Improve your peripheral vision in football

How can I improve my peripheral vision

Great peripheral vision is being able to see what other players can’t. All the great passers are able to play passes that average players aren’t even able to see, let alone execute.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool’s right-back, and currently rated as one of the world’s best right-backs, makes these kinds of passes often. He has become known for it and there’s good reason why, but we’ll delve into that later. Technically speaking, your peripheral vision is seeing something that is out of your direct line of sight. It means that you can see something happening around you without having to turn your head in that direction, and it is a skill that can be honed.

Read some of the tips below to find out how to improve your peripheral vision.

Improve your peripheral vision

1. Train your eyes!

Let’s begin with the main sense organ responsible for this skill development – the eyes! Premier League footballers don’t only use football drills, but eye exercises and alertness exercises to improve their peripheral vision. Some of the top football clubs employ eye specialists who use specialized technology and the ‘club’s vision training strategy’ to work with the players.

The average player might not have eye specialists or cutting-edge technology to use, such as a 360-degree projector, but we can use eye exercises that produce proven results. Some of the apps that can help you with this include:

Eye Workout (iOS) and Eye Trainer & Eye Exercises for Better Eye Care

2. Increase your peripheral awareness through football related drills

One of the drills we use from our IQ Football Curriculum is in the picture below. It encourages a player to use their peripheral vision, and most importantly, to keep his/her head up during the game.

Players start by simply running from one side of the pitch to the other shouting out the different colours of the cones in the order that they are laid out on either side of them. The player isn’t allowed to turn his head to the left or right.

The next step is to involve the player performing a skill, such as toe taps, dribbling, or kickups etc. while shouting out the colours of the cones. If the coach points to only one line of cones, the player must only shout out those colours. If the coach raises his hand over the right or the left hand side, the player must shout out the cones on the opposite side of the coach’s indication. The coach can move to either side of the players or stay in front.

The drill can be made more challenging through reducing the time the players have to complete the drill, or adding more variables, such as needing to dodge a football that the coach kicks toward the players.

All of these progressions will help to challenge the player’s brain to adapt to the added variables while still performing the peripheral vision task. Drills such as these not only mimic game-like situations, but can even make it more challenging than what a player would encounter in a game.

Note: If you’re a parent reading this, this drill is great to bond with your children in a fun, challenging and engaging way!

3. Make the challenge harder

Being pushed to your limits keeps you growing. Once you’ve mastered an eye exercise, a football drill, or won the game, you need to keep growing! Don’t think you’ve made it. It takes hard work throughout your training career to keep reaching your goals. There are very small margins between players at the top level, so they must continually improve and set new goals otherwise they will quickly be replaced by others hungry for their place.

Brain-boosting tips, Brain-centred Training, Children, Football, football player, improve your performance, IQ Football, Mindset, performance, peripheral vision, skill development, Skills, Soccer, Soccer Academy, technique


Sean Szabo

Recognised as a leading brain-centred football coach in Gauteng, Sean Szabo is an English FA qualified coach who has worked internationally assisting player’s motor and technical football skills, as well as their cognitive development on and off the field. IQ Football was founded in 2015 by Sean as an amalgamation of his passion for football coaching, mentoring, and brain-centred research.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

IQ Football SA | Developing Intelligent Players

33 Abercorn Avenue
Criaghall Park
Johannesburg

Photographer: Nicholas Zaal and Caxton Local Media (see list here)