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What is Neurocognitive Training?

A range of sports science studies across a wide number of sports show time and time again that when elite players are compared to sub-elite players, the differences in mental performance are huge compared to the differences in physical prowess. Reading and responding to game flow, predicting opponents and ball trajectories, and responding rapidly under pressure are key areas where elite performers gain a critical edge in competition.  In contrast to advanced strength, fitness and skill conditioning, development of mental performance is largely left untrained outside of natural game play.

 

Why Neurocognitive Training?

Neurocognitive training in Montreal enhances performance by training an athlete to absorb and process complex movements and distribute attentional resources throughout the visual field. Mental focus, sustained concentration, response time and situational awareness are all improved.

 

How is this accomplished at NCCC?

Training programs will be comprised of exercises that will isolate key mental skills. Training will be progressive and cognitive systems will be overloaded by increasing object speed, number of targets, adding distractors and lengthening the task. Athletes will use a combination of softwares designed to target their individual needs.

 

What are the Key Concepts behind Neurocognitive Training?

  • Training the brain offers a massive performance edge. Superior cognitive abilities are a key determinant of elite performance. Reading and responding to game flow, predicting opponents and ball trajectories, and responding rapidly under pressure are key areas where elite performers gain a critical edge in competition.
  • Awareness is critical for seeing the game. One of the most significant demands on awareness is multiple object tracking; the ability to maintain multi-focal attention on several moving targets at the same time.
  • Attention is a skill that matters at all levels: Multiple object tracking at speed demands high-level mental resources and fluid concentration. Attention is the force necessary to apply these resources and channel them into mental focus.
  • Speed greatly increases mental demands. Awareness of sports scenes can be managed when there is little movement but when the speed increases, the demands on the brain increase dramatically.
  • Peripheral vision is underutilized. A key finding by sports vision specialists is that amateur athletes tend to over-scan for detail at the cost of their peripheral awareness. In contrast, elite athletes scan much more selectively, fixating on only the necessary points of detail.
  • Opponents’ actions can be anticipated more easily:  Successful prediction of a player’s next action is dependent on reading movements of several key parts of the body such as joint angles or rotation across limbs then, by processing how these changes relate to overall movement, a player’s intentions can be anticipated.

 

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