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Performance Coaching

Performance coaching

Performance at school and work is directly impacted by our ability to assimilate information. When we perform well, we are confident and we enjoy learning life’s experiences. When we perform poorly, frustration and other behaviours appear. Self-esteem builds confidence. Performance coaching helps individuals who might have 20/20 vision but who still struggle in the work or learning environment by teaching skills to improve their visual performance.

Performance and children

There are a number of factors which can directly affect a child’s performance in the classroom environment.

Retained Infantile Reflexes

(Automatic and uncontrolled body movements)

Infantile reflexes are programmed into the unborn child to help survive the birthing process. The primitive reflexes include: the Moro Reflex (MR), Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR), Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR), and Symmetrical Neck Tonic Reflex (STNR) and all of these can have a direct impact on learning. Some of these reflexes will actually prevent a child sitting still, whilst others may directly impact the horizontal saccadic eye movements, necessary for reading or can affect pen grip.

It is important that the gross motor movements (arms and legs) that are affected by these primitive reflexes are integrated before the fine motor movements (eye focus and movement). This can be explained more simply  saying that if a child cannot sit still then he is not in learning mode. “Come and sit down, let’s look at a book”. If they can’t sit down, you can forget the book….

Visual basics

Before attempting to improve reading skills we need to build on the foundations of learning by using the following building blocks:-

  • Trampete – creates a sense of rhythm and timing, plus predictability
  • Rhythm – Provides a structure
  • Movement – Reinforces vision and gives a sense of space
  • Laterality – Provides an understanding of shapes, left and right, ps and qs
  • Reversals – As above, bs and ds, saw and was
  • Directionality – A sense of direction relative to oneself
  • Hand-eye coordination – Where things are in space
  • Sight and speech – reading aloud
  • Sight and action – sport or music

Performance and adults

Visual performance is key in the adult world, relating directly to our ability to learn and develop.

Two distinct factors impact people as they grow older, firstly the need to learn more intensely as we go through our college and university years and secondly the need to continue learning and improve our performance as we navigate through our working lives and beyond, after retirement.

Factors such as the increasing use of information technology and computers, tablets and smart phones means that greater visual demands are being made on our eyes. We therefore not only need to see but understand that we need to maintain and exercise visual accommodation and therefore maintain flexibility.