"Enhanced skill performance of field hockey players following a programme of visual awareness training"


  • Calder. S. 1997. Looks good for hockey: a new visual training programme improves game skills in elite players. Sports science May/June (English Abstract Available)
  • Calder, S. 1998. Specific visual skills training programme improves field hockey performance. International Journal of Sports Vision, 5/1. p. 3-10
  • Grobler, L.A; Schwellnus, M.P.; Trichard, C.; Calder, S.; Noakes, T.D.; Derman, W.E. 2000 Comparative effects of zopiclone and loprazolam on pschomotor and physical performance in active individuals. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 10/2. p.123-128
  • Calder, S.; Noakes, T. 2000. A specific visual skills training programme improves field hockey performance. (Abstract)
In Sports Medicine Australia, Book of abstracts: 2000 Pre-Olympic Congress: International Congress on Sport Science, Sports Medicine and Physical Education, Brisbane Australia, 7-12 September, p 128.

Sport: Cricket Research.

Calder, SL: Kluka, DA 2009. The efficacy of a Visual Performance training software programme on South African cricketers. Africa Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance 2009. Vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 44-61 The issue of enhancing an already superior visual system in elite athletes has led to several investigations dealing with intervention programmes designed to enhance visual performance. The influence of visual skills enhancement programmes has been investigated (Coffey & Reichow, 1990 ; Calder, 2005 ; Love, Kluka, & Young, 2006 ; Kluka & Love, 2006). Researchers (Kluka & Love, 2006 ; Kluka, Love, Covington, Bristow, & Allison, 2000) have reported that elite athletes, when compared to nonathletes, have superior visual abilities, measured through contrast sensitivity function, peripheral vision, visual reaction time, static visual acuity, eye movements, visual concentration, visual recognition and static / dynamic balance. Practical limitations, however, involves applicability to athletes. Where geographical location is considered, access to such training is a factor. A software programme was developed as an internet-based, self-administered intervention. Accessed through a personal computer with an internet link, the programme was designed to improve athlete's visual abilities and decision making. The aim of this investigation was to determine the efficacy of the visual training software programme on selected cricket players. Thirty cricket players participated. Each player had at least 3 years of cricket playing experience. Participants were divided into 2 groups (E = 15) and (C = 15). Four phases of assessment were involved : (1) Series of preliminary visual assessments to establish testing protocol ; (2) Pre-training programme assessment (pretest) using six different visual skills tests and five different cricket-specific skill tests (baseline data) ; (3) Three-week training programme using the software programme or a placebo; (4) Post training assessment (post test) using 6 visual and 5 cricket-specific tests. All outcome variables were analyzed using a RM-ANOVA (group X time). Where significant interaction (p < 0.05) effects were found, post-hoc analyses were performed (Tukey's HSD). In all tests involving visual skills, E performances showed greater improvement when compared to C performances. The efficacy of the visual training software programme led to significant improvements in the performance of cricketers in almost all visual skills. In contrast, there was minimal to moderate improvement in all tests with the exception of the horizontal and vertical saccades in C. It was confirmed that the visual training software programme is suitable to use in the enhancement of selected visual and sport-specific skills in cricketers.

Academic Research: Pilot Study (On-going)

The affect of a Visual Performance Training Program 1(VPT1) and Visual Performance Training Program 2 (VPT 2) on relational thinking when relationships are formulated in verbal terms.

Research at The Harefield Academy UK October – December 2008 - Sport Science Institute of South Africa A total of 60 students across 3 year groups (Years 8, 9 and 10) were initially selected to take part in this research. Using prior data (CATs scores from Year 7) the students were selected from upper, middle and lower ability categories. In addition, some students were also selected from those identified as:

  • having a sporting talent,
  • special educational needs or
  • emotional and/or behavioural difficulties

The students were required to ‘train’ for a minimum of 3 x 30 minute sessions per week over a period of 6 weeks. Facilities were made available for them to complete this requirement during 3 personalised learning sessions each week.


Of the 60 students on the training programme, 43 students had results for both sets of CATs tests. Thus the results and analysis are based on these 43 students.

The results showed that 72% of student (31 students) improved their CATs raw score total over this 6 week period. For 11.6% (5 students) there was no change in CATs score and for 16.2% (7 students) there was a decline in their CATs score as they did not do the required number of sessions.

Of the 31 students who improved their score, 12 (38.7%) improved their score by a significant 10%


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