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Old 05-01-2009, 03:13 PM
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Dave @ ActiveMSers
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 3,745
Default Tennis tricks if you have vision issues

Lori, a fellow active MSer, saw my blog on playing tennis virutally blind and sent me a unique tip last weekend about how she deals with sketchy eyesight.

"My physicist buddy explained why the net is a problem for people with weird vision. It has to do with the size of the hole relative to the size of the net and difficulties finding an anchor within the visual field whereby you can make other parts of your brain assess the location of the ball. She thought that anything that could provide non-moving large reference points - sheets or towels on the net, or a little row of traffic cones, etc. - would help out a lot with the problem."

The sheets worked great. Balls that I would have missed, I was able to pick up much easier against a solid background. But it's not a perfect solution. Your opponent can't see the lines on your side of the net. And when you have iffy vision, they've got to trust you to make the right call! My wife, Laura, was skeptical of this prospect, but it worked out okay. When it doubt, I call it "out." Hehe.

Another trick: Lori also uses a cooling vest when she plays (as do I)....

"For me, vision problems are the first thing to happen - for me, the effect is to cost me my depth-perception (it is like playing tennis with an opponent on a 3-d cinema screen) which then means I have to spend more time trotting after the ball, which heats me up, etc. The cooling vest has been super-helpful in delaying the time to depth-perception failure."

Thanks Lori for the tips!
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