PERIPHERAL VISION and 'THE ZONE'
Open Your Mind To A Whole New World
This page completely explains peripheral vision and how to develop acute peripheral vision.
Great Peripheral Vision / Court Vision = a gateway into 'The Zone.'
When you first began dribbling a basketball if you were dribbling in the street and a semi truck was bearing down on you, you’d never see or hear it coming because of your intense focus on that basketball; this is the complete opposite of peripheral vision. Then after awhile you only occasionally looked at the basketball, then eventually not at all. When you’re not looking at the basketball you can be looking else where. This is not peripheral vision; this is just getting used to the feel of how a basketball reacts.
Peripheral vision is described by Webster’s as the area of vision just outside your line of sight. Peripheral vision occurs naturally. However peripheral vision is unintentionally ignored by most of us. In order to develop your peripheral vision to a high degree you must first stop ignoring it. Once you’ve stopped ignoring peripheral vision you can enhance your awareness of everything which lies outside your line of sight and learn to appreciate and utilize your peripheral vision.
Begin this awareness process now by looking directly at something, anything (since you’re reading this, you might consider looking at this page). Without moving your eyes (you may blink) become aware of everything else you can see outside your line of sight; everything. It’s surprising at first. While looking straight ahead you can actually see the floor and even the ceiling of a room and everything in between because all of it lies within the field of your peripheral vision. If you forget to be aware of your peripheral vision these things obviously don’t disappear, you're just temporarily not conscious of them. When something enters your field of peripheral vision and you do notice it you might say “I saw it out of the corner of my eye.” That’s an apt description.
Peripheral Vision Explained:
Honed peripheral vision is how highly developed speed readers 'see' and read entire pages at a time. It appears as if they’re just turning pages but in actuality they are taking mental pictures, as if seeing and studying a photograph, or a page of pictures. Speed readers transfer word pictures from book to brain by taking mental photographs of each page and storing each and every photograph, or each and every page, in their brain. Once the picture is stored in the brain, the mind (sub-conscious, unconscious or the place where one's imagination resides) can then study (read the word pictures) at the speed of thought while the brain is simultaneously taking in more word pictures to be studied.
In order to become an effective speed reader you need to develop your imagination. Your imagination can be described as your mind exploring something which is outside your line of conscious thought. In the case of speed reading your line of sight is the middle of the page. Outside of your line of sight but inside your peripheral vision is the rest of the page. Your peripheral vision, your imagination, is taking in all the information on the rest of the page.
Your conscious mind thinks, or works, linearly, that is to say - one thought at a time - one thought after another - ad infinitum – but at the speed of light.
Your imagination thinks in entire scenarios and even explores multiple scenarios simultaneously, at the speed of thought.
A conscious mind and an imagination acting congruently, allow a readers to perform the art of speed reading.
A reader trusting in imagination to read enters into 'the speed reading zone.' An inventor, like Thomas Edison, trusting in imagination to roam the recesses of his mind enters into 'the inventor's zone.' Athletes trusting in their imagination to 'play' their sport for them also enter into 'the zone.' In 'the zone,' and only in 'the zone,' are you capable of altering space and time. ??Altering space and time?? Stay with me now for just a moment. First, of course, you must learn to enter your imagination.
An example of imagination at work:
Your vision is directed at the television. Someone says to you “What did he just say?” Your answer, “No clue, I wasn’t paying attention.”
Oh really. Then what were you doing? You’ve been staring right at the television for the last half hour. I’ll tell you what you were doing. While you were focused on the television your imagination was running rampant exploring who knows what. Unlike night time dreaming (where thoughts follow some semblance of progression, albeit somewhat disjointed at times) when one is daydreaming, or imagining, multiple scenarios can be, and usually are, happening simultaneously. In other words your mind is creating, and studying, 'moving pictures' at the speed of thought.
Speed reading can happen only because your imagination operates outside all constraints of time. That sentence bears repeating. Speed reading can happen only because your imagination operates outside all constraints of time. In order for me to explain that last sentence let’s return to the television you were watching.
You’re watching a program and a scene from that program triggers a memory about an experience you had last year with your best friend. While recalling that entire experience another television scene reminds you of a chapter in a research book you recently studied in the library. That recollection reminds you about an overdue book which reminds you about that hairy mole on the librarian’s face. And speaking of moles, your lawn not only needs mowing, it also needs that organic fertilizer you just stumbled upon while surfing the internet. What’s the name of that website? Website... I need to tell my basketball coach to look at that www.BasketballShootingCoach.com website.
While your imagination was simultaneously recalling the entire experience you had with your best friend, the complete chapter in that research book, the wonderful story line of the overdue book, the many different times you stared at and contemplated that hairy mole, the name of the organic fertilizer and all it’s organic ingredients, the organic fertilizer’s web site, the name of this website – www.BasketballShootingCoach.com, the face of your basketball coach, and the reason you need to tell him about this website… only 11 seconds of real time have ticked off the clock while you, or your conscious mind, were 'watching' television. No wonder you had “no clue” what the guy just said. Literally, you had 'lost' your mind [your conscious mind]! Do you understand now what I mean when I say your imagination is unencumbered by all constraints of space and time?
What in the world am I talking about? And what does this have to do with basketball coaching strategies? The following quotes are all from famous athletes: “The pitcher’s fast ball looked like a beach ball coming toward me in slow motion.” - “The basket was six feet across and the other nine basketball players were all moving in slow motion” - “I knew the race cars in front of me were spinning at 200 mph but because they were all in slow motion I could see a clear path opening up in between them.” I can go on and on with these quotes. What was the perception of space and time to these athletes? It certainly did not reflect reality. We’re they operating outside all constraints of time? You bettcha! Had they 'lost' their minds [their conscious minds]? You bettcha! Were they each in 'the zone?' You b-e-t-t-c-h-a!
As a basketball player the BIG QUESTION you should be asking right now is “how do I get into ‘the zone?” The answer is: e x p a n d your awareness of your field of peripheral vision. Begin this process by taking a basketball out on a basketball court. Stand on one baseline looking directly at the basketball hoop at the other end of the court. This is your 'line of sight.' Without taking your eyes off that basketball hoop (you may blink) what can you actually see that is outside your line of sight? Become aware of everything; bleachers, walls, floor, lights, scoreboard, your basketball coach, etc. Keeping your eyes on that basketball hoop slowly dribble towards it staying keenly aware of the gymnasium that is within your peripheral vision, especially everything within the bounds of the basketball court. While dribbling and walking, what’s your perception of what you are seeing? Does it appear as though the basketball hoop is slowly growing larger and the lines on the court are moving to meet you and then disappearing beneath your basketball shoes? (Hint: if your own face is blocking out your basketball shoes from your peripheral vision, lower your forehead forward a little until your basketball shoes enter your peripheral vision and do not lower your forehead any further than that.) You should be moving forward very slowly taking notice of everything within your field of peripheral vision, while maintaining your original 'line of sight.'
Upon reaching the free throw line of the basket you’ve been focusing on slowly turn around until your line of vision is the basketball hoop at the other end. Looking directly at that basketball hoop and without taking your eyes off of it, this is now your new 'line of sight,' begin slowly dribbling towards it all the while being keenly aware of everything within your field of peripheral vision until you reach the foul line. What’s your perception of what you’re seeing? Is the basketball hoop slowly growing larger, are the lines on the court moving to meet you then disappearing beneath your basketball shoes and then behind you. [There are two ways for your mind to perceive what you are seeing. One is that you are moving and everything you see is stationary. The other perception is that even though your feet are moving, you appear to be stationary and everything you see is moving toward you; kind of like you’re playing a video game while walking on a treadmill.] The perception you need to develop is that you are stationary and everything is moving toward and then past you.
This is your first basketball peripheral vision training exercise and is designed to make your mind aware of the vast amount of information your eyes are providing your brain. This is critical information for a basketball player. Information you have been ignoring. Information that is extremely valuable to you during a basketball game. Do this exercise a minimum of 15 minutes per day for at least seven consecutive days, all the while becoming more and more aware of how clearly you can actually see objects within your peripheral vision. Those of you interested in speeding up the process of developing your peripheral vision can do this basketball training exercise all throughout your day in school, or while shopping, or reading, watching television, or eating, etc; all of these without dribbling a ball basketball of course. Do this basketball training exercise until you’ve developed it into a habit. It can become habit within seven days, or if you’re doing this throughout your entire day maybe within five days or less. Continue this drill until it becomes habit, EVEN IF IT TAKES YOU A YEAR. When this becomes a habit you need not practice it further for it has become a way of life. That’s a good thing. This habit is so good for you on so many levels of living.
Now, after you have developed this habit it’s time to e x p a n d your peripheral vision even f u r t h e r. Do the following exercise for five minutes at least twice a day for the rest of your life (the more often you can do this training exercise on a basketball court the better). Doing this peripheral vision exercise before a basketball game and during half time is a really good idea. Stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Lift your arms and extend them out to the side, shoulder height and parallel to the floor, as far as you can spread them, as if showing someone how long a 10 foot shark is. You’re in perfect position when your arms are spread and your hands are back far enough to be just inside the edge of your field of peripheral vision. Now slowly rotate, from the waist, to the left and then back to the right and back to the left again, etc. – rotating only as far as is comfortable - this is not a stretch, you are not stretching, this is a peripheral vision sports movement.
Your neck does not pivot, your head moves with the rest of your upper body, eyes straight ahead. You know you’re doing this movement correctly when the room, or scenery, appears to be swinging back and forth, although your body is what’s actually swinging back and forth.
Here’s how it works: your eyes are pointing out, aiming straight ahead, looking neither left nor right nor up nor down. While looking straight out you should always be able to peripherally see your outstretched hands; that’s how wide your field of vision is! Swing your body slowly enough so that everything passing by your eyes is clear and nothing is a blurred. Blurring means you are rotating too fast. The object of this exercise is getting your mind to notice and recognize everything within your moving field of vision. What’s happening is your brain is actually taking thousands of snapshots of the scenery swinging by your eyes and stores these pictures for future reference. You are training your mind to study the entire 'moving' field of your peripheral vision.
It will take time, but after you become accustomed to this exercise, very slowly increase the speed of your upper body rotation, day by day, month by month, year to year. Can you imagine how incredible your peripheral vision will become after years of practicing this invaluable basketball training exercise? You will see things on the basketball court during a basketball game that will surprise and even astound you. This exercise will develop your sense of peripheral vision to the extent of cementing your reputation as a basketball player with eyes in the back of your head. This exercise will allow you to develop the skill of knowing where the other 9 basketball players and the referees (which is extremely valuable information) are on the basketball court at all times. This is the exercise that will allow you to develop the skill of deadly accurate no look passes. You are training your mind, vision sports, to study the entire moving field of your peripheral vision. You are training your mind to 'speed read' the basketball court; developing your 'court vision!'
An acutely developed court vision is a free pass into your imagination which is a free pass into 'the zone.' Do you now realize how entering into 'THE ZONE' = the gateway to DEADLY SHOOTING ACCURACY?
To discover another, quicker, way to enter into 'the zone' Download My Book Basketball - It's All About The Shot available on this website www.BasketballShootingCoach.com.