July 18, 2019

How To Improve Your Reaction Time

Many of the people who come to NeuraPerformance Brain Center in Denver are athletes looking to recover from a concussion or other brain injury. One of the symptoms of a concussion is lack of coordination, which can be debilitating when an athlete tries to return to the field, diamond, or court. 

One technology we use at the center to help our patients recover and work through brain training exercises is our Dynavision D2 Vision Training System. Dynavision is a standard device used in neuro and vestibular (inner ear balance) therapy. The D2 is a large, wall-mounted screen with white light switches arranged in rings. You stand in front of the wall and try to hit the switches as they flash on. This brain training exercise tests your visual-motor coordination, peripheral visual awareness, and improves your reaction times. 

We highly encourage athletes suffering from concussions and others suffering from dizziness or balance issues to contact NeuraPerfomance Brain Center. Along with the brain training you do at the center, we also recommend utilizing these at-home exercises. Read on to learn more about how to improve your reaction time by training both your mind and body.

Mental Agility Exercises

As a center devoted to brain training, we’re of course going to start with how you can improve your mental agility. Having a quick reaction time depends on being aware of what’s moving around you, something that the light switches in dynavision training work to improve. You can work on improving your peripheral vision at home in a few easy exercises:

  • Focus on a distant object. Keep looking at this object and try to widen your field of vision to become more aware of the objects that surround it. You can try this at night by looking at a single, bright star until you start seeing other stars around it, or maybe even planets, like Jupiter!
  • While taking a walk or driving, try to notice the objects in your peripheral vision. Practice naming out loud the color of people’s hair of what shops you pass by. Do this as quickly as possible!
  • Play video games. It’s a little counterintuitive, but video games work similarly to dynavision because they require good hand-eye coordination and quick reaction times.

Agility Drills

If you’re trying to improve your reaction times in order to improve your athletic ability, than ball drills are for you. It can be as easy as playing catch or another repetitive drill. You can also try juggling or using a reaction ball, which moves in unpredictable ways when you bounce or throw it. Here are a few ball drills we encourage people to try:

  • Take a tennis ball and stand around 10 feet away from a hard wall. Throw the ball against the wall with one hand and catch it with the other. Increase the speed as you improve your reaction time. Extra challenge: try throwing with your non-dominant hand!
  • Hold your hands behind your back and have a partner drop a ball in front of you from eye height. Catch it before it hits the ground. You can make this easier or more difficult by changing the size and height of the ball.
  • For a combined speed and reaction drill, you can place 5-10 balls on the ground at varying distances from a starting point. Sprint out to the ball, pick it up, run or throw it back. This is a great drill for baseball or football players.

NeuraPerformance Brain Center in Denver

We specialize in brain health, recovery, and performance. Our state-of-the-art neuraperformance brain center specializes in enhancing sports performance using our Dynavision D2 Vision Training System. We also perform baseline concussion testing and treatment, and vestibular therapy. Let us work to help you find relief from your depression and anxiety symptoms. Schedule an appointment today! 

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