How to Get That Running Back Vision in Football
One way to hone your running back vision, at least in your dreams, is to take the field with the Green Bay Packers. There you could take advantage of drills where an assistant mans a dummy that moves at the last second as you take the handoff and approach the line of scrimmage. It’s a pro-level way to improve your vision. If you are looking for more realistic ways to see the field as you hit the line of scrimmage, you can look instead to cone drills and related exercises.
Set up four cones in a square about 5 yards apart to perform a drill that works on your peripheral vision, especially to the side. Backpedal diagonally from the front of the box to near one of the cones. When you spot the cone, plant and drive forward at a 45-degree angle. Do sets of two repetitions with 45 seconds rest between sets.
Set up eight cones in a slightly zigzag pattern, each about a yard apart, to work on your peripheral vision to sense the ground near your feet. Cradle the ball in your arm and run through the cones in slalom pattern, making cuts to the outside of each cone. Work on your vision by keeping your head and eyes up, detecting the cone position with your peripheral vision.
Tape the lens periphery of a pair of goggles or glasses and wear the eyewear for several plays. Note how you need to make exaggerated head movements and concentrate harder to make your moves. Remove the eyewear to gain a greater appreciation of how peripheral vision allows you to be aware of crucial developments around you in the running back position.
Focus on a point on a wall while holding a small ball, such as a squash or racquetball ball. Throw the ball from one hand to another while keeping your vision on the wall without looking at the ball. Make the exercise more difficult by tossing the ball above your eye level so you lose track of it briefly and have to swiftly react to it reappearing in your peripheral vision.
An award-winning writer and editor, Rogue Parrish has worked at the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun and at newspapers from England to Alaska. This world adventurer and travel book author, who graduates summa cum laude in journalism from the University of Maryland, specializes in travel and food -- as well as sports and fitness. She's also a property manager and writes on DIY projects.