Visual Performance Skills


The Science of Visual Performance Skills

Visual performance skills and training plays a vital role in many aspects of life, and the sporting arena is no exception. At the SSISA, we strongly believe that visual performance will play an integral part of sports performance.

Dr Sherylle Calder

The groundbreaking work done by Dr Sherylle Calder, who is based at the SSISA, has demonstrated that visual performance skills, like all other skills, e.g. physical skills, play an important role in sporting performance. Working with world-class teams, Dr Calder has proven that these skills can be taught, trained, practiced and improved via visual performance training. She has also shown that they can greatly improve what the athlete sees, how they process the information and how they respond to it.

Just as training improves physical ability (speed, agility, flexibility, etc.), visual performance training (following a ball, reacting effectively, judging depth accurately and successfully executing eye/hand co-ordination, etc.) enables athletes to improve their overall sporting ability.

Dr Calder’s work has also shown in research that this highly specialised form of training enhances the skills needed for reading, comprehending and concentration, amongst others. Which is why she launched a designated schools programme (EyeGym) in January 2011 to help learners boost both their sporting performance and learning skills. To date, an untold number of young people have benefitted from this exciting visual performance skills and training programme.

An outstanding track record

The only woman, or man, to have ever won back-to-back World Cups in the history of the rugby union, Sherylle Calder has played a key role in helping England win the 2003 Rugby World Cup and then joined up with South Africa as they won the 2007 title.

A Doctor of Sports Science, her speciality is the field of hand eye co-ordination and human movement, an area which leading sports coaches like Sir Clive Woodward and former Springbok rugby coach Jake White believe contains the potential for significant enhancement of individual skills by all sports men and women, from potential world champions down to ambitious junior athletes.

Sherylle Calder's techniques have been utilised by sporting teams as diverse as the New Zealand All Blacks, the Australian cricket team, Formula 1 teams, AFL, Downhill and Aerial Skiing, Sailing, Spanish Men’s Hockey Team, Prada America’s Cup Squad, England and Springbok Rugby Winning World Cup Teams, South Africa’s Davis Cup Team, South African Golf Team, UK Soccer Teams, South Africa's and British Olympic Athletes, Suntory Rugby Club in Japan, Ernie Els and the Dutch Olympic team.

Leading world rugby personalities like Jonny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallagio, Steve Thompson and Matt Dawson of England and South Africa's thrilling wing three quarter Bryan Habana, as well as John Smit, Francois Steyn and Jean de Villiers, have benefitted from her expertise.

Dr Calder has also been of benefit to officials in sport working with the Top 10 ICC cricket umpires and more specifically Simon Taufel and Billy Bowden.

For more information

Contact Person:

Christi Botha


021 861 7811


084 580 7366