Johannesburg - A "visual skills coach" has been hired to help the South African women's hockey team improve their performance, it was announced on Thursday.
Head coach Giles Bonnet had enlisted the aid of the world renowned Sherylle Calder.
“We are busy with getting the players to make better decisions,” Bonnet said.
“In making better decisions the players need to see the opportunity that presents itself on the field, which requires improving their vision and spatial awareness. These are all trained functions and Sherylle will assist the players to make better decisions and judgment calls.”
Calder is based at the Institute of Sport Science in Newlands, Cape Town. A former SA hockey captain, Calder developed a world first with her revolutionary EyeGym for Sport, which has brought success to multiple stars and has helped deliver Rugby World Cups to England (2003) and the Springboks (2007), a major golf tournament to 2012 British Open winner Ernie Els, and the 2012 Olympic Games women’s hockey gold medal to Holland.
EyeGym is touted as being not elite-sport specific. It has been adapted to enhance visual skills performance in companies, in the classroom and on the school sports field. It aims to improve the link between what the eye sees and the messages sent to the brain.
“Any small edge in international sport is vital and sets you apart from the others,” said Calder.
“With the Dutch national women’s team that won London 2012 Olympic gold we worked with all the players in the EyeGym as well as on the field, improving visual motor performance and ultimately impacting decision making.
"We also identified certain aspects/players in the team that needed specifics and focused on these, and I hope to do the same with the SA women’s team.”