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After a Pioneering Career in Sports Vision Therapy This OD Launched an Online Coaching Academy

The Alpha Zone brings together Dr. Don Teig’s love of sports with medical and coaching expertise offered by himself and a stable of colleagues.




After a Pioneering Career in Sports Vision Therapy This OD Launched an Online Coaching Academy

TECHNOLOGY IS ENABLING ECPs to specialize like never before, reaching, educating and treating patients in myriad ways. But for those truly determined to blaze their own path, such niches are just the beginning. Veteran optometrist Dr. Don Teig this year crowned a pioneering career in sports vision therapy by launching The Alpha Zone Sports Performance Academy, a live video sports and sports medicine coaching platform that allows individuals or groups to receive instruction from noted athletes, coaches and sports medicine experts.


After launching The Training Room, a website hosting podcasts on health and sports, a few years back, it was a natural progression to add video where Teig and colleagues could not only educate but also provide paid coaching services. “I was inspired to incorporate face-to-face live video coaching from sports gurus as a natural adjunct” to the site, he recalls. Reflecting Teig’s expertise in neuro-optometry, the name “Alpha Zone” is a nod to the brain wave pattern associated with the ability to pre-program the visual motor system. “Of course, the term ‘Zone’ is meant to imply that when an athlete is playing at their peak, they are said to be ‘in the zone.’” The academy was officially launched in March.



Dr. Don Teig

Getting the Academy up and running, Teig says, required “a combination of creativity, hard work, knowing the right people to [serve as coaches] and also finding coding and graphics experts. My sports vision and neuro-optometry skills are most definitely a part of our curriculum.” Since then, “The biggest challenge has been finding a company that can seamlessly create a simple push button process to go from scheduling to payment and finally to implementation of the video platform.”

The academy itself targets athletes at all levels “from youth sports to weekend warriors. I am fortunate to be directly connected to many terrific former and current athletes who have embraced this concept and have agreed to become Alpha Zone coaches.” As of early April the site offered coaching from Teig and 10 coaches in baseball, softball, football, trap shooting, golf and yoga/mindfulness training, but Teig says he has plans for a stable of more than 50 coaches and sports medicine experts offering instruction in those and other sports including basketball, auto racing, tennis, soccer, lacrosse and hockey. The instruction is offered in various forms and durations, in individual, group and corporate settings, with prices varying accordingly from as little as $50 to $1,000, according to the site’s current information.

In addition to the live video encounters, Teig has plans to launch live training camps and conferences. “I am also developing roundtable video webcasts on stimulating topics like how organized athletics is dealing with the concussion issue now as compared to the past.”


Teig describes the main rewards of launching the Alpha Zone as “being able to do something that I love — specifically sports of all kinds — keeping myself vital after retirement from private practice, and frankly reaping the financial benefits of providing people all over the world with a vehicle for them to improve in the sports that they love.”


He urges other ECPs interested in making a similar move into a broader scope of therapy or training — whether it involves sports or any other field — to go for it. “To paraphrase a famous coach,” Teig says, “‘The only thing standing between you making anything happen to achieve success is strictly dictated by the person in the mirror.’”

Do It Yourself: Apply Your Expertise to an Online Niche

  • GO FOR IT. “Be creative and have a true passion for what you are trying to accomplish,” says Teig.
  • SEE IT THROUGH. “Be patient but stay the course,” he advises.
  • ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES. Expect disappointments along the way but maintain a razor-sharp focus on the ultimate goal, he says.
  • WISE WORDS. Teig likes to quote the late, great baseball pitcher Satchell Paige: “Never look back! Something or someone may be gaining on you!”
  • BE REALISTIC. Another favorite quote of Teig’s comes from Kenny Rogers: “You gotta know when to hold and know when to fold!”



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