Why You Can’t Play Soccer (well) with One Eye

25 Sep

In a odd turn of events, two elite soccer players suffered eye injuries last week. Theo Walcott and Roberto Firminho both were left with gruesome injuries that left their managers no choice but to send them to the bench.

Well the question is why? We all have two eyes, so why not just play with one eye closed? The key here is depth perception- being able to see out of both eyes allows your brain to judge exactly how far away something is.

Imagine this: seeing with one is like taking a picture with a really old iPhone. Can you tell what’s going on? For the most part yes. You can see most things pretty clearly, but it doesn’t give you the full picture. But seeing with two eyes is like an iPhone X with portrait mode. You know exactly what’s in front of you, and how far away it is compared to everything else.

Furthermore, by using one eye you’re limiting your field of vision. For example, if you can only see out of your right eye, you can’t see a defender rushing at you from your left side. To go back to our iPhone analogy, its like when you give your phone to an old lady to take a picture, and she covers half of the camera lens with her thumb. We can’t be having that!

One Eye (Left) vs. Two Eyes (Right)

In the example above, notice how you can see the tomato in both pictures. That’s like seeing out of one eye. But on the right, in the right it feels like you can actually reach out and actually GRAB the tomato. That sense of positioning is exactly what you need as an athlete.

So yes, you can try and “play” soccer with one eye. But can you effectively track your teammates as they make runs off the ball? Track the goalkeeper rushing at you during a breakaway counter? Track a 50-50 ball during a goal kick? Probably not.

So unless you have an eye like this guy, you should probably sit out if you can only see out of one eye:

One thought on “Why You Can’t Play Soccer (well) with One Eye

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