Sports & Athlete Vision Services

Athlete vision testsEveryone agrees that you must see your best in order to perform your best. No matter what your game is, good vision is essential in order to keep you at your competitive best. Just ask super stars Mark Clayton, Andra Franklin, and Mike Kozlowski of the Miami Dolphins.

At the office of Dr. Steven R. Koganovsky, Board Certified Optometric Physician, we take full advantage of the most advanced testing instrumentation that technology has to offer. By utilizing sophisticated computers, we can assure you of a most comprehensive vision examination, an often overlooked necessity in providing that “WINNING EDGE”.

Come visit our office, or call for an appointment today to se the most advanced vision testing instrumentation available.

Sports vision servicesDr. Steven R. Koganovsky is a specialist in Contact Lenses and Children’s Vision. His professional interests also include sports vision, which has led to his work with many of the players of the Miami Dolphins football team, as well as some sports figures with the New York Yankees baseball team.

Do you wish you could improve your batting average in the weekend softball league; cut a few strokes off your golf score; or take your tennis game to the next level? Vision, just like speed and strength, is an important ingredient in how well you play your sport.

Your vision is composed of many skills, and just as exercise and practice can increase your speed strength, it can improve your vision skills. You can select from the list below to see explanations of specific vision skills and tips to improve them.

The definitions and suggestions that follow are general and should not be considered complete or thorough. They are designed to provide you with a general idea of the types of exercises that can be helpful when incorporated into a total program of sports vision care.

Athlete Vision AssessmentsSome athletes will have visual difficulties that will need individual, professional attention and will not benefit from these exercises alone. An evaluation by a sports vision specialist can pinpoint your individual problems and needs as related to your sport. Remember, a thorough eye examination is a great place to begin “getting the winning edge”.

Always wear the proper eye protection for your sport. When appropriate, use proper eye protection when you are trying these exercises. Call our office today and schedule an appointment so that we can advise you about what is best for your individual needs.

The Philosophy behind testing and improving visual skills differs from one sport to another.

For example, golfers need good eye-hand coordination, timing and depth perception. But they don’t need to work so much on visual memory which is important for team athletes who must continually record where other players and other teammates are in order to make their next move.

Eye-foot coordination is important for soccer and tennis players, while peripheral vision is crucial for basketball. Contrast sensitivity is crucial for skiers, who must see every shadow in the snow before them, so they know when to turn.

The tests and therapies that sports vision specialists provide are too many to describe here, so I’ve outlined a few, in no particular order.


If you are playing a sport like racquetball, tennis, soccer or hockey, it is important to be able to clearly see objects while you and/or the objects are moving fast. You may have 20/20 acuity when sitting still and reading an eye chart. However, when motion is involved, your acuity could be worse. Sports vision specialists have designed several creative tests for this, including computer programs that present objects or words moving fast across the screen, which you must identify before they disappear. With poor DYNAMIC VISUAL ACUITY, you are going to have a difficult time in sports like these.


When you commit an error on an easy ground ball or miss a short putt, it may be because you are distracted by things that are happening around you. Our eyes normally react to anything that happens in our field of vision…spectators, other participants and/or wind blowing leaves on an overhanging branch for example. VISUAL CONCENTRATION is the ability to screen out these distractions and stay focused on the ball or the target.


When you are playing any sport with a ball or a fast moving opponent, it is important to be able to follow objects without much head motion. EYE TRACKING helps you to better balance and react to the situation more quickly.


This is how your hands, feet, and body and other muscles respond to the information gathered through your eyes. It is an important part of many sports because it affects both timing and body control.


When you are pushing a fast break up the basketball court, leading a rush up the hockey rink, or catching the big wave amid a crowd of surfers, you need to process and remember a fast moving, complex picture of people and things. This is called VISUAL MEMORY. The athlete with good visual memory always seems to be in the right place at the right time.


Picture yourself hitting a perfect drive…long and right down the middle of the fairway. Believe it or not, picturing yourself doing it can actually help you do it. VISUALIZATION is a skill that enables you to see yourself performing well in your “mind’s eye” while you are seeing and concentrating on something else, usually the ball. Using scanning techniques, researchers have found that the same areas of the brain that light up our performance, also do so when you visualize the performance.


This is the ability to perceive what’s going on at either side of you without turning your head. To test your peripheral vision, a specialist may have you view a slide straight ahead while flashing other images at various angles off to the side. To improve, try looking as a busy scene with your head turned to one side (perhaps on a TV or a computer screen, or on a sidewalk). Remember to practice from the left and from the right. When a soccer player sees a teammate out of the corner of his/her eye, he/she is using their PERIPHERAL VISION. Since much of what happens in sports does not happen directly in front of you, it’s important to increase your ability to see action to the side without having to turn your head.


The pitcher releases the ball and you swing…a little late and you hita weak foul ball down the line…or worse, you miss the ball completely. Or, maybe you can’t quite return the tennis serve. You need to improve your VISUAL REACTION TIME, or the speed with which your brain interprets and reacts to your opponent’s action


Depth perception involves making spatial judgments, including how far an object or person is from you. One test for this involves identifying objects and shapes that are in random dot-patterned backgrounds. For example, try to hold a pebble at arm’s length and drop it into a straw.

In racket sports, DEPTH PERCEPTION enables you to quickly and accurately judge the distance between yourself, the ball, your opponents, teammates, boundary lines, and objects. When you are shooting or hunting, if you consistently over or underestimate the distance to your target, poor depth perception may be at fault.


Is the ability to change focus from a faraway object to a near one, or vice versa. To test this, we may show you a video or hologram display and have you name or read objects or sentences that suddenly appear far off and near. One way to speed up your focusing ability is to practice changing focus between your computer screen and a picture hanging on the wall across the room, or a scene outside the window.


Color vision is important in ball sports such as football. The most common deficiency is the inability to distinguish red from green, and a reddish-brown football on a green field could pose a problem. Tests for color deficiency may be performed on various test plates on which are printed random dot patterns in a particular color, with others printed in a different color. If you can’t view the object, you can’t distinguish between the two colors. Special glasses or Contact Lenses may be prescribed for such color deficiencies. These specially filtered lenses enhance differences between colors. Other tinted lenses enhance particular colors, such as yellow, by filtering colors. Even if you’re not color deficient, enhancing the color of a ball (suppose a yellow tennis ball) could help you see better, so you have more time to react to it.

There are many more tests and therapies, so if you are interested, we suggest you call our office and schedule an appointment.


One of the fastest growing segments of the eye care industry has been eyewear designed specifically to protect the eyes during sports. Some were developed for professional sports, but the need for this type of protection has spread rapidly to the non-professional sports as well.

Today, sports eyewear can be spotted on almost anyone who picks up a ball, bat, racquet, or stick- whether they play in the major leagues of the Little league. Fortunately, parents and players now realize that wearing protective eyewear for sports will help in several ways. The risk of eye damage is reduced or eliminated, and the individuals performance is enhanced by the fact that they can now see better. In fact, most teams today do not permit their members to participate without wearing the proper protective eye wear.

Initially, there was some resistance by children to “looking funny” while wearing various types of protective eye wear. Today, sport goggles are an accepted part of every athletes gear, much the way bike helmets have become the norm. In addition, both Children and Adults like the image that wearing protective eyewear gives them: it shows you mean business on the playing field.


Prevent Blindness America reports that hospital emergency rooms treat a large number of eye injuries every year that are sports-related. Even non-contact sports such as badminton can present inherent dangers to the eyes. Any sport in which racquets or flying objects are present, pose a potential for eye injury.

Sports such as racquetball, tennis and badminton may seen relatively harmless, but they involve objects moving at 60 miles/hour or faster. During a typical game, a racquetball can travel between 60 and 200 Miles/hour!! Another potential danger is that the racquets themselves move at high speeds in a confined space and often make contact with one another.

Flying objects are not the only hazard. Many eye injuries come from pokes by fingers and elbows, particularly in games where players are in close contact with each other. Basketball, for example , has an extremely high rate of eye injuries as does swimming, where no flying objects are involved.

These are great reasons to wear protective eyewear. Another aspect has to do with performance. It used to be common for people with mild to moderate prescriptions to simply participate in sports without wearing their eyeglasses or contact lenses. Players soon recognized that clear, sharp vision is a vital ingredient in their performance, and participating in sports with less that 20/20 vision is counterproductive.


Prescription glasses, sunglasses, and even on-the-job industrial safety glasses do not provide adequate protection for sports use. Sports goggles are made in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many are designed for racquet sports and are helpful for basketball and soccer. Some are even designed to fit in helmets used in football, hockey, and baseball. Sports goggles should allow the use of helmets if the sport calls for it.

Lenses in sports eyewear are usually made of Polycarbonate. Since Polycarbonate is such and impact-resistant lens material, it works well to protect eyes from fast-moving objects. Furthermore, it also has built-in ultraviolet protection and scratch-resistance, valuable properties for outdoor sports.

Polycarbonate is the material of choice for sports lenses, but the eyewear frame plays as important a role. Furthermore, different sports require different types of frames, which has led to the development of sport-specific frames. Most sport frames are constructed of highly impact-resistant plastic or polycarbonate, and most come with rubber padding to cushion the frame where it comes in contact with the head or the nose area.

Some sports styles are contoured, wrapping slightly around the face. This type of goggle works well for biking, hang-gliding, and sailing. Contact lens wearers especially befefit from the wraparound style, as it keeps out the wind and dust.

Serving Coral Springs and South Florida

Dr. K is the premiere eye doctor and professional sports & athletic optometrist based in Margate, FL.

Office Hours

Monday   9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Tuesday  9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Wed        9 A.M. to 5 P.M. Thursday 9 A M. to 5 P.M. Friday      9 A.M. to 5 P.M.


Dr. Steven R. Koganovsky | Board Certified Optometric Physician
101 North State Road 7 Suite 103      Margate, Florida 33063
Office Telephone 954-972-6934      Fax 954-972-6946