ATLANTA, GA- The Atlanta Falcons have announced a partnership with CogniSens Inc., via their official website on Monday June, 23, that the team plans on using a 3-d mental training program called NeuroTracker in order to improve upon awareness and focus.
The NeuroTracker program was developed by Canadian neuroscientist Dr. Jocelyn Faubert. He originally was trying to help senior citizens deal with complex situations, such as crossing a busy street, but he soon realized that the technology could be better suited to improve athletic performance by helping athletes improve their mental capability in six major areas. These areas are: awareness, attention, peripheral vision, anticipation, methodology, and profiling.
The program uses multiple object tracking which has been proven to increase awareness. Since most of the time a player will not have the ball in his hands, with the quarterback being the exception, it is vital that a player’s awareness to be at its highest potential in order for amazing plays to occur.
Just think about some of the most famous plays in football such as: The Immaculate Reception, The Fumble, The Drive, and even The Catch. The point to multiple object tracking is to stimulate the brain on a normal basis, much like working out physical muscles, in order to open an athlete’s mind to more play options and predicting how the game will develop based on movement.
Each session can be easily monitored to see the improvements in mental reaction. After 15 sessions, around eight minutes per session, a strong baseline is formed. The NFL, NHL, and numerous soccer teams already make use of this technology in recruitment, rehabilitation rates and post-concussion return to practice timing.
Practitioners in the scientific and sports fields have both indicated that NeuroTracker is the real deal. In 2012, an article in the Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology used the technology that Neurotracker provided to improve perception on biological motions. Also an article featured in January 2013 in the exclusive Nature online journal used NeuroTracker to compare the differences in professional athletes compared to collegiate level athletes. The article concluded that the professionals were better at dynamic scene processing.
Here is a video of a more in depth explanation of what NeuroTracker is capable of:
With the implementation of pro-style offenses in the NCAA, it is starting to make more sense why rookies in this era are having more success straight out of college. According to Forbes, Paraag Marathe, Chief Operating Officer of the San Francisco 49ers says that, ““The standard deviation in physical skill set is so small at the NFL level. Physically, by the time they get to the NFL, players have been weeded out physically ten times over–starting at Pee wee, and high school, in Division III, Division II, Division I, being a starter versus a redshirt player, getting drafted in the first round or the seventh round but mentally, there’s a bigger gap.”
Physically, the Falcons are at almost the same level as the rest of the NFL. All of these young men have gone through the most exhausting physical training regiments to achieve their dream. Of course, they have been mentally beaten as well memorizing entire playbooks. However at the end of the day most of their time on the field will be about positioning, being in the best possible spot in order to make the play. As a nation, the United States has seen first-hand how fates can be turned within seconds with the proper positioning in reference to Portugal tying United States in the final seconds of regulation during the 2014 World Cup.
Let’s not underestimate this move made by upper management and hope that the team can implement this technology to help the younger guys acclimate to the ferocious speed of the NFL that much quicker.