Heading into my fourth week of NeuroTracker training, I was very interested, if not anxious, to see improvements. I had seen some small movement in my scores, and was curious to see how that might continue to ramp up. Also important was to observe any changes on the playing field, having felt that my passing decision-making had declined in the last couple of years, leading to needless losses of possession.
Once again I sat in front of the screen, and my training partner Jake fired up the system. We debated adding some additional challenges into the mix, like standing or balancing (check out this video about the stages of NeuroTracker training for more on this). We decided not to, particularly since I wanted to work my way up the performance curve a bit more before shifting. This is partly due to the last session where I was distracted by my six-year-old. This time I really wanted to focus and perform!
NeuroTracker automatically starts at a lower speed than your current baseline, so it started at a speed of 1.2, which by now I find very slow, I never ever miss at that speed. Each time you get a series right, it speeds up. For the first time, I got 5 series in a row. The fifth series was at 3.4, and that’s the first time I successfully got one at that level. I finally broke my streak at a speed of 4.0, which was crazy fast for me - I got three out of four wrong! Basically I lost the balls right away so I was only guessing.
From then on, the system triangulated down to what I could handle, and for the first time I ended up over 2, at 2.08.
One very interesting phenomenon is that 1.9 was routinely achievable for me, whereas when I first did the training a month ago it felt extremely fast. So not only could I see the improvement in my scores this time, I truly felt the difference too. There is a sensation alternately ranging from mastery to being on a freefall, and at 1.9 I now felt the same mastery I had at 1.5 a couple of weeks earlier.
The next night I had my indoor soccer, and Jake came along to play with the group, and to observe, as he had done in previous weeks. Jake himself has been very constant with his NeuroTracker training, now scoring over 3.0, and he asserts that it has helped his ice hockey face-offs go from under 20% to over 80%. I was keen to see if I could make less give-away passes and ideally more assists and even goals.
Well I can tell you it was my best game in 2 years! Jake and I laughed our way through the game, as I made a string of crazy assists into space and some memorable solo runs capped by goals. This one guy Mike on my team and I connected numerous times, me putting it right on his foot as he passed in front of the net, which is something we had never connected on before.
Physically I am in worse shape than two years ago, with a bad left knee and a torn right calf, so the difference had to be in the mind, not the body. While one game and one person is not a scientific, statistically meaningful experience, it was anecdotally a very interesting experience. I was on fire for real! I will report back after next Wednesday’s game, but it’s looking good!
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