Improving the Brain’s Visual Skills, the Best Possible Vision Training of All
Courtesy of ITTF
Todd Simpson decided he wanted his brain to see more accurately, he searched for a solution and found an answer; he went to see Australia’s current leading player William Henzell and colleague Trevor Brown, who played in seven World Championships between Manchester in 1997 and Bremen in 2016.
Pertinently Trevor Brown is a student of neuroscience and thus, like William Henzell, is well aware of the visual skills needed to play table tennis.
Most certainly as Todd Simpson acknowledged, he was in the right place.
“It’s being able to process what is coming at you as quickly as possible”, explained William Henzell, when asked what is the key to being a good table tennis player.
“Every time I’m hitting the ball, there may be a couple of hundred stimuli, so the faster I can process the better decisions I can make”, added William Henzell.
Two Major Factors
Impressed Todd Simpson analyzed two visual skills that they had honed to near perfection.
“First is the speed at which their brain processes visual information”, explained Todd Simpson. “The ball comes at them at up to 100 kilometers per hour; the time to react a quarter of a second.”
Watching the Australian star extol their skills, Todd Simpson highlighted a second skill.
“They take in lots of information from every psychotic snapshot, far more than most people”, he explained, highlighting the fact that table tennis players analyses the body position of their opponent.
Thus, the player is able to anticipate the nature and direction of the return.
“It’s all happening sub consciously by filtering out all the bits and pieces I don’t need to worry about”, explains William Henzell. “It’s where all the training comes in; thousands of hours, seeing those few areas I need to focus on.”
The two skills identified by Todd Simpson are clearly vital in sport but it would appear they could prove crucial in another walk of life.
Different Walk of Life
“It seems odd that this will help me open a safe but it will”, said Todd Simpson. “My improving your brain’s visual skills, processing speed and accuracy, you need all that and more come safe cracking time.”
Food for thought should either William Henzell or Trevor Brown decide a different career path.
However, one word of warning, in the English city of Hull where I played a few centuries ago, the top player was Dave Bartlett, he was a policeman; the arm of the law may be just as fast!