Eye Work 3

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I have written about ‘eye work‘ a few times in various contexts, both playing and coaching.  Eye work in this context is loosely defined simply as what you look and when, although in practice also encompasses how you process what you see. The point is that what you see and how you process that information are the keys to successful performance.  There was recently a great book excerpt published on the Sport Illustrated website from David Epstein’s new book “The Sports Gene”.  His piece is on how specific is that ability to see and process.  He tells the story about how the very best major league baseball hitters where not able to touch one of the best softball pitchers.  Despite the fact that the ball is bigger and was effectively travelling at the same speed they could not lay wood on it.  The ability of an expert player to process information is incredibly specific.  Which is part of the reason I don’t much like ball machines.  But I digress…

To take it back a step from the specific to the theoretical researchers at the University College Dublin have recently published some research into what it is that experts actually look at differently from non experts.  For example, they found that expert tennis players look at the ball less than non experts.  And that top golfers actually barely look at the hole while they are preparing to put.  A brief newspaper article on the study is here.  The youtube clip below is an expanded version of the article.  It is worth watching.

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