peripheral vision header

Part 1: The Test

vision stick


This article is more for coaches wishing to add new exercises to their keeper development programme. If you are unable to obtain any coaching assistance and would like to try this session you will need to read carefully and get some help in performing it. It is important that any helper clearly understands what they have to do, so prepare together before attempting. If you do not understand this exercise I recommend that you look on the internet for other simple exercises to improve your PV.


We know that so much can go on around the keeper during a match, especially when his area is most active. We coach them to be alert and focus on the ball, to try and take in quickly other actions that might be happening so that they can adjust or command others to action. By increasing peripheral vision we can add another dimension to their game. It not only achieves its main purpose of seeing more of what is going on around them but I have also seen a higher level of concentration and speed of adjustment when required.


visual gogglesOf course there will be differing degrees of peripheral vision for each keeper, what we are doing in this session is strengthening their eyes and helping to increase the awareness within their peripheral. We know that the centre or cone of the eye sees the sharpest vision, the periphery does not have the same focus, but it does pick up for example movement; which is exactly what we are looking to increase awareness of.


Once used correctly they can then do the exercise themselves to strengthen eyes and be more aware within their periphery. There are some simple exercises from placing your hands at the side of the head and moving them in and out of the periphery, walking along a corridor and concentrating on objects on the wall, many are available on the internet.


Before attempting the Peripheral Vision Coaching Exercise you will first need to conduct the following test so that you can monitor any increase in a keeper’s vision. Record the results and check again after you have completed the coaching exercise in Part 2. Also encourage keepers to continue exercises for their vision outside of any coaching you do with them.


The peripheral vision coaching ‘set’: Equipment required – eye patch / vision sticks (different colours) & Vets Sports Vision Goggles (for use in the exercise in Part 2) – cost approx £35 / US$55. Also some cones for use as markers.


(Note: Instead of the vision stick you can use three other coloured objects that the keeper will identify)


The set-up:


  1. Ascertain which is the stronger eye. Most people have a dominant eye and simple tests are available to determine this on the internet.
  2. The keeper stands centre of goal and on the line.
  3. Place a cone or pole directly opposite and central to keeper approx ten yards away. This is the focus point and the keeper throughout this exercise should stay looking at this object. Any head or eye movement away from the focus point will bring the eye core rather than their peripheral vision into play, defeating the exercise.
  4. In the event of head movement during the exercise you should restart from previous point.
  5. From the cone or pole (focus point) you will work within a semi-circle of the keeper.


The Exercise: Eyes open


  1. With the keeper using both eyes while focused on the forward object that you are standing at, raise vision stick (or other coloured object) so that one colour is uppermost. The keeper should call that colour.
  2. Walk a few yards around the semi circle on the stronger eye side. Hold up vision stick as before for colour call.
  3. Continue a few yards at a time until the keeper can no longer identify the colour.
  4. Their peripheral vision will be somewhere between you and the last call. Return one yard and check.
  5. Place a marker at the point of last call.
  6. Now do same for other eye.

You will now have determined the range of the keeper’s periphery.


Encourage continuation of exercises (available on the internet) that the goalkeeper can perform themselves. Keep a record to monitor any improvement.


Click Pripheral Vision Part 2 to proceed or select from main menu.