01. NeuroTracker

Mastering the Complexity of Soccer with NeuroTracker

August 16, 2016

We covered the dual-task approach to NeuroTracker training in an earlier blog ‘The multiple stages of NeuroTracker training – performance’. You can see in that video how complexity can be amped up with training over time. Basically it goes something like this:

NeuroTracking, then NeuroTracking with a basic motor-skill task such as standing or balancing on one foot, then NeuroTracking with a more demanding performance specific task, such as dribbling a basketball.

It doesn’t sound like rocket science, but this was born out of sports science research, dubbed the ‘NeuroTracker Learning System’, there are a couple of principles to it which make it quite a powerful technique for advanced conditioning.

First, results with NHL, EPL and top Rugby athletes discovered that even adding a task as simple as standing (compared to sitting) can significantly lower both NeuroTracker scores and learning rates. This showed that getting overall cognitive load right is essential for maximizing conditioning effects. Second, a study with Spanish Olympic athletes found that after training up on just NeuroTracker, athletes could quickly adapt when harder and harder dual-tasks were added. So in a nutshell, if cognitive load is adjusted in line with adaptation to NeuroTracker training effects, then athletes can rapidly learn to handle exceptionally high loads of cognitive and motor-skill complexity – a classic quality of great athletic performance.

This is epitomized in soccer, where players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi have the prowess to thrive amidst pressure and chaos, making rapid but accurate decisions while executing sublime levels of physical skill. So for soccer coaches and players looking to step up gameplay ability when it matters the most on the field, here is a program to take a shot at.



Balancing (balance beam/board or bosu ball)



Practical pointers

The added skill tasks are only performed during the movement tracking phase of sessions, and the athlete should try to keep visual focus on the NeuroTracker screen, using peripheral visual awareness for the soccer ball as much as possible. The dual-task sessions can also incorporate non-Core sessions like Overload, Dynamic, Target or Tactical. It’s important that sessions 15/20/25/30/35/40 are just Core sitting, as these provide a baseline reference. Only progress to the next dual-task level when NeuroTracker scores are no less than below 30% of the sitting Core, this ensures cognitive load is optimized for on-going learning effects. If the last phase is mastered, then get in touch with the NeuroTracker team for tips EPL teams use to reach the next level!

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