The very busy Dr Calder dedicated some of her time to answer our questions. If you guys want to challenge her on some of her work feel free to add more questions and we might get her to come online to answer them in person:
We cant determine what the speed of the camera is and how long the players eyes are closed for, however we do think, the fitter your eyes the more capable you are keeping your eyes open.
2) Jacques asks: You have worked with England,Springboks and many other sportmen and woman, I know it is not fare to ask which was the best group, so I will ask which one was the most rewarding for you?
Sorry Jacques I cant answer this..to many to answer…but Back to Back rugby World Cups and a Major golf tournament ranks high
3) DavidS asks: Is there an extra sport application for your coaching? For example is there place for its application in professional mixed martial arts (aka ?cage fighting?)
yes absolutely David! (RW note: Does Dr Calder need a visa to enter Boksburg?)
4) JT asks: as coach of an amateur team with limited facilities could you recommend a few very basic exercises/drills I could use with my players to improve their peripheral vision? tough to make a difference doing a drill as you cant do enough/effectively.
How about trying EyeGym
5) Brendon asks: You have worked extensively with Bryan Habana, yet in the last two games the player again struggled to time his run onto the ball on 3 separate occasions ans as a result knocked it on. Do some players require constant work to keep sharp due to perhaps a lack of natural talent (to catch, see space, defend?)
Yes, this is absolutely so and a perfect example. (RW note: this is a significant answer and will give hope to a lot of kids knowing even a legend like Habana has some defects in his game.)
6) Aldo asks: Does your husband ever get away when trying to steal a midnight snack? Does your kids ever manage to steal an extra cookie for lunch? If not, where do I sign up to improve my peripheral vision? Cos my kids always catch me unawares.
Haha yes! I sometimes purposely turn a blind eye but EyeGym would definitely benefit you with this problem!
7) Ruggaworld general debate: Are referees not those most in need of visual improvement training and if so, what is the International Rugby Board doing to involve scientists such as yourself in this regard?
I am not involved (with any Irb referees), but refereeing is visually a very tough job, and for sure I think they should be training their visual skills.
I want to thank Dr Calder for her time – however right now I am too shocked by the mere thought that a sport that proclaims itself to be ‘professional’ might not have a dedicated program to improve the visual skills of its adjudicators. It will be interesting to know which sports federations spend budget on this aspect?
I hope the good Dr will be able to answer these concerns soon!