move your eyes and head together at the same time?
30. Identifying the horizon: Do your eyes accurately assess horizontal?
31. Judging closing speed and distance of objects: Catching balls rather than having them hit your closed hand or hit your face.
32. Glare recovery: How quickly can you see clearly after looking at bright light?
33. Voluntary suppression: Can you switch back and forth between looking through a scope and around the scope with both eyes open?
34. Visually driven inhibition: Can you do the OPPOSITE of the visual cue that you’re seeing or stop an action that you’re primed to do based on a visual cue?
35. Visual endurance: How long can you perform visually at a high level?
36. Visual chunking: How effectively can you combine visual factors to create overall meaning that drives accurate decision-making? (similar to seeing groups of words vs. individual letters when reading)
37. Tolerance of sunlight: Can you perform at a high level outside without a cap or sunglasses?
38. Resilience to flicker, fluorescent, LED, and screen light: With our without colored lenses on.
39. Impact of colored lenses: On pain, strength, limbic system, range of motion, and overall performance.

Each and every one of these can have a significant impact on shooting, but, to be frank, that’s too many things for instructors to test with students one-by-one.

So I’ve learned, found, and sometimes even developed drills that test and help with several of these at the same time.

These simple, fast, powerful drills are just some of the things I’m going to be teaching in the Vision Training for Instructors class that’s starting Thursday. It’s a live, online, 6 week class that you’re going to want to be a part of if you’re a firearms instructor who’s serious about your craft.

In looking at the list of instructors who have registered so far, it’s going to be a blast!

If you’re interested, say “tell me more” in the comments below.  If you got to this article because of an email I sent, please reply back to it with the words, “Tell Me More”

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  • Mauro

    Reply Reply July 14, 2023

    tell me more

  • Jeff

    Reply Reply July 13, 2023

    Tell me more

  • Joe Theis

    Reply Reply July 12, 2023

    Tell me more please

  • legion training Martin Fisher

    Reply Reply July 11, 2023

    tell me more

  • Chris : Holliman

    Reply Reply July 10, 2023

    This deserves a read again.

    Great Job!!!

  • Tom H.

    Reply Reply July 10, 2023

    I am not an instructor but,I’d like to know more(vision degrading due to age).

  • Tex

    Reply Reply July 10, 2023

    Tell me more

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