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Study Finds that College Athletes Possess Superior Visual Skills

November 21, 2012

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College athletes possess superior visual skills compared to students who do not play college sports, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

In their study “An Evaluation of Visual Skills of Athletes and Non-Athletes,” Dr. Frank Spaniol, a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, and McNair Scholar student Renae Hudak conducted research on 72 NCAA Division I student-athletes who played baseball, softball, and volleyball, and 30 students who do not play college sports. All subjects were between the ages of 18-25.

Visual skills were assessed using the Vizual Edge Performance Trainer (VEPT) software program and included tests for visual alignment, depth perception, visual flexibility, visual recognition, and visual tracking which were combined to formulate a composite VEPT score. Their finding that NCAA Division I student-athletes possess greater visual skills when compared to non-student-athletes supports other studies on the benefits of visual training in athletic performance as well as academic and career pursuits.

An earlier study conducted by Spaniol and his research team on members of the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team showed that Islanders baseball players who used the Vizual Edge Performance Trainer significantly improved their hitting skills.

“We’ve known from previous survey studies that baseball players believe that training with Vizual Edge enhances their performance,” said Spaniol, who has worked with the Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, and Milwaukee Brewers professional baseball teams to analyze athletic performance. “The results of this study confirmed that college baseball players who trained with Vizual Edge outperformed those who did not.” 

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