I know I’ve written on this topic before. In fact, many times. And I’m going to keep on writing it until I see change in the scenario. Here goes... and if the next sentence turns you off I hope you keep reading because I’m specifically trying to teach YOU how to ride.

Why isn’t the optical dispenser doing more with sport eyewear?

I can hear the excuses already and I want you to stop. Right now. And I want the vendors and manufacturers to stop and listen too. Because, in fact, most of you hot-shot eyewear creators are just as guilty of taking the sport and specialty retailing road and not devoting a giant amount of attention to getting your incredible products into the optical retail stores where it can be dispensed with knowledge and expertise that properly suits the end consumer: the sport enthusiast.

This very issue is a testament to the fact that there are numerous sport sun alternatives out there with technological frame and lens, and Rx features in infinite variations to suit the complex world of sport participation and all of it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if it ends up as product propped up on the counter of a big box sporting goods store where some muscle-headed sneaker clerk delivers nonsense about why any brand or style is best suited to a specific sport.

Things were most likely slightly different in the days when sporting good stores were mom-and-pop establishments dedicated to a loyal customer’s needs but the big box boys have finished off that breed and so the only version of mom-and-pop these days in any community is most likely the local independent optical store and THAT’s who should be selling sport sun.

As we were going to press with this annual homage to the sporting side of eyewear Lance Armstrong was encountering some injury issues affecting the competitive side of his career. But as our cover story relates, sports isn’t JUST about competing. It is about a way of life and a way of looking at life. It is also about sustaining a person’s life in a way that is healthy of head, heart and soul. That is what sport vision is about and if you are not in it (as an optical pro) you are closing yourself off to a key element in your patient’s life.

James J. Spina