In the late eighties and early nineties, the idea of looking after your body for a professional footballer would mean having just three pints the night before a game and holding back on the salt and vinegar with your fish and chip supper. Indeed there are many stories of leading sporting pros turning up a little worse for wear before a match or game, scoffing a steak down to soak up last nights 'excesses' and then celebrating back down the local twenty minutes after it had all finished. You would think that eye tests were the last thing on their minds, even thinking back to such footballing luminaries as Denis Law, a man blessed with game vision, but not necessarily the 20 20 equivalent. With those days far behind us, the average athlete spends the majority of their working 'day' keeping their bodies in tip top health and condition, so it is surprising to see that the vast majority of us don't see the link between sporting prowess and our ability to see clearly.
Sight Care, an organisation offering support to independent opticians, recently conducted a survey which highlighted this grey area in our thought process between vision and physical sporting capabilities. It might sound obvious that an ability to see what is going on around us, absorb that information quickly and process it would be essential to any sports man or woman, but a staggering 70% of optical professionals questioned, didn't think that their patients actually made the direct connection between the two and the impact that poor sight can have on ones performance in the sporting arena.
One particular issue in years gone by for up and coming sports people of the future has of course been eyewear, with contact games being difficult or dangerous to play, should you have to wear glasses for instance. However, with contact lens technology as it stands, many youngsters are turning to these options not just for aesthetic reasons, but also due to the variety of sports that are then opened up to them as they grow up.