What is the eye-hand coordination?
Eye-hand coordination refers to how quickly and accurately an athlete’s muscles and hands react to the input of visual messages gathered by the eyes.
It is the coordinated control of eye movement with hand movement, and the processing of visual input to guide reaching and grasping along with the use of proprioception of the hands to guide the eyes.
How important eye-hand coordination is for handball goalkeepers?
I will say this clearly enough, and I will still say it probably thousand times more: it’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!
When we see handball ball coming towards us (if we “see” the ball), we use information from our eyes to react. Visual information influences every goalkeeper’s decisions in front of the goal based on what he/she “sees” happening and on their interpretation of the movement, player’s position or game overall.
And simply enough: we can’t save what we can’t see!
We must constantly judge both speed and distance of the player and of the ball, and predict possible outcome, based on the motion or position of the players. And all our required decision-making is based on accurate visual information.
Why is the eye-hand coordination so important overall in sport?
Visual coordination affects timing, speed of reaction, body control and balance.
While the emphasis of certain visual skills differs from one sport to another, these skills are always a critical factor for peak performance.
Cross-training them will help you reach a higher level in any activity.
How we can improve eye-hand coordination skills?
With deliberate vision training exercises that require the synchronization of motor movements with visual input.
Eye-hand coordination tends to decline when we stop developing it.
Effective exercises can vary from simple visual-response tasks that require minimal brain processing, to more complex visual-response tasks that require greater analysis of visual information, such as juggling, soft toss, or computerized target shooting games, etc.
Interesting video for the end: Take a look at this video where FSN Sport Science conducts the ultimate test to determine which athletes have the best hand-eye coordination: