Athletes Can Improve Their Game with Brain Training

Olympic athletes already know that training for any event is 90% mental and 10% physical. Navy SEALs know that your body can do anything, including pushing itself further than it ever has simply by focusing your attention on finishing the mission. Your brain is your body central, and it is what drive you to accomplish anything, and it also limits you if you don’t believe you can do something.

Olympic Decathalon Gold Medalist in the 1976 Olympics, Bruce Jenner (long before he was the Kardashian’s stepdad) understood the power of brain training to improve performance. He, like many great athletes, understands that physical strength alone will not win games or races.

“You have to train your mind like you train your body.” – Bruce Jenner

Former Notre Dame football coach Tyrone Willingham used Interactive Metronome (IM) on his players to improve focus and concentration on the field. IM can enhance the mental speed of athletes, putting them back in the game. The idea is to keep the focus away from the crowd, and on what they are supposed to do during the game. Their training consisted of listening to a cowbell sound in their headphones and try to clap with the beat. The sound would teach them how to get their mind in sync, and focus on the sound.

Two researchers from the University of Montreal School of Optometry, David Tinjust and Jocelyn Faubert, have found that by providing the high-performance athlete brain with perceptual-cognition task in a virtual reality environment they were able to increase performance by 53%.

Researchers all over the world have been looking into mental training as a way to increase productivity in athletes for various different sports. Researchers at the University of Calgary looked into how the use of visual attention could improve free-throw performance on the basketball court, and scientists at the University of Central Oklahoma looked into visual training as a way to improve volleyball performance.

While athletes, trainers and coaches are looking for an edge to win, schools and athletic departments are trying to please alumni and fans. There is a large amount of money at stake for the institutions, jobs at stake for the coaching staff, and the desire to win for the athletes. It’s no surprise that dozens of research studies are being funded in order to come up with ways to enhance performance without drugs.

One athlete, boxer Sylvera “Sly” Louise of Montreal, was featured in an article in USA Today recently. the focus of an article on brain-training and exercise in USA Today just last week. The story gave credit for Louis’ amazing comeback, from 625 in the world to the top 200, to a brain-training regiment that was not physically based. “Louis spent countless hours on Lumosity, a brain-training program from Lumos Labs, that includes 35 games and exercises aimed at increasing alertness, sharpening memory skills, improving concentration, and thinking faster.” According to Louis, “Every little moment matters.”

If you are an athlete, or want to help an athlete to perform better, looking into different methods of brain training.  One other website you may want to look into is Memorise.org for brain games, articles and brain exercises to help you improve your mental focus.

 

 

About the author:

Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion and memory training expert. As a memory keynote speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life.

 

Sources:

Luminosityblog.com – How Brain Training Can Improve Your Athletic Game: http://www.lumosity.com/blog/how-brain-training-can-improve-your-athletic-game/

www.usamemoriad.com

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