Zöe’s interest in sport began when she started playing hockey aged just three. She went on to represent England at junior international level and still plays hockey for her local club team whilst also taking a keen interest in a range of other sports.
Achieving a distinction in her Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology from Loughborough University, Zöe began her education training to be a sport psychologist. She then returned to the University of Surrey where she became the first and only person in the UK to hold a PhD in Visual Performance in Elite Athletes.
Having been approached by Sir Clive Woodward, Zöe was asked to become involved with the British Olympic Association (BOA) whilst being offered funding for her PhD. She then worked for the BOA as their visual performance coach for two years before branching out on her own and starting Performance Vision Ltd.
Zöe has worked with many Olympic and professional athletes and is Head Vision Coach for Performance Vision Ltd whilst also continuing to carry out formal research in the area in order to boost the scientific credibility of vision training.
At the SMART Way Forward CPD Business and Coaching Conference 2013 (Midlands/North), Dr Zoe Wimshurst will be delivering the following Sports Coaching Workshop with Gavin Rebello:
12.20pm – 1.20pm
An insight into your eyesight (keeping your eyes on the ball)
Whether you are an elite athlete, amateur or simply enjoy sport to keep fit and socialise, your eyes have a big say on how well you play. Having 20/20 vision means that you should be able to see the ball well, but what if your opponent sees the ball before you? What if your opponent can follow the ball better than you? You’re immediately on the back foot and they have that all important edge.
A fitter and well trained athlete will generally play better because their eyes have faster focus, which in turn means that they have quicker reaction times. Most people judge their vision by how clearly they see. However, vision is much more complex than this. There are many processes contributing to vision, clarity of sight is merely just one of them.
Other areas to consider could be things like speed and accuracy of focus, depth perception, peripheral awareness, stability of eye dominance, how efficiently the two eyes work together as a team, etc… to name but a few.
Elite athletes understand that they need to keep their bodies at a peak level of fitness in order to perform successfully under pressure at the highest level. With vision being the dominant sense in most sports, it is vital that sports men and women maximise all aspects of their vision to ensure a championship sporting performance.