An ‘Eye Opening’ Experience in Mount Vernon

An ‘Eye Opening’ Experience in Mount Vernon

Local optometrist gives vision screens to West Potomac baseball players.

Members of the West Potomac Baseball program visited Dr. Keith Smithson of the Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry at 1632 A Belle View Blvd. last week. It was there that the players received a sports vision performance screening in hopes of bettering their eyesight and improving their on-field performance.

The screening featured use of the “RightEye” testing system which allows precise assessment of the factors of vision that people need to see effectively and efficiently. “This is the same test used by USA Baseball to screen all of the kids pre-draft for visual performance concerns,” said Smithson, who is the director of visual performance for the Washington Nationals, team optometrist for the Redskins, Wizards, Mystics, Spirit, and DC United, as well as visual consultant for the Capitals. Smithson is the immediate past chair of the American Optometric Association's Sports and Performance Committee and current member of their National Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force.

This partnership between Smithson and Wolverines’ head coach Jimmy Linza has existed for close to 20 years, going back to when Linza was head coach at Mt. Vernon (2001-05) and later at Hayfield (2010-11).

“Visual performance enhancement is something few teams at their level have even heard about, let alone tested for,” Smithson said, and that West Potomac Baseball is “truly ahead of the curve.”

Linza had similar positive things to say about the doctor: “We are thrilled to get to see someone like Dr. Smithson and feel that his recommendations can make a difference in how well we play. We are so fortunate to have the NVDO office in our community and look forward to working with them in the years to come.”