If you understand how balance is created in the body you will know that there are three primary systems involved in keeping you upright:
- visual system
- vestibular system
- proprioceptive system
This video is about the first two!
Great visual skills are a prerequisite for high performance. Simple as that.
The ability to catch or save a ball requires continuous convergence of the eyes, assessing the speed of the ball and predicting its path. To actually catch a ball, one must combine the eye’s inputs with activation of the body’s motor system to get the hands in the correct place.
When working on vision training, you have to keep in mind few important things: How well you can see what you are looking at? Can you see clearly the ball up close or far away? Can you see the ball when it’s moving? How good is your depth perception or depth judgment, meaning can you tell very precisely how close the ball is to you compared to that player?
The goalkeeper who can process more visual information in a shorter period of time and make the proper response will always have an advantage in competition! That is why you want to work on these things with your goalkeepers!
The VOR is one of the most important reflexes in the human body because it stabilizes our vision while our head is in motion. The vestibular system is responsible for sense of balance.
Balance training requires head movement, because head movement challenges the inner ear. Without head movement, the fluid in the inner doesn’t move to signal the brain that you are in motion, so the brain will interpret that you are standing still and then there is no activation of your balance or challenge to it.
A lot of people think that to increase and improve their balance they have to stand on a balance board, balance pillow, bosu ball or something that moves under the feet. But what happens when people actually do that? They get really tight in their upper back, neck and they keep their head still. The problem is that the apparatus in inner ear, which is designed to help us maintain balance, also responds a lot to head movement. So if you keep your head still – you won’t get any fluid movement in your inner ear.
Even though some of the “funny” looking drills in this video look so simple: nodding your head up and down, or left and right while you are walking and looking at the target in front you and keeping your eyes fixed at it, that intensifies the balance challenge not only for your body, but for the inner ear as well.