Our eyes and visual system play a pivotal role in sports, especially in team games where decisions must be made continuously. To enhance this system, Nike introduced a revolutionary product: the Vapor Strobe Eyewear.Read more: The Game-Changer in Sports: Nike’s Vapor Strobe Eyewear
The Dynamics of Team Sports
In dynamic team sports, basketball players must accurately gauge when and where to pass the ball. Similarly, hockey and soccer players must perfectly time where the ball will land. An illustrative example of this is Robin van Persie’s exceptional goal against Spain during the World Cup. The speed and precision with which he tracked the ball, calculated its trajectory, and headed it mid-air while sprinting showcases the significance of a sharp visual system.
Introducing the Vapor Strobe Eyewear
A few years ago, Nike launched the Vapor Strobe Eyewear with a ‘stroboscopic’ effect. The glasses, featuring Liquid Crystal Display, can intermittently obstruct vision. Training with this restricted view forces the brain to decide with less visual data. When playing without the glasses, the brain, having adapted to limited information, perceives the game as ‘slower’, giving the athlete a feeling of having more reaction time. Additionally, this forces the visual-motor system to execute basic techniques almost reflexively, inadvertently honing technical skills.
Research on Vapor Strobe Eyewear
Nike conducted a preliminary study on the eyewear’s effects using 11 American ice hockey players. They were divided into a test group of six (training with the eyewear) and a control group of five (training without it). Both groups underwent the same training, with the test group outperforming the control group by 18%. Although promising, this study was preliminary and had limitations.
Teams like Vitesse and various hockey teams have also incorporated these glasses to boost player performance. Stay tuned for more on tools enhancing visual training.