How do you increase your peripheral vision

Training with the eye patch: learn to see better with one eye!


Xavi Hernández was usually one step faster on the ball than his opponents!

The pace of football has increased significantly in recent years. The numbers of the German national team can prove it: In 2005, German national players had an average ball contact time of 2.8 seconds. They have now reached values ​​below 0.9 seconds.

Here it is best to recognize the respective situation before the first contact with the ball and to have possible game continuation options in mind. One who had perfected the 'pre-orientation' was Xavi Hernández. With a height of 1.70 meters, the former midfielder of FC Barcelona was always one of the smallest in the team. But according to his own statements, he always made up for the lack of physical prerequisites by seeing through the situations that arose long before any other player on the field.

Xavi Hernández

“The first thing I learned at Barcelona is to play with my head held high. If you only look around receiving the ball, do you know what's going on? - no! But if you had your head up before your teammate passed you the pass, then you can immediately see all the free space. You know where the closest defender is and what your best options are to play a successful pass. I've got a lot of helpful tips in my career, but this one is still the most important. "

With peripheral vision and pre-orientation, we present two aids that improve decision-making behavior and the speed of action. In the first part of our series of articles we focus on peripheral vision!

Even if a footballer only has the ball on his foot for an average of 40 seconds to 4 minutes, depending on his position during the game, he still has to constantly observe the changes in the environment of the teammates, opponents and the ball. Only then is he able to anticipate the follow-up action in the best possible way.

Visual perception - the 'peripheral vision'

Complex sports games such as soccer, in particular, place high demands on the visual system. Every situation is directly linked to visual perception, which is consequently a performance-determining influencing factor. It forms the basis for orientation and decision-making! 'Peripheral vision' is gaining in importance due to the wide and deep playing surface and the large number of players.

The extent of the field of vision, i.e. the area perceived with fixed eyes, is subject to great individual differences. With the right training stimuli, the field of view can be enlarged so that individual objects can be perceived sharply over a larger area, which leads to a higher absorption of information. The more information that is available, the better decisions players can make.

'Peripheral vision' and 'pre-orientation': hardware and software

Peripheral vision is the hardware in training the speed of action and decision-making behavior. In hardware training, technical exercises in conjunction with an eye patch, in which the dominant eye is covered, are recommended.

This type of training is currently mainly used in goalkeeper training and life kinetics and leads to an expansion of the field of vision. In addition to this adaptation, there are positive side effects in the area of ​​eye-leg coordination and the perception of spatial depth.

How to determine your 'dominant eye'!

Step 1: Extend your arms and place your hands on top of each other at right angles. The thumb and forefinger form a triangle (see picture 1).

Step 2: Use this triangle to firmly fix any point and bring your hands close to your eyes (see image 2).

Step 3: First look at the fixed point with both eyes and then one at a time (close one eye). When looking with two eyes, this should be in the center of the triangle (see Figure 3). The pinned point will partially disappear on one side. The eye in which this happens needs to be trained. The other is your 'dominant eye', which must be covered with an eye patch.


  • 2 teams of 5 players in a 20 x 20 meter field.
  • Number the teams consecutively.


  • Establish a fixed sequence of passes within the teams: 1 matches 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4, 4 to 5 and 5 to 1, etc.
  • After each play, the passer must run around the nearest outer cone at increased speed.

Methodological difficulty

  • Change of pass sequence (e.g .: 1 matches 3, 3 to 2, 2 to 4, 4 to 3, 3 to 5, etc.).
  • Allow direct play only.
  • To add a second ball.


  • Mark a circle: number of cones = number of players plus 1.
  • Select the size of the circle according to the desired fitting distance.


  • The owner of the ball plays to a teammate and then occupies the free cone.
  • Passes to the immediate right and left neighbor are not permitted.
  • 2 mandatory contacts for each player.

Methodological difficulty

  • Play with 2 or 3 balls.
  • Act only in direct play.


  • Mark out a double square, the outer one consisting of two colors.
  • The diagonally opposite cones are the same color.


  • The players move freely in the inner square and are given various movement tasks (e.g. pendulum, etc.).
  • The trainer moves outside.
  • After showing a color, the players dribble to the corresponding cone as quickly as possible.

Methodological difficulty

  • Add a second trainer.
  • Color change ('red' becomes 'blue' and vice versa)!

The advantage of the training forms presented here is that no isolated exercises have to be carried out, but technical-tactical objectives can also be achieved. Especially at the beginning, players can run into problems. This is mainly because it is a new, unfamiliar situation and the assessment of the dynamics of an action in connection with an eye patch changes.

The second part of our small series of articles, which, as a continuation of the training with the eye patch presented, is dedicated to automating the 'pre-orientation' in the game, will be published on Thursday, September 1st!