Whether you’re an athlete, an avid sportsperson, or just someone looking to keep their health in tip-top shape, no matter how silly it sounds, eye training is crucial. Hand-eye coordination is essentially the ability to complete activities and actions that rely on both the use of our hands and our eyes. For instance, catching a ball, driving and even writing. However, some people learn a circus skill like juggling to try to improve their hand-eye coordination.
The ability to process information we see with our eyes and turn them into responsive hand movements quickly, can come naturally to some people. But, for others, some training may be required. Therefore, reducing your body’s response time can improve your performance in plenty of different activities such as:
- Playing an instrument
- Ball games
- Video games
In this blog, we’ve listed three simple ways to improve your hand-eye coordination.
Switch Your Focus
Hand-eye coordination requires you to be able to switch focus between your different surroundings. For example, you may need to chop up some vegetables quickly whilst also keeping your eye on something already cooking in a saucepan. Good hand-eye coordination will allows you to switch your focus across the tasks easily without getting muddled. Something called a short near-far exercise can help you improve your focus switching.
1. Take two objects that are roughly the same size and place one about 45cm away from you. Place the other object around 3 metres away from you.
2. Focus on the closest object for a few seconds, taking in as many details as possible. Then, switch your focus on to the object farthest away. Keep switching your focus between the objects and try to find new details every time. Doing this task a few times a week for a couple of minutes will help work on your focus switching.
Playing catch with a ball (and a throwing partner) will help to improve your peripheral vision and overall hand-eye coordination.
1. Start off with just a short distance between you and your partner, taking it in turns to throw and catch the ball with each other.
2. Gradually lengthen the distance between you both and at the same time, increase the throwing speed so that the game becomes more fast-paced. The faster you get, the more you are improving your response times and hand-eye skills.
3. By throwing the ball overhead or to the side of you, you can also improve your peripheral vision and spatial awareness.
Juggling is one of the best ways to improve your hand-eye coordination. In addition, juggling increases your response times which is why many athletes learn the fun skill. The activity requires you to be focusing on multiple items in the air. In addition, at the same type staying in control of your hands – without actually looking at them.
Here at Space Plans, we are proud to offer online circus workshops that can teach anyone and everyone an array of circus skills, including juggling. You’ll have the opportunity to learn with other like-minded people, whilst benefiting from the experience and expertise of our trained circus professionals.
To get started with your juggling journey, take part in the first of our mini series of online circus workshops, Mindful Juggling. See you there!
If you have found this blog helpful, then you may wish to read our previous blog on The Health Benefits Of Circus Skills.