True Focus Vision Therapy
Update 2-1-2017 Joe Schmidt
from KSTP Sports
featured Devan Dubnyk the Minnesota Wild Goalie and Max Chazin in a story about True Focus Vision in Edina, MN.
During our New Year’s Eve dinner with friends, I was sitting next to Mike Palm, a hockey parent whose son plays for UMD. We were bragging about our sons when I mentioned the problem Max was having at the plate. My son, Max Chazin, has been training at Hit Dawg Academy, a baseball training facility in Minneapolis, MN since he was 12 years old. Shawn Wooten, Pat, Matt, and Dan have taught Max how to swing like the pros. At 12 years old, Max came in second place in the Home Run Derby at Bennett Family Park and had the second most home runs during the regular Minnetonka baseball season.
However, his batting average soon fell from over 500 with 20 home runs to 240 with no home runs. We took video of his swing and it was the best on our team, but he was missing the ball by a foot. If it wasn’t his swing, what was causing him to miss the ball by so much?
I took him to 3 ophthalmologists that summer and they all said the same thing, he had 20/20 vision. No way he has 2020 vision, he was missing the baseball ball by a foot.
Mike said there's this place in Edina that works with hockey players to improve their eye sight and it would probably work for baseball players as well. I got excited and couldn't wait for the next day. However, the next day was New Year’s Day and they were closed. I was willing to try something/anything so I spent New Year’s Day Googling sports vision information instead of watching football.
Sports Vision Therapy
I found Josh Tucker and True Focus Vision which sounded like the place Mike was talking about so I called early Saturday morning to see if Max could be tested. Josh said it was a paperwork day but we could schedule a time the following week. I was too excited to take no for an answer so when I said I had cash he finally agreed.
Max and I arrived a 1/2 hour later. Josh carefully explained what they did and how they might be able to help but there were no guarantees. He started the testing and half way through, he said out loud, “Uh oh” Max and I looked at each other and said, “that can’t be good.” You never want to hear uh oh when you’re being tested.
Josh explained that Max's eyes weren’t tracking together (among other issues). We were concerned his issue was too severe to improve.
Josh's partner is an ophthalmologist Dr. Aaron Mjelstad in Hopkins who needed to evaluate Max to make sure there wasn’t something physically wrong with his eyes. Again, first thing Monday morning I called and the appointment was set for Tuesday. There were pictures of baseball, football and other athletes lining the walls of his office which made us optimistic that this was finally the right doctor to evaluate Max.
He did the testing and said Max didn’t have any physical issues and their system would be able to help if he worked hard.
The crazy thing is, we went to get help with baseball but both Josh and Dr. Mjelstad thought this would help in school. Max had a hard time reading because he’d always get headaches. Max was diagnosed at a very young age with dyslexia. Now I’m thinking to myself, was it dyslexia or an eye tracking problem? Dr. Mjelstad was confident this program at True Focus would improve Max’s reading and comprehension. The funny thing is, Max was more excited about the possibility he’d be able to read better then improving at baseball.
Thursday, less than one week from the time I heard about this eye training thing Max put in his first hour. He had to go straight home afterword’s because he was dizzy and felt like throwing up. I was a little concerned this wasn’t the right program but in fact it was. Josh recommended twice a week but I wanted to hit it hard. The Minnetonka Skippers baseball season was starting in 2 months and we wanted to be ready. We decided on three times a week. Max started off with one of the lowest numbers you could get but little by little he was improving. Make no mistake, it wasn’t easy or cheap; but it was worth it.
Max did a fantastic job sticking with it and I can’t say enough about the care and patience Josh and David gave Max. They wouldn’t allow him to let up and were as excited about his improvement as we were.
The first positive change we noticed was when his grades went from C's and D's to A's and B's. Yep, A's!! You should have seen the confidence he was gaining at school.
Then the Skippers baseball season started and Max went from hitting 240 the year before to ending the freshman year at over 500 and was given the MVP at the awards banquet. ERA under 1.5, batting average over 500, and grades of A's and B's.
Not bad, not bad at all!