This week, I have the privilege of being a guest writer for this blog, where I’ll be sharing a unique perspective as an internationally-ranked soccer player. Today, I want to delve into a topic that sports players rarely discuss in detail: our experiences with optometry. Lately, I’ve been facing a slight challenge with my vision whenever I’m on the field. There have been instances where my foot completely misses the ball during a kick. Now, it’s important to note that it’s not due to a lack of skill on my part—I am, after all, one of the world’s top soccer players. However, I’ve come to realise that it may be related to my depth perception.
Recognising the significance of this issue, my coach urged me to promptly visit a professional behavioural optometrist for an eye examination. If I can’t accurately track the very object I’m meant to focus on—the soccer ball—my career could be jeopardised. Given my jam-packed schedule, finding a suitable time for the entire team and me to visit the optometrist’s office proved challenging. Fortunately, I have a dedicated support team consisting of skilled individuals who assist me with tasks such as answering calls and preparing meals. It was my personal assistant who ultimately managed to schedule my appointment at a renowned Bayside eye doctor, known for their expertise in the field and their work with athletes.
Upon meeting the optometrist, I immediately understood why she had earned such acclaim. She efficiently examined my eyes using specialised instruments to evaluate aspects like convergence, tracking, scanning, and focusing. I’ve done some research on depth perception online (or, more accurately, I delegated that task to my personal assistant), and it seems that these issues can often be resolved quite easily. I can’t express how excited I am to return to the field and perform at my absolute best. After all, I’ve earned my reputation as one of the world’s finest for a reason, and I’m determined to maintain it.