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“Heads Up”: Becoming more aware of your peripheral fields makes you feel better and perform better. One of the phrases I most commonly use when coaching rugby is “Heads Up”. I’m trying to get my players into the habit of being more aware of their surroundings: where their team mates are, where the opposition are, and where the space is. This makes them much better players. To do this you need to play “Heads Up” rugby and work on improving your peripheral vision.

It turns out your awareness of what’s around you (“Peripheral Vision”) has a unique circuit in the brain, which connects to “emotions”, “movement control”, and “how you think”. Your ability to sense what’s around you has an immediate and direct effect on what you’re feeling, how you’re moving and also how you respond to different situations. Similarly when you become too focused on something ("Tunnel Vision") this can have negative effects on how you feel, move and hinder your perspective. Everyone knows someone who has a tendency to see "red mist", usually in competitive situations, and has seen this hinder the person's perspective or performance.

Becoming more aware of your peripheral fields makes you feel better and perform better, which is why many high performance athletes purposefully practise these visual skills. By introducing simple daily regular “awareness awakening” routines, where you purposefully engage your peripheral fields (left, right, high, & low), you can improve the levels of energy you feel, reduce the levels tension you feel and improve your overall wellbeing. Why wouldn't you want to give it a go? #peripheralvision #positivemindset #growthmindset #headsup #awarenessawakening

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