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Neuropriming 101: Benefits & Alternatives

Neuropriming is something that’s been getting a lot of attention in recent years. It’s an interesting concept that athletes of all levels have been experimenting with.

But how does it work?

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding neuropriming and just how exactly it benefits athletes. In this post, we cover everything you need to know (and share some alternatives as well).

What Is Neuropriming?

Neuropriming is a unique approach to strengthening the connection between your brain and your body. Typically used by high-performance athletes, neuropriming is said to improve sports performance and produce measurable gains in less time.

Regardless of the sport you play, your brain has an important role in your success. While techniques and physical fitness exercises might come second-nature to you, that doesn’t mean that your brain isn’t working hard to help you along the way. The part of the brain that’s responsible for voluntary physical activity is the motor cortex.

With every movement you make, from casual walking to intense football drills, the motor cortex sends signals to your muscles. Neurons fire off at a rapid pace to make the muscle fibers contract, resulting in movement. All of this happens in an instant. Yet, it’s learned over time.

You see, the motor cortex develops pathways for neurons to travel. When you first acquire a new skill, such as performing a drill for the first time, you’re hyper-aware of what you’re body is doing to make it happen.

That’s because that neural pathway hasn’t been developed yet. As you continue to run the drill, the motor cortex will adapt and organize the pathway for better efficiency in the future. This is referred to as neuroplasticity.

Once those pathways have been established, you can continue to build your new skills. Your motor cortex will continue to adapt as you get better, pushing your skills to the next level.

So, how does neuropriming fit into all of this? Well, neuropriming directly affects your motor cortex. It’s designed to strengthen those pathways by increasing your neuroplasticity.

Neuropriming is designed to put your brain into a state of hyperplasticity. During hyperplasticity, neurons are firing off more frequently. The neurons are more stimulated and will fire off when stimulated by other neurons.

It’s this reaction and frequent firing that helps to improve performance. When neurons fire off together, those neural pathways can be established quickly. Plus, they will last with continued training.

To put it simply, neuropriming literally primes your brain for training. It puts your motor cortex in the perfect condition to learn skills and maximize your potential. While it’s predominantly used in the sports world, the training technique is said to be beneficial in everything from learning a new language to playing an instrument.

How It Works

Despite the complex nature of the brain and neuron activity, neuropriming is a relatively simple concept. At its core, this process involves manually activating neurons. To do this, electricity is used.

Currently, neuropriming devices come in the form of earphones. Of course, these aren’t your average earphones. Hidden within the band, there are multiple soft electrodes. They are designed to go through your hair and make contact with your scalp.

The electrodes then send electrical pulses to your brain, causing neurons to fire off manually. While this might sound intimidating, the process of sending electrical impulses through the brain has been around for over 100 years. It’s referred to as transcranial direct current stimulation. With proper guidance, it’s completely safe.

The position of the electrodes and the overall design of neuropriming devices is no mistake. The headphone makes it easy for the electrodes to make contact with the motor cortex, which happens to sit right above the ears.

When the device is turned on, the electrodes will send pulses to the motor cortex to put your brain in a state of hyperplasticity. According to athletes who have taken advantage of this unique training technique, the pulses do not hurt. Rather, they create a tingling sensation.

The good news is that you don’t have to wear the device and be subjected to electrical signals throughout your training session. Neuropriming is meant to be performed during a warmup.

Supposedly, a short 20 minute-workout while neuropriming can lead to lasting effects during your actual training session. The state of hyperelasticity lasts for up to an hour. Neurons will continue to fire off quickly after you have removed the device, allowing you to perform drills as you normally would.

During your supercharged workout session, your brain will work to reprogram itself. The technology is still in its early stages. However, professional athletes are already using it during their training routines.

Several studies were also performed by the company that developed the technology. Double-blind studies were done as well to test the efficiency of the technology. According to the findings, athletes saw a 31 percent improvement in their physical performance.

What Are the Benefits?

There are several ways that you can benefit from neuropriming. The biggest is the ability to learn new skills at a much faster pace. As we mentioned earlier, neuropriming prepares your brain and helps to create new neural pathways.

This applies to pretty much everything you do. That hyperplasticity supercharges your brain for better retention and recall. Typically, learning a new physical skill requires a lot of time and effort.

Any seasoned athlete will tell you that they got to where they are now by making small gains over a long stretch of time. The body has to learn how to make those movements. Drills are repeated thousands of times until a technique becomes second nature.

All that time is needed because the brain is trying to build those neural pathways. By increasing the frequency and efficiency of neural signals in the brain, you can cut back on your training time significantly.

Another big benefit is reaching your true potential. All athletes experience that dreaded plateau at some point. After years of practice, it can sometimes seem like you aren’t experiencing any improvements.

Truth is, everyone can see improvement. That plateau you’ve reached is not your true potential. The issue is that your motor cortex already has an established neural pathway. If you have been performing the same exercises and drills for years, shaking that pathway off is easier said than done.

This doesn’t just apply to athletes who are good at what they do. Have you ever tried your hardest at a sport or activity to only realize that you simply aren’t good at it? Well, you may have just developed bad techniques.

The motor cortex doesn’t care about whether the movements you’re making are right or wrong. If you have done the wrong moves enough to develop neural pathways, that’s the way you will be doing it until you take the steps to improve.

Neuropriming can help you overcome that plateau or performance hurdle you’re experiencing. In fact, many athletes during the studies reported that they were more aware of what their body was doing. This is pretty impressive considering that years of training often makes things “second nature.”

That hyperplasticity opens up a world of possibilities. Not only are you more aware of what you’re doing, but you’re at a prime state to make improvements. With multiple neuropriming warmup sessions and corrective training, you can get over those performance issues in no time.

You may also be able to benefit from greater endurance with neuropriming. Endurance and fatigue levels are affected by several factors. Genetics and your actual muscle activity come into play. However, the same goes for your brain.

A study in 2009 found that cognitive fatigue can limit your athletic performance. To put it simply, the rate in which neurons fire off to your muscles decreases the more you work out. This is what triggers that fatigued feeling.

With that said, feeling fatigued doesn’t always mean that your muscles have reached their capacity. Your brain is just telling you that you’re tired.

Neuropriming can help you push further by keeping those neurons firing. Your motor cortex stays in an excitable state, allowing you to keep central fatigue at bay and exert as much as you can.

Is There A Better Alternative?

While neuropriming can be an exciting thing for athletes and coaches to think about, it’s possible to take things even further.

Reflexion takes a more sophisticated approach when it comes to improving cognitive performance in athletes. Neuropriming is a relatively simple input that leaves little room for a customized approach.

Reflexion brings clear and tangible benefits to your peripheral vision, decision making, short term pattern memory, and hand-eye coordination. All of these aspects can be tailored to an athlete’s specific sport so the training stays specialized to what they can benefit from most.

Another neat thing about Reflexion compared to neuropriming is how fun it can be. The drills and exercises athletes go through are quite addicting and can be directly linked to improved performance in their particular sport. This makes it get athletes invested and using it consistently.

Wrapping Up

The interest in neuropriming comes from a large wave of athletes who want to do some form of cognitive training. The pros are doing it, and they want to as well.

However, neuropriming isn’t the only option. If you want to take your training even further we’d love to hear from you. Reflexion is the best cognitive training solution for athletes on the market, and we’re just getting started!

Optimizing Training with Sports Performance Techniques

The phrase “sports performance training” is being used more and more among athletes and coaches. While it might seem like just another way to describe working out, there’s actually more to it than that.

In this post we cover everything you need to know about sports performance training (from the definition to the benefits). By the time you’re done reading it, you’ll understand what makes it so powerful, and why you should start doing it ASAP.

What Is Sports Performance Training?

In the sports world, there’s a lot of focus on improving general fitness and performing drills to simulate plays on the field. While those facets are certainly important, sports performance training can push athletes to the next level while also providing plenty of room to grow.

This specialized form of training is meant to enhance your overall athleticism and prepare you for the challenges that your sport presents. It’s all about conditioning your body for the activities you’ll be doing on the playing field.

The great thing about sports performance training is that it’s catered to your specific needs. One problem that many athletes face at some point in their playing career is that their skills plateau. This is especially true among younger athletes. These young sports enthusiasts will spend several years pushing their bodies to the limit in an attempt to become the strongest, fastest, and best-performing player on the field.

Unfortunately, going that route leaves very little room for continued development. It essentially stunts their progress. While those athletes may see some success with their chosen sport, much of the training they do to get to that point is geared toward general fitness levels rather than improved performance.

With sports performance training, you’re preparing your body to succeed in a specific competitive environment. Of course, good overall fitness is important for athletes. However, all sports are unique. Even within the same sport, you have different positions that require contrasting skills to succeed.

Therein lies the problem with basic fitness training. For example, there’s no point spending the majority of your time building muscle mass if the most important skill for your sport is agility or speed.

Sports performance training routines are designed to improve your overall athleticism while preparing you for your sport. Many trainers will create routines that emulate the movements you’ll do during a game. Whether your sport requires good agility, impressive coordination, or brute strength, your performance training regime will include exercises to help you see improvements in those key areas.

Sports performance training is also highly customized. Not just to your sport, but also to you as a person. Good trainers will spend time understanding your current abilities and fitness levels. They’ll consider your age, gender, and more to create a personalized plan that will benefit you on and off the field.

This high level of customization can prove to be beneficial in the long run. Trainers will continue to adapt to the training regime as your skills change. This presents a constant challenge to athletes and avoids the dreaded plateau effect.

Why Is It Better Than Traditional Forms Of Sports Training?

The biggest difference is in the name. Sports performance training is geared toward motions and exercises that directly translate to actions on the field. It’s hyper-focused.

Your performance capabilities are the foundation of your skills on the field. Good fitness levels and game knowledge are obviously incredibly important. But, what good will they do if your body is not prepared to go through the specific motions that your sport requires?

There are a few different areas that sports performance training focuses on. These include your strength, power, coordination, balance, speed, and more. All of these areas are crucial in any sport. The issue with traditional training is that routines often have a very narrow approach to addressing those areas.

For example, say that you are a lacrosse player who wants to improve your shooting power. In traditional training, coaches may have you perform shooting motions with resistance bands or a weighted stick. The thought is that the extra weight will develop more strength as you’re going through the motions. It’s not uncommon to see players spending hours just making practice swings.

While it may seem effective, you’re just teaching yourself to play with a different stick. It doesn’t address the root of the problem. To make matters worse, it can throw off your shooting mechanics and mess with your stick sensitivity. Ultimately, this kind of training can actually hurt your performance once you go back to your normal stick.

Sports performance training would address this problem by focusing on strength training and coordination. The goal would be to condition your body so that you can achieve more power during a swing. Coaches would work on correcting your technique and develop exercises that can help you see improvement in that particular area.

The great thing about sports performance training is that you’re working on enhancing key athletic characteristics rather than simply going through the motions. Participating in sports is more complex than what many people give it credit for. It’s not about being the strongest or most fit. To have a competitive edge, you must improve your overall athleticism and strengthen key performance areas.

Additional Benefits

Aside from desired improvements on the field, there are a number of additional benefits that sports performance training can bring to an athlete. These are benefits that a lot of people don’t consider at first, so it’s worth exploring them one by one.

Lower Chance Of Injury

One of the most underappreciated benefits of sports performance training is a lower chance of getting injured. Injuries are very common, even in youth sports. Torn ligaments, muscle pain, and damage to connective tissue happen all the time.

In many cases, these injuries are a direct result of poor training protocols. You see, general fitness training doesn’t put any stress on those important ligaments and tendons. Sure, you may be strengthening your muscles and improving your endurance. But that won’t make any difference when you’re suddenly faced with a complex maneuver on the playing field.

All it takes is one incorrect move to cause a tendon to snap. For example, torn ACLs are one of the most common injuries in fast-paced sports. An awkward rebound or twist of the leg puts extreme stress on this delicate tendon, causing it to tear and give out.

With performance training, you’re doing all of those complex maneuvers regularly. Whether you’re doing sprints, lunges, or making your way through an agility course, your body is performing smart resistance training. This helps to strengthen the ligaments and tendon, reducing the chances of injury during a game.

Plus, you’re improving your overall agility, flexibility, and motor control. By participating in similar movements during your regular training, your body is better prepared to support your maneuvers in a game setting.

Isolating Weaknesses

Another benefit of sports performance training is that it quickly exposes your weaknesses. Thanks to the fast-paced nature of competitive sports, it’s easy to overlook areas that need improvement. As a result, many athletes will just ignore the issue or blame an undesirable outcome on a bad play.

Because performance training is focused on performance and athleticism, trainers can find areas that need to be improved on. Whether it’s poor hand-eye coordination or a weak jump, this type of training can highlight that problem. Coaches can then develop a training routine that addresses the issue. You can incorporate focus exercises to strengthen those weak skills. This will result in a noticeable improvement in your technique and overall performance.

Mental Improvements

Sports performance training can also provide athletes with mental and emotional benefits. On the mental front, performance training is great for strengthening your mind-body connection. As you probably know, all sports require extreme mental coordination. You have to understand your surroundings, make decisions, and react. All of this happens in an instant.

When you’re just focusing your training on general fitness or going through plays, you’re not challenging your mind nearly as much. Performance-based exercises force you to think and synchronize complex movements to reach the desired outcome. This doesn’t just improve your coordination and reaction times. It can also teach you how to perform moves more efficiently.

That’s what makes using Reflexion so powerful. It allows you to train and improve your cognitive performance in ways that are tailored to your specific sport. This kind of sports performance training is rapidly growing in popularity due to the massive improvements athletes are seeing as a result.

More Enjoyment & Less Burnout

Many trainers will attest to the emotional benefits that performance training will provide. It can help you gain more love for the sport that you play. Many younger athletes give up on their sport after a few years because they’re not seeing the progress they want. This is especially true if the player felt that they have reached their peak. What’s the point in continuing if you’re not improving?

Because performance training is catered to your unique needs, your routines will continue to grow with you. You can adapt your program to address new challenges and push your abilities even further. Like we mentioned earlier, the best trainers take several factors into account when they’re developing a program. As you get older and your fitness levels change, so does your training program.

Many athletes experience a significant sense of accomplishment with performance training. They get to watch themselves improve and track changes in their abilities as they progress. You’ll be able to reap the benefits of your training, which will help you fall deeper in love with your sport.

Conclusion

As you can see, sports performance training is an incredibly powerful approach that all of the top athletes and coaches are using. The wide range of benefits and engaging approach make it a sticky methodology that athletes love.

If you’re interested in learning about how Reflexion can help you implement smarter sports performance training from a cognitive standpoint, head over to this page and get in touch.

Strobe Light Training Glasses: Benefits & Alternatives

Strobe light training and strobe glasses have gotten the attention of the sports world in recent years. With athletes like Steph Curry and Kawhi Leonard using them to improve reaction time and eliminate distractions, many other athletes are wondering if they should do the same.

In this post, we’ll cover the essentials of strobe light training and what benefits it can bring. We’ll also explore some alternatives that might be even more exciting!

What Are Strobe Glasses?

While strengthening the muscles and perfecting physical maneuvers is pivotal to the success of athletes around the world, improving brain functionality is important, too. Several studies have shown that well-trained athletes think and see the world around them a bit differently than non-athletes. When you think about how the body works during a fast-paced sports game, the idea is not as far-fetched as it originally seems.

You see, the connection between the eyes, brain, and body plays a very important role in how you react to stimulants you see. It’s that cycle of information that’s responsible for affecting how you move. For athletes, the process goes like this:

They see an opening or offensive technique that’s being pulled off by the opposing team. In only a fraction of a second, the brain processes the information it just saw and sends signals to the rest of the body to react accordingly. To make things even more difficult, players must also make decisions on their next course of action.

While the connection between visual stimulants and physical reactions seems instantaneous, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Your brain is like a muscle. Challenging your mind strengthens it, which could result in a slew of positive benefits that can improve your athletic performance tenfold.

Strobe light training via strobe glasses is an effective way of enhancing your mental prowess and improving your overall brain functionality on the field. This form of training, while still considered to be relatively novel, is not new.

Early forms of strobe glasses can be traced back to the peak of Michael Jordan’s NBA career. Back then, the famed basketball player used strobe lights to simulate the appearance of constant camera flashes during a game. Those camera flashes were known to be distracting and blinding. So, the strobe glasses helped Michael Jordan to overcome those performance issues.

Eventually, his trainer found glasses that could mimic the camera flashes without having to use physical strobe lights. Not only did the device help Michael Jordan avoid distractions, but he experienced several other performance benefits as well. Considering Michael Jordan’s sports legacy, it’s not hard to see why this unique form of training gained popularity in the sports world.

Since then, strobe glasses have been adopted by professional athletes across the world. It’s not just reserved for NBA players. Strobe light training is considered a great way to help any athlete who performs precise techniques.

How Does It Work?

The concept behind strobe glasses is pretty simple. Basically, the goal is to limit visual information. Think of how a strobe light operates in a dimly lit room. It flashes at a rapid pace, allowing you to only see for only milliseconds at a time.

Even though the room is only lit for a fraction of a second, you’re still able to get a good idea of what’s in the room and how it looks. Why is that?

Well, it’s because your brain is making up the difference. It’s working overtime to process as much information as possible about that tiny bit of stimulation you received.

Strobe light training is all about taking advantage of your brain’s ability to work off of limited information. One good way to look at strobe light training is to think of it as strength training for your mind.

Today, the easiest way to implement this unique training into your routine is to invest in strobe light glasses. At first glance, these glasses look like your average pair of sunglasses or ski goggles. However, they’re hiding discreet liquid-crystal technology within the lenses.

The technology turns the clear lenses into fully opaque lenses that you can’t see through. Depending on the particular model used, trainers may be able to initiate flashing sequences based on skill level.

The glasses may flash at a rapid pace for those who are new to strobe light training. Or, they can be set to stay dark for long periods of time for a bigger challenge.

When the LCD lenses flash, milliseconds of visual information is removed. Even still, your brain must process the information and make decisions on how you should react. By forcing your brain to work with only a small amount of visual data, you’re strengthening and improving it’s ability to work under pressure.

Over time, you can experience a significant performance improvement. You can then decrease the flash rate to push your limits even further.

Typically, athletes will wear strobe glasses while performing drills and mock games. This ensures that the brain is fully capable of making those split-second decisions in situations that matter.

What Are The Benefits?

There are several areas of your game that can see improvement with strobe glasses. Many athletes who give this training technique a try say that the game feels like it’s moving in slow motion. In reality, the brain is simply doing a better job of helping those athletes make sense of the events around them.

One of the biggest benefits you can experience is faster reaction times. In an intense game, every second matters. Human reaction time tends to wane as people get older.

Strobe glasses ensure that you’re able to process information quickly and efficiently, even when you have full visibility of the playing field.

Overall focus and visualization skills are improved as well. Whether the game is being played on a private court or a field surrounded by fans, most sports are riddled with distractions. Having the ability to stay focused on the task at hand is pivotal.

With strobe light training, you can train your brain into locking onto your target. You’ll be able to visualize the playing field and have a better understanding of the obstacles you need to get through to make a goal. All while staying focused on the ball at all times.

Mental performance isn’t the only thing that strobe glasses change. You may also notice significant improvements in the way that you see the game unfolding in front of you.

Take, for example, a fast-paced game of basketball. Without proper training or experience, you can easily lose your balance keeping track of the ball. This is especially true if you favor using one eye over the other. Ultimately, you might have to choose between staying stable on your feet and watching the events of the game.

Strobe light training can enhance every visual aspect of the sport. This includes your ability to detect movement in your peripheral vision, how your inner ear reacts to rapid eye movements as you track the ball, and more. You can even learn to take advantage of both eyes for effective tracking, virtually eliminating visual dominance.

Is There A Better Alternative?

At Reflexion, we think that strobe light training is just scratching the surface of what’s possible when it comes to improving athletic performance.

Unlike strobe glasses, Reflexion goes deeper to improve your neuro-cognitive abilities as an athlete. While strobe light training is geared mostly toward improving reaction time and susceptibility to distractions, Reflexion takes a more performance-driven approach.

Benefits like improved short term pattern memory, hand-eye coordination, peripheral vision, and decision making can be seen in addition to the reaction time improvements you see with strobe glasses.

The level of customization is far superior as well. With Reflexion, you can easily monitor data over time and track improvements. There are also a variety of training drills that can be utilized depending on what sport the athlete competes in.

It’s also quite fun! In our experience, traditional strobe light training feels very much like a chore. The exercises you put your brain through with Reflexion feel more like a game. That makes it easy to get athlete buy-in at all levels and easily start implementing neuro-fitness training with your team (or at your gym).

Conclusion

Strobe light glasses aren’t going away anytime soon. With more and more athletes turning to various forms of cognitive training, we can expect to see new technology like this being developed and implemented for a number of sports.

If you’re interested in the benefits of strobe light training but want to see even more benefits, click here to get in touch with us. Reflexion is the best cognitive training solution for athletes on the market, and we’re just getting started!

Boost Performance Through Neuro Training

Improving athletic performance is easier than it’s ever been. With recent innovations in technology and training methodology, athletes are doing things we never thought were possible.

But if you’re trying to improve your athletic performance (or do so for others) where should you start? With so many options it can be overwhelming to decide what will be the most effective use of your time.

That’s why we put together this resource. In it, you’ll learn the best methods for taking your training to the next level without overcomplicating things.

1. Vary Your Workouts

For many athletes, functional exercises are the name of the game. Improving athletic performance isn’t about sculpting your body or dropping weight for the sake of it. It’s about improving your muscle strength, response time, and mental prowess on the field. Functional exercises are a great foundation and should always be a part of your workouts.

Basically, the goal of these exercises is to work out the muscles that you’ll be using during the game. Not only can they condition your body to react to different situations, but these exercises can do a lot to prevent muscle injuries.

Drills are important. However, functional exercises should be performed in the gym. This allows your body to experience the muscle stress and stimulation in a way that’s not immediately reminiscent of a specific sport.

In addition to functional exercises, it’s important to switch things up every once in a while. Performing the same exercises day after day, week after week is not the way to reach your full potential. Your body gets used to that stimulation. This can cause a plateau in your results.

It’s recommended that you mix your workout up every two to three weeks. Try performing different kinds of exercises. Do a different kind of cardio and keep things exciting. That muscle confusion can produce some amazing results. Plus, it’ll help you stay motivated and stave off boredom.

2. Track & Measure Your Performance During Training

There’s no shortage of monitoring equipment out there. Whether you invest in the most advanced wearable or jot down notes with simple pen and paper, keeping track of your performance during a workout is a great way to push your body further.

Hard data is an excellent motivator and will let you know just how much progress you’re making. You can keep track of your progress for a specific activity or workout. Use that data to set small goals. Before you know it, you’ll be miles ahead of where you were before.

Modern technology has made it incredibly easy to measure your performance. Fitness watches can act as an informational hub, constantly recording different parameters of your movement. The most advanced gear is capable of measuring running distance, heart rate, exercise reps, and so much more. Push that data to your computer, tablet, or smartphone and you’ll be able to analyze it fully.

Many professional athletes take advantage of tracking wearables to fine-tune their performance. It’s not uncommon to see athletes going through drills wearing high-tech vests that monitor their motions in real-time. Coaches can then see a frame-by-frame breakdown of what the athlete’s body is doing and what muscles are being worked. Workouts can then be modified to address techniques that need improvement.

While you might not be able to take advantage of some of the pricier systems, affordable fitness wearables can provide a ton of in-depth information. You can even record your workouts on camera for later review. Whatever you decide to do, it won’t take long for you to notice that something as simple as keeping track of your performance can make a huge difference.

3. Make Proper Hydration a Priority

It should go without saying, but staying hydrated needs to be your top priority during your workout. It’s not hard to get dehydrated. Whether you’re out on the field or in a cool gym, your body is going to lose fluids through sweat.

As you’re exercising, your muscles are producing heat. This increases your core body temperature by quite a bit. Sweating is just your body’s attempt at cooling you down.

During a particularly intense exercise routine, your body could lose up to 45 ounces of water an hour. It’s important that you keep some water within reach.

Dehydration can happen very quickly. You can start to lose consciousness in the middle of a hard rep and injure yourself. Or, you can experience heatstroke if you’re outside.

It’s recommended that you drink between 20 and 40 ounces of water per hour during your workout. Drinking plenty of water before and after exercising is also a must. Beforehand, it ensures that your body is hydrated enough to produce sweat. Afterward, the water will help with recovery.

With all that said, you should also avoid drinking too much water. Contrary to popular belief, drinking a gallon of water before you start working those muscles is not a good idea. It could lead to bloating and nausea, which will ultimately affect your performance.

Stick to the recommended 20 to 40 ounces and you should be good to go. If you’re someone who has a history of not getting enough water, addressing this should lead to a pretty significant increase in your athletic performance.

4. Dedicate Enough Time for Recovery

The recovery process is just as important as the workout itself. There are several reasons for this. One, it helps to prevent injury.

Your muscles need time to heal. Every time you exercise, your muscle tissue is experiencing tiny little tears. It’s a crucial part of getting stronger and bulking up.

If you choose to work through the pain and don’t give your body enough time to recover, you’re just asking for an injury. A lack of proper recovery is one of the most common causes of muscle tears and serious injuries. So, don’t push it.

Secondly, you need to replenish your store of energy. Muscle glycogen, which is basically the stored form of carbohydrates, is used when you exercise. It’s you’re muscle’s energy supply. During the recovery phase, you can restore your muscle glycogen supply for the next workout.

There are several ways to promote healing and properly recover. The easiest is to just take some rest days. Give specific muscle groups a day or two to recover before you push them any further. You can also avoid intense cardio or not work out at all a few days a week. Just stagger your exercise days to give your body all the time it needs.

Post-exercise stretching is another great idea. While most of us know to stretch the muscles to prevent injury before a workout, not too many people will go to that extra trouble after an intense exercise session. However, a few minutes of stretching can aid the recovery process significantly and improve your athletic performance the next time you’re on the field.

Stretching allows the muscles to cool down slowly instead of abruptly. What does this do for your body? Well, it prevents that awful feeling of muscle tightness and joint stiffness.

A few stretches can keep the muscles pliable. With regular practice, a good stretching regime could even improve your range of motion and give you some better performance results.

If you’re looking for a more intense recovery technique, consider getting a massage. Soft tissue massages can make a huge difference in recovery time. Many athletes swear by them.

Massages from a professional masseuse can help to realign muscle tissue, reduce inflammation, and get rid of tightness. Plus, it improves the circulatory system.

After intense exercise, lymphatic fluid builds up in the muscles. It’s a common cause for muscle stiffness and cramps. Massages can mobilize the lymphatic fluid, essentially flushing it from your system.

At the same time, your blood will have an easier time flowing around your body. As a result, your heart can pump oxygenated blood and essential nutrients directly to your sore muscles to speed up the recovery process.

If you don’t have the time or budget to get a professional massage, don’t fret! You can always use a foam roller. These inexpensive accessories are great for performing a self-massage.

Most rollers are fitted with thick grooves and unique surface designs. They make it easier for you to target specific muscle groups and painful connective tissue. All you have to do is place the device on the floor and roll your body over it. Your weight will do all of the work for you.

5. Train Your Brain

You may have heard the phrase, “The mind is the body’s most powerful muscle.” While the brain technically isn’t a muscle, that powerful saying has a lot of truth to it.

In fact, training your brain is one of the most effective ways to improve your athletic performance and gain an advantage over the competition.

Here’s why:

Sports and athletic endeavors aren’t just about well your muscles perform. Most sports rely heavily on your mental abilities as well. For example, football, soccer, and hockey players have to make thousands of split-second decisions, and any one of them can drastically impact the outcome of the game.

This means if you want to improve your athletic performance, you need to train your brain as well! Many of these devices take advantage of visual stimulants. Performing mental exercises involves responding to the stimulant as quickly and accurately as possible.

There are many sports vision training tools available that can improve your athletic performance, but Reflexion offers a proven and convenient array of exercises that are on the cutting-edge. When you combine it with the ability to track your progress, you have a very powerful tool at your disposal.

While it may not seem like you’re doing much at first, it won’t take long for you to see the benefits. Cognitive performance exercises are being done by professional athletes all over the world to help improve response times, visual accuracy, memory, and so much more.

6. Fuel Your Body the Right Way

You are what you eat, right? For some, improving athletic performance can be as simple as eating the right foods. Obviously, peak athletes are on much stricter diets than your average Joe. To push your body as far as it will go, you need to eat healthy foods at the right time.

It all starts in the morning. Instead of chowing down on sugary cereals and unhealthy fast breakfast foods, you need to eat a healthy supply of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. A hearty breakfast in the morning provides plenty of fuel for your muscles while also giving you the energy to start our day.

When you’re planning your meals, it’s important to avoid simple sugars and simple carbs. Instead, go for healthier alternatives like complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbs, like high-fructose corn syrup and many ingredients in junk food, are notorious for causing that dreaded mid-day crash. That’s because the carbs are broken down very easily in your body. This results in a rapid blood sugar spike.

You’ll experience a quick boost in energy but unfortunately, it won’t last. After a few hours, you’ll feel lethargic and weak, which isn’t great for athletes who want to push the limits.

Complex carbs like whole-wheat foods, wholesome vegetables, legumes, and more, break down a lot slower. This regulates your blood sugar and keeps your glycemic index relatively low. So, you’ll have a steady supply of energy throughout the day.

Knowing when to eat is also important. It’s recommended that you eat 3 to 4 hours before you hit the gym. A high-protein meal with complex carbs will fuel your workout. After you’re done, eat again.

The goal of your post-workout meal is to replenish nutrients you lost and speed up the recovery process. As we mentioned earlier, you lose a lot of stored energy during your workout. Plus, your muscles experience small micro-injuries.

To support your body, eat plenty of protein and complex carbs. Ideally, you’ll want to eat up to 80 grams of carbs and 40 grams of protein. It can be a bit less if your workout wasn’t super strenuous. Generally, a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein can do the trick.

7. Consider Adding Some Supplements to Your Diet

There’s no shame in introducing supplements to your diet. Sometimes, you can’t get all of the essential macronutrients you need from your meals alone. Supplements provide those important vitamins and minerals to keep all of your body functions in check.

You can’t perform well if your system isn’t running optimally. So, supplements are a great way to ensure that you’re as healthy as possible to do what you need to do.

Daily multivitamins are readily available at most grocery stores. They can provide you with a healthy dose of Vitamins A, C, D, E, B12, and more. Plus, they include essential minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium.

If you’re looking to try supplements that are specifically catered towards athletic performance, you have no shortage of options. Healthy performance-enhancing supplements are perfectly safe and legal for you to use. They can help you out during your workout and significantly increase your athletic performance.

During your workout routine, ergogenic supplements are a good option. They can help provide you with a boost of energy, neutralize the buildup of lymphatic fluid, and increase the oxygen supply to your muscles.

There are also supplements that you can take to help build muscles. They improve the muscle protein synthesis process, which results in more strength and bulk. Some examples include HMB, HICA, and PA.

Finally, you can use recovery supplements. Things like glutamine and arginine have been known to help restore energy supplies and keep the immune system nice and strong. While supplements aren’t necessary, they can do a lot to help you achieve the results you’re after.

Wrapping Up

Improving athletic performance doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the most effective methods are actually quite straightforward.

Using these tips as the foundation of your training strategy will yield significant results no matter if you’re an athlete, coach, or gym owner.

If you’d like to learn more about number 5 and start incorporating cognitive training into your game plan, we’d love to talk with you.

The benefits athletes are seeing from this form of training is mind-boggling, and it’s one of the quickest ways to gain a massive advantage over the competition. Get in touch with us here to learn more.

Advancing Athletics with Sports Tech

Sports performance technology is a hot topic in the world of athletics.

And for good reason.

The right tech can have a massive impact on an athlete’s ability to perform and improve over time. It allows athletes to replicate different situations they might face during competition, become more informed about their recovery, and take a data-driven approach when training.

What’s even more exciting is that we’re just scratching the surface on what can be done.

In this post, we take a look at some of the most exciting sports performance technology out there right now, and the benefits they bring.

VR (Virtual Reality)

Virtual reality has revolutionized the way that people consume media. What once was a dream of science fiction is now an accessible reality. While VR has gained a lot of traction in the video game industry, it has become a very powerful tool in the world of sports performance.

VR headsets are designed to provide users with an immersive experience. Specialty lenses and high-resolution screens put players right in the middle of the action. Thanks to built-in sensors that track head movements, training with VR feels more real than ever.

One sport that benefits from virtual reality is football. Many NFL teams have started implementing VR into training as a way to sharpen players’ mental response to events that happen on the field.

In an instant, quarterbacks must analyze the game and make a decision that provides positive results. Traditionally, honing those necessary mental skills require thousands of hours of training on the practice field. While those old methods are effective, they come with their risks.

Every time a quarterback takes a snap, there’s a chance that injuries could occur. This is especially true if the practice session involves body contact drills. With a VR headset, those risks are eliminated.

Simulated training sessions give you the opportunity to focus on the mental aspects of the game without having to worry about the physical effects. Of course, physical training still plays an important role. But, VR training can make the most out of an athlete’s time and give them the tools to complete thousands of hours of training without lifting a finger.

Another great perk of VR is the availability of the training. The problem with physical training is that second- or third-string quarterbacks don’t get the same amount of field time as the first-string athlete. This can prove to be a problem if the first-string quarterback suffers an unexpected injury and is unable to play.

With virtual reality, all quarterbacks can stay on top of their game. VR requires fewer resources too, which means there’s no need to gather other players or spend time on the field. This means they can conveniently get in extra reps whenever they want.

Wearables

Wearable technology offers a detailed glimpse of how an athlete’s body is functioning. As the name would suggest, this sports performance technology is designed to be worn by players on or off the playing field. Depending on the type of gear that’s used, coaches and fitness experts can use this to gather several different types of data.

The great thing about wearable technology is that it doesn’t get in the way. Advancements in technology have made it possible for wearables to be as small and compact as a watch. Some teams even implement the gear into vests and other uniform items.

Coaches can use the information they gather in many different ways. Typically, that data is pushed to a laptop or mobile device, giving experts crucial figures in real-time. As a result, wearables can be used during training sessions.

The technology can monitor everything from heart rate to the load on specific muscle groups. Analyzing this data as athletes play offers a slew of benefits on its own. First, coaches are able to precisely measure performance and see what areas need improvement.

Secondly, data from multiple training sessions can be compared to see how techniques have changed over time. Finally, that information can be used to spot signs of fatigue and analyze the risks of injury. Some teams are even embedding RFID tags into uniforms to see when players are at the brink of experiencing an injury due to overworked muscles.

Ultimately, wearables are one of the most effective training tools available. The sheer amount of information that these gadgets provide is staggering and they’re getting more affordable each and every year. Having the ability to analyze even the smallest detail of an athlete’s body makes it easier than ever to help players reach their full potential.

Sleep Tracking

Any seasoned athlete will tell you that sleep is an important part of staying in peak physical conditions. Your muscles need time to recover after a game or an intense training session. A lack of sleep can easily lead to an injury.

Furthermore, athletes experience dips in cognitive function due to a lack of sleep. Several studies have shown that your response times, agility, and overall skill is decreased when you’re tired.

Wearable sports performance technology has done a lot to help players develop and maintain healthy sleep habits. Small wearable devices, such as watches or wristbands, are fully capable of determining when people reach certain sleep stages. This is often done by measuring your heart rate and keeping track of your movements.

Data analytics can then be used to see how sleep is affecting your body. Many teams in the NFL, NBA, and other sports leagues utilize sleep tracking devices to fine-tune an athlete’s schedule. Some take things a step further by creating optimal sleep conditions that can help athletes feel refreshed and ready to play no matter where they might be.

Vision Training

Sports aren’t just about your physical capabilities. Mental prowess can have a huge impact on your technique and overall skill as well. Keeping your mind in tip-top shape is just as important as continually training your muscles.

Vision training is a newer form of sports performance technology that’s starting to become more mainstream among professional athletes. Essentially, the goal of vision training is to improve your reflexes, cognitive function, and visual accuracy. While these mental benefits can certainly pay off in the real world as well, they’re particularly useful in sports like football, basketball, hockey, and more.

The most effective form of this training involves recording response times to a visual stimulant. For example, coaches may use tablets with high-resolution graphics or interactive light panels. After the visuals are displayed, you must quickly tap or physically respond to it. It may not seem like much, but the simple test says a lot about an athlete’s capabilities on the field.

To be successful in any sport, you must be able to quickly respond to the events you see. During the training sessions, various markers are recorded. Not only does it show how long it took you to respond, but it may also show how accurate your physical response was.

Sports teams can benefit greatly from adopting forms of vision sports performance technology into their regime. Continual training can lead to a significant improvement over time, which will translate well onto the field. Plus, the data collected can benchmark and improve upon and athlete’s capabilities in ways they never knew they had.

Vision training can also be used to support a player’s recovery after an injury. Head injuries, such as concussions, affect people in more ways than you would think. While vision training alone isn’t going to restore someone’s mental abilities completely, the data collected may be used to optimize recovery efforts and find other efficient techniques.

Reflexion is the industry leader when it comes to this kind of technology. If you want to learn more about it just head over to this page!

Advancements In Injury Recovery

Injuries are far too common in the sports world. You’d be hard-pressed to find a professional athlete that hasn’t experienced some kind of injury during their career. In the past, injuries were dealt with in an old-fashioned way. Today, improvements to technology in sports training have made it possible to significantly speed up recovery times.

There are several ways that athletic training technology has improved sports medicine. As we mentioned earlier, wearables are capable of gathering data about muscle output. Not only does it help on the field, but this information can be used strategically during the recovery phase as well.

Rehabilitation is a key part of recovering after an injury. Usually, it involves targeted exercises that are designed to strengthen the injured muscle and regain strength. Wearables can provide analytical data about how those muscles are performing. Doctors can then modify the rehabilitation plan to maximize results.

Other forms of technology that can help with recovery include cryotherapy, oxygen therapy, and compression therapy.

Cryotherapy has been used for several decades. However, the technology used has evolved quite a bit in recent years. Instead of dunking yourself in an ice bath, you can spend a few minutes in a chamber that exposes your body to liquid nitrogen vapor. These machines can reach temperatures as low as -256 degrees Fahrenheit!

When your body is exposed to extreme cold, it goes into protection mode. Blood starts to flow towards your core to preserve your body temperature. This process improves circulation and ensures that hormones and healthy blood cells have a chance to permeate your muscles.

Oxygen therapy is a bit different. It relies on pure oxygen to limit swelling, regenerate damaged tissue, and alleviate pain. Basically, the process involves relaxing in a pressurized hyperbaric chamber and breathing in pure oxygen.

There are some risks involved with oxygen therapy. However, modern techniques have helped to reduce those risks by quite a bit. The technology used in today’s hyperbaric oxygen chambers provides greater control and more safety.

Finally, we have compression therapy. This form of treatment is great for alleviating muscle pain, and it’s being embraced by professional athletes everywhere. Advanced equipment is used to provide simulated massages. The equipment can come in the form of wearable sleeves, jackets, and more.

As you wear the device, it automatically conforms to your body. Then, it compresses and pulses the muscles. This helps to mobilize the lymphatic fluids in your muscles for a speedy recovery.

Movement Tracking

Having the ability to track an athlete’s movements in real-time has completely changed the way some coaches observe technique. Instead of having to rely strictly on visual cues, hard data is used.

This sports performance technology can work alongside wearable devices or accessories that are attached to sports gear. A computer acts as the brains of the operations. It uses the information gathered from those wearables to capture the motions of the player as it’s happening.

From there, coaches can break down the movements frame by frame. They can see every detail and analyze how the body responds. This has a few benefits.

The first is that coaches can see where players need to improve. Using complex mathematical algorithms, it’s possible to see how a player’s movements affect their overall agility and performance.

The second benefit is that you’re able to spot potential issues before they happen. Everyone’s body reacts differently to training. What works for one athlete may be wreaking havoc on the body of another. Depending on the particular issue, you may be able to spot the early signs of muscle issues.

Analyzing that data can show you whether a technique is causing excessive fatigue or muscle strain. This can help to prevent serious injuries and significant downtime.

What’s Next

Sports performance technology is incredibly valuable when it comes to keeping athletes safe and improving output during competition.

It’s no wonder that athletes, coaches, gym owners, and athletic trainers are all starting to use tech from this list. Soon, anyone who isn’t will be left behind.

If you’re looking to gain an advantage as an athlete or provide better results for your clients, take a moment to learn about Reflexion. It provides groundbreaking cognitive training in a simple, portable, and easy to use package

New Examples of Sports Technology That’s Changing The Game

Within the last five years, the athletic world has been entirely transformed by emerging sports technology. These technologies make it easier than ever for fans to get into the game, and for athletes to optimize their performance.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the exciting new technologies in sports and see how technological advancements in sports are revolutionizing the way that we play and watch the games we love.

Sensors

Arguably the greatest of all sport technology advancements has been the development of devices that can measure different metrics during a game or race. Today, there are sport-specific sensor devices for virtually every athletic activity under the sun.

The Easton Power Sensor is one excellent example. This device slips onto the end of a bat and tracks metrics such as swing speed, power, directionality, and more. The Zepp 2 Golf Sensor is another impressive example of sports technology, and it provides 3D modeling of your golf swing.

Beyond these examples, there are plenty of other sport-specific sensors that are revolutionizing how athletes look at their game.

From the athlete’s perspective, these sensors allow them to unlock a wealth of different information that they can then use to improve their overall game.

Sensors for balls and pucks are already on the market, and it’s only a matter of time before professional leagues create a system that can measure precisely whether a goal or touchdown is valid based on whether the ball or puck crossed the goal line.

Sensors have also taken the pro sports world by storm, as the information gleaned from these devices offers access to tons of advanced statistical detail we’ve never had access to before.

These advanced stats are then used by teams to inform scouting, personnel decisions, and much more within the front office. For fans, these new stats allow them to dive even deeper into the numbers to measure player performance.

Wearable Tech

While wearable tech is nothing new in the fitness and athletics world, advancements in sensor technology and accuracy have wholly revolutionized the fitness tracker industry, making wearable tech one of the biggest technology advancements in sports.

As recently as a decade ago, athletes and fitness enthusiasts interested in tracking basic workout metrics had to rely on clunky devices that were ugly and impractical. Today, wearable tech is so well designed and functional that it’s transcended into the world of fashion.

High-end wearable tech products allow athletes and fitness enthusiasts to accurately measure metrics such as steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, and so much more. These devices can even track your sleep and provide meaningful data on how you can improve your routine.

As technology improves, so do the devices powered by technology. The latest iteration of the Apple Watch is certified as a class II medical device by the FDA thanks to it’s improved heart monitoring and ECG functionalities.

Apple is far from the only company putting these technologies in sports to work, as other leading manufacturers are implementing similar tech in their offerings as well.

VAR

Debuting at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, VAR has wholly changed the soccer world, and it’s been adopted by other leagues, including UEFA and the Premier League as well.

VAR, which is short for video assistant referee, leverages emerging camera technologies in sports to make refereeing more precise. With VAR, a team of referees located in the control room analyzes and corrects every missed call or non-call in the game, along with goals, penalty calls, and cases of mistaken identity.

Any soccer fan can tell you, the referees on the field are far from perfect. While the human element of refereeing is a necessary and exciting part of sports, as fans, we want to see the best team (or athlete) win. VAR helps ensure that referees make the correct calls every time, so the game is fair and equitable.

Beyond VAR, the video review and coach’s challenges have revolutionized virtually every professional sport from hockey to tennis. Of course, fans are quick to point out that these systems still aren’t perfect. However, as new technologies in sports become available, we can expect systems like VAR to improve to 100% efficiency.

In the future, we can expect to see the synergy of video replay systems with in-game sensors to provide an even clearer picture of exactly what’s going on in-game.

Reflexion

Most of the sports technology world focuses on the physical aspect of how we play, race, or train. But any athlete will tell you that their mind plays just as large a role in their performance as their body does. Reflexion is a groundbreaking solution that helps athletes from all walks of competition to improve their mental cognition.

The Edge is a portable device that can mount to a stand or wall, and it allows athletes to train cognition as part of their existing routine. Athletes can use Reflexion between sets in the weight room or drills at practice. With multiple different activities, there are plenty of fun and engaging ways for athletes to ensure that they’re at their peak mentally as well as physically with Reflexion.

The capacitive touch screens of Reflexion measure your reaction time and accuracy to provide meaningful performance data. This data can be used to identify strengths, weaknesses, and essential areas for improvement. All this data is available through the custom iOS app, where it’s available in a user-friendly array of charts, graphs, and statistics.

This first of its kind technology helps bridge the gap between the physical and mental aspects of sports. Reflexion is also a critical recovery tool that may be able to help athletes rehabilitate from concussions and other head injuries.

Protective Equipment

From helmets to cleats, new technology in sports equipment has revolutionized the way that manufacturers keep athletes safe from injury.

Helmet manufacturers are leveraging years of impact data and combining them with technologically advanced materials to produce safer and more comfortable helmets. The same holds for companies that make pads, gloves, and other gear.

These advancements provide players with the gear they need to stay safe, without compromising their ability to play at their peak.

Timing Systems

Human error has always been a factor in racing sports. That’s becoming a thing of the past thanks to advancements in race timing systems. From swimming to running to biking, these new advancements help guarantee that the best competitor wins every race.

Today, start pistols can be linked to the start of the clock, and laser or touch sensors can be used to provide the most precise race time possible. These timing systems also provide incredibly exact measurement down to the thousandth of a second, which eliminates rounding errors.

ABS

2019 has not been kind to baseball umpires. For years, the idea of replacing human umpires with robots, or computer-assisted robots has been gaining steam, and a historically bad year for umpires has baseball fans wondering if we’re on the verge of umpires being eliminated in favor of computerized ones.

Enter the ABS or Automatic Ball-Strike System. This system leverages new sports technologies to accurately measure balls and strikes, performing the job once left to fallible human umpires.

Using radar, the “robot” umpire can measure the exact points that a ball passes over home plate, providing an accurate ball or strike call without the influence of how the catcher frames the pitch, or how a particular umpire views the strike zone.

Virtual Reality

Lauded as the next big thing in entertainment, it was only a matter of time before virtual reality made an impact on the sports world as well.

The Pyeongchang Olympics featured thirty different events that were shot with VR cameras. These cameras provide tons of live streaming options for those lucky enough to have VR enabled devices. The NBA has also been on the cutting edge of integrating virtual reality content into their programming.

Beyond the fans, virtual reality is having a significant impact on athletes as well. Sport-specific training platforms are available for virtually all athletes. In fact, many professional and collegiate teams are building their own training platforms to help their players improve their practice routines.

Streaming

From Netflix to Hulu to Amazon Prime, virtually every major content provider is now in the business of digital streaming. Throughout the past few years, the sports world has been dabbling in streaming, and that trend recently came to a head with the development of ESPN+ and DAZN.

Most sports networks also offer streaming services, allowing fans to watch live games and exclusive content from anywhere in the world. Moving forward, you can expect streaming services to continue to have a major impact on the way fans consume the sports they love.

Final Word

From sensors and wearables to major strides in protective equipment to the advent of virtual reality and streaming services, revolutionary sports technology advancements have significantly changed the way everyone interacts with sports.

From athletes to coaches and managers, to the fans in the stands, sports technology is making it easier for everyone to enjoy the sports and activities they love. We’re looking forward to what the future of technology in athletics.

The Definitive Guide to Sports Vision Training

Serious athletes are known to do whatever it takes to excel in their sports. An athletic career is only as good as the player, and the player only gets better by working harder and consistently every day. This can mean anything from strict diet plans, carefully developed workout schedules, and specific rest regimes.

When it comes to excellence in performance, dedication to training takes top priority. However, science has proven that exercise is more than just lifting heavy weights, memorizing playbooks, and eating the right kinds of food.

Sports vision training has become a revolutionary yet vital component of the athletic training regime. With the right sports vision training exercises and equipment, any athlete can take their game to the next level.

Let’s take a closer look at what this means and why it’s important to include visual training for athletes and their training plans.

What is Sports Vision Training?

Sports vision training is a type of training that focuses on heightening an athlete’s visual abilities within their sport. Through visual tests and screenings, professionals can determine where a player stands concerning their optical performance. They can then develop a comprehensive training program specific to their strengths, weaknesses, and even their sport of choice.

Sports vision training looks at things like hand-eye coordination, dynamic visual activity, visual reaction time, peripheral vision, and tracking focusing.

The components which an athlete’s training will center on depends on their level of skill in each and what demands their specific sport has for them.

Necessary Visual Skills

A sports visual exercise or therapy will focus on some or all of the individual vision skills needed for them to reach their highest playing abilities.

  • Eye Tracking: learning to keep your eye on the ball
  • Peripheral Awareness: the ability to see things out of the corner of your eye
  • Dynamic Visual Acuity: learning to see objects clearly while they’re in motion
  • Focusing: changing focus from one object to another quickly and clearly
  • Hand-eye and Body-eye Coordination: being able to use your eyes to direct the movements of hands, body, and other specific limbs.
  • Depth Perception: quickly and accurately judging the distance and speed of something
  • Reaction Time: the rate at which you can perceive a visual event and react to stimulus
  • Contrast Sensitivity: the ability to distinguish between an object and the background
  • Balance: ability to stay upright and in control of body movement

As you can see, there are a lot of visual skills that apply to many different sports – and they are all essential and affect each one differently. Learning your strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas can prove to make a massive difference in how you train.

How Can Sports Vision Training Help Athletes?

Much research and science have gone into proving that sports vision training is necessary to lead to peak performance. In fact, over 80% of what a person learns in their life comes from using our visual system. Of course, that percentage raises even higher when talking about sports specifically.

As we mentioned earlier, sports vision tests can indicate where an athlete’s strengths and weaknesses lie in terms of the above categories and skills. There are several tests involved in determining visual needs.

One test often used by experts if the Snellen Eye Chart. Even if you’re not an athlete, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with this test. The Snellen Eye Chart is what professionals use during an appointment with your eye doctor that determines your vision abilities.

From 20 feet away, individuals are asked to identify letters on the chart. If you can identify down to the fourth line, you are said to have 20/20 vision. Anything below that is better and better.

This test is generally used to determine whether an individual needs glasses or contacts or not.

From there, other tests can determine more specific needs to help nail down a training regime. Contrast sensitivity tests help identify your ability to distinguish an object from its background. A standard test in this category can involve having an athlete point out the orientation of parallel gray stripes placed against backgrounds that change to match the shades.

Eye Tracking Devices are used to assess how well you can track moving objects. This test uses computer systems that have your eye follow various motions on a screen.

Many times, experts like to determine how your eyes perform in conjunction together. To figure this out, they will use an Ocular Alignment Test. This test involves covering one eye to see how the other eye responds and then uncovering both eyes to compare.

Doctors can also use the Hirschberg test, where they analyze how light reflects off the cornea. This test can highlight alignment issues through specific points on the cornea and where reflections happen.

Depth perception is another critical aspect of sports vision therapy that determines your ability to see in 3D. During one of these tests, an athlete might participate in the Howard-Dolman Apparatus test. This test involves a box-like system with an interior light which is placed at eye level.

There are two black, vertical rods that an individual will manipulate using a system of strings and pulleys. An examiner delivers instruction on where to move the rods and assesses your ability to do so.

Needless to say, testing all of these areas of your vision and more can help professional trainers determine what areas need to most work according to the demands of your sport. For example, a tennis player needs to have high levels of hand-eye coordination. If a player lacks in this area, a trainer will likely focus on exercises that enhance this trait.

Examples of Sports Vision Training Exercises

Sports vision training exercises widely depend on the sport of focus at hand, and which aspect of your vision you’re trying to train. The most popular vision training for athletes exercises focuses on aspects of vision, such as your focus flexibility, peripheral awareness, and dynamic visual acuity. Here are a few examples of popular sports vision training exercises.

Focus Flexibility

Focus flexibility deals with your ability to adjust your focus from objects that are far away to ones that are near. Exercising this area of your eyesight is easy to do on your own.

To practice this, simply start by focusing on an object close to you, and then switch your focus to an object behind the first one in the same line of sight. Perhaps you have a cup sitting on the table in front of you and a clock on the wall in the background.

Go back and forth between focusing on the cup and the clock. This exercise is also an excellent tip to implement in your workday, primarily if you work on a computer. Not only will it help with your focus flexibility, but it can relieve strain caused by the extended screen time.

Peripheral Awareness

Your peripheral awareness can be super important when it comes to sports. An athlete’s ability to perceive actions around him without turning his head can significantly improve his game.

One way that you can improve your peripheral awareness at home and without any special sports vision software is by taking time to specifically observe a moving scene with your head turned to one side. Try turning on the television and watch the scene with the right side of your head to the screen. Do the same with your left side.

Simply practicing this exercise can help improve your peripheral awareness and improve your vision as it relates to sports.

Dynamic Visual Acuity

Dynamic Visual Acuity is extremely important in fast-paced sports like basketball, tennis, and hockey. An athlete in these sports needs to be able to see objects clearly while they are moving quickly, like the ball or the puck.

It’s important to exercise this area, even if you have 20/20 vision or better. The game changes once things start to move.

One at-home exercise that the American Optometric Association recommends is to use a record player. Cut out various letters of different sizes from a magazine and place them on the turntable. Stand arm’s length away and identify the numbers as they spin in circles. You should practice this at different revolutions per minute.

As you become better at this test, you can start using smaller and smaller letters to increase difficulty.

If you don’t have a record player handy, you can still train this skill by practicing with a partner. Get a set of flashcards, and write a word on each one. Start big and use the entire flashcard to write your word. Then, make the words progressively smaller and more difficult to read. Have your partner briefly show you each flashcard, and identify each word as quickly as possible before your partner takes away the card.

Depth Perception

Depth perception is vital to several sports, as well. Football players need it to judge where the ball is going to land. A baseball player needs to be able to hit the ball as is crosses the plate. A swimmer has to be able to tell when to flip-turn at the wall during a race.

A great way to exercise this trait at home is to take a pen and its cap and practice putting it on. Hold the pen and cap away from you at arm’s length and try it that way. Another exercise that allows you to practice this skill involves holding a drinking straw at arm’s length away from you, and trying to drop a pebble, BB, or balled up piece of paper through the straw with your free hand.

Sports Vision Training Software

As we mentioned earlier, there are various different sports vision training software programs in use today that also help develop your vision by using sports vision training equipment and sports vision therapy. While many vision training programs are being created, you need to have the proper hardware in order for them to get the job done.

The Edge from Reflexion is a great example of synergy between sports vision training software and hardware. This sports vision training equipment allows you to easily and accurately train many aspects of your vision, including peripheral vision and hand-eye coordination. With Reflexion, you’ll also be able to train other skills critical to sports performance, including memory, reaction time, and decision making, all done our the Edge hardware.

Reflexion provides meaningful feedback in real-time, and you’ll be able to use that data to refine your training routine further as you make progress. You can learn more about this powerful sports vision training solution right here.

Final Thoughts

Visual training for athletes has proven to be crucial when it comes to achieving peak performance on the field, the court, or the pool. With technology growing and developing more and more every day, it’s becoming easier for trainers to identify specific needs of athletes and build a personalized program to help them reach their goals.

Visual training involves specific sports vision therapy with all kinds of different sports vision training equipment, software, and exercises. No regime will be the same, but they all operate on the important fact that vision is essential to athletic greatness.

Whether you are trying to train yourself in your home for your own benefit or you’re a professional working with a qualified coach and trainer, you need to remember that your visual performance is just as important as your physical performance.

Don’t spend all of your time in the gym lifting weights while ignoring the cognitive exercises that could really take your game to the next level.

You can start taking some solid steps and leaps toward improving your cognitive and physical well-being by checking out Reflexion Edge. Reflexion Edge helps athletes record statistics, identify cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and gives proven tips and exercises to improve.

Dedicated to helping you move forward, this innovative team tackles performance and health head-on as one, delivering the cutting edge of cognitive training and tracking technology.

Jump in today to learn how your brain and performance are connected using data-driven and speed-focused technology.

15 Gym & Fitness Marketing Ideas To Grow Your Business (2019)

In this guide, you’re going to learn unique gym membership marketing strategies so you can quickly get the word out about your gym.

Your overall fitness marketing strategy should contain methods to both retain existing clients as well as attract new members. Focus on high levels of customer satisfaction. Your happy customer base can be the single best marketing asset that your gym has.

Always consider the interest, entertainment, and satisfaction of your existing clients. Your recurring revenue and membership base are the lifeblood of your gym’s feasibility. Therefore, satisfying your current customers is equally or arguably more important than generating new leads.

That’s why you should read this guide. You’ll discover a handful of smart gym marketing ideas and strategies for your fitness business. You’ll also see how to make your current userbase more enthusiastic and interested in staying subscribed over the long-haul.

Let’s take a better look at these unique and even unusual gym promotion ideas.

#1 – Offer Deals, Promotions, and Specials

One of the most effective ways to attract new gym members is to make a deal that’s too good to pass up. Always remember that these days, people are busier than ever. As you know, everyone wants to enjoy better health, a better body, more energy, and better fitness. But nobody has the time to get started. (Or, at least that’s what they tell themselves).

That’s why launching gym promotions with a blatant scarcity element is a smart fitness lead generation strategy for your gym. This type of advertising can help to give your dream clients motivation enough to show up through your doors finally.

Offer a free trial. Throw in or raffle some bonus goodies or surprises to new and existing members.

Ensure that your promotion has some scarcity to encourage new leads to register today! Create a promotion that expires or offers a unique set of bonuses for a limited time. Try to experiment with different gifts, rewards, giveaways, or discounts to see what makes your prospects act.

For extra points, advertise your promotion online. Document and share your promotion on social channels. If you have a decent page building software, you can quickly build a landing page that promotes your deal.

You can also advertise your marketing page using Facebook Ads or Google Ads. Either of these options allows you to promote your special fitness offer to those who live near your gym, and may be less expensive than you realize. Facebook Ads has fantastic audience targeting features, so you can target the perfect prospect who may love your gym or fitness service.

#2- Differentiate Your Gym

As a gym owner, you’re facing stiff competition. Yoga studios, online courses, competing gyms, and digital fitness coaches are potentially trying to captivate the same audience as you.

That’s precisely why it’s never been so important to differentiate your gym. What makes the experience that your clients have at your location different and better than the offerings of mainstream gym locations and other fitness service alternatives?

What unique and special features can your gym offer that your customers won’t find elsewhere? How can you cater to your ideal demographic in a way that makes the gym experience special?

Here are a handful of ways to differentiate your gym:

  • Offer free meal plans to any member who asks
  • Offer free online fitness coaching to all members
  • Offer free email lessons to all members
  • Offer the best customer service possible! (This is huge)
  • Offer free training sessions open to the public once per week
  • Offer a fitness service for free to attract leads
  • Consider streaming your fitness classes online via Facebook or YouTube

 

#3- Launch a User-Friendly Website

A user-friendly website isn’t a bonus anymore, now it’s mandatory if you stay in the competition. The good news is that creating a user-friendly website for your gym is easier than ever. You can accept online payments and manage your customers even if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy.

There are various page building tools and CRM (customer relationship management) software options that will enable you to accept payments, plus track, and manage memberships. If you’re stressed about tech, then don’t worry! Many modern marketing and sales tools don’t require you to know how to write code.

You can also launch and deploy a beautiful website using WordPress if you wish. There are heaps of premium ecommerce and CRM WordPress plugins so you can customize your website in a variety of ways.

There are endless free and premium WordPress themes that can help you to launch a very impressive, mobile responsive, and interactive website without being a tech wizard.

Here are a few exciting ways to enhance your gym membership website:

 

  • Post “private” member-only workout videos that your members can only get on your website
  • Create free fitness tutorials to both attract leads and entertain your members
  • Answer frequently asked questions that your members and prospects ask
  • Launch exclusive giveaways, raffles, and contests on your website
  • Stream free exercise classes on your website to attract new clients and engage existing clients

 

#4- Feature and Promote Customer Testimonials

Testimonials and reviews are essential for the reputation and authority of your gym. Boasting an abundance of positive Google reviews can also make your gym’s search engine rankings improve.

A glowing testimonial can also be a powerful sales asset for your gym. A handful of your potential clients want to get in better shape, but they have anxiety about joining. That’s why friendly testimonials from your members might speak more than any sales pitch ever could.

Once you have a video testimonial, you can share that testimonial on social media. You can also post testimonials on your website, or you can even post them on YouTube for the world to see.

Of course, getting people to review your gym or offer a testimonial can be an uphill battle. Luckily, there are a few powerful tricks that you can try to help tip the scales in your favor.

How to get your members to leave reviews and testimonials:

  • Ask your clients to give a video testimonial after an excellent group workout session
  • Offer a reward, discount, or gift for anyone who leaves a review on Yelp or Google
  • Periodically ask your members if they would offer a testimonial in exchange for a reward
  • Incentivize reviews and testimonials by providing unique gifts to anyone who writes a review

 

#5- Know Your Unique Value Proposition

A unique value proposition can help to create a unique experience that your customers feel when they visit your gym. How do the unique qualities that you offer make your customers feel?

Ask yourself what unique services you can offer to your gym and fitness clients that they would find helpful. Are your customers interested in the ketogenic diet, yoga, cognitive health, meditation, self-defense, or any unique activity that can help you differentiate yourself from competitors?

Spend time brainstorming so you can develop unique health services that would be valuable to your existing members, and dream prospects.

Remember that your customers and clients are continually changing and evolving. Therefore, the list of services that you offer should change with their demands!

#6- Network with Local Communities

In our era of social media and online advertising, it can be so easy to overlook the intricate value that our local communities offer. That’s why it’s smart to brainstorm and find the networking power that may be hiding in your local area.

Networking your fitness business or gym is all about offering something of value to an existing community, partner, or audience. Take a close look around your gym’s hometown and surrounding area to see if any blatantly untapped opportunities exist.

Here are some powerful networking questions to ponder:

  • Are there any athletic groups that could benefit from your gym and fitness service?
  • Are there business associations in your area that meet up or host networking opportunities?
  • Are there any communities in your local area that would appreciate a free fitness class?
  • Would a local group find value in free diet plans or other services that you could offer?
  • Are there any local networking opportunities hiding right under your nose?

 

#7- Partner with Local Businesses

There are two ways your gym or fitness business can partner with local companies. The first way is to approach a non-competitive business to ask if they would like to launch a cross-promotion. Maybe you could offer their customers a significant discount, free classes, or other health-related goodies. The partnering service could provide something of value to your customers in return.

That way, you both get to tap into one another’s audience, and hopefully, you both benefit from the added exposure. The best part about this type of alliance is that it’s very cheap (or arguably free) to carry out.

Another way you can partner with a business is by offering free health services to its customers, employees, or clients.

Maybe you could find local small business owners and offer to provide free health consultations, free fitness classes, or any other free fitness service. This way, you can provide massive value, while at the same time, you will hopefully generate new leads, and upsell your newfound prospects.

#8- Stay on The Cutting Edge of Gym Tech

One of the best ways to attract new gym members while keeping your existing customers happy is by having innovative equipment in your gym that everyone loves.

Live streaming is also popular these days in the world of gym and fitness tech. Streaming can be a smart way to show off your awesome fitness tech! A properly configured live streaming strategy allows your gym to provide value to your existing customers and attract clients.

You could even feature the Edge in your facilities, our innovative neuro-fitness service that your customers will love. With Reflexion, you can offer a useful and fun cognitive training system that your prospects and clients will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. The best part is that Reflexion is wildly entertaining to use, helpful, and will amp your customers up.

Reflexion can help your clients exercise the following:

  • Memory
  • Reaction Time
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Decision Making

Reflexion is ideal for athletes who want to keep their coordination super-fast. It’s also perfect for your members who want to warm up and stay energetic between sets, keep their minds sharp, and have a positive impact upon their neuro-fitness.

#9- Offer Personal Training and Coaching

One of the fastest ways to generate more revenue in your gym or fitness business is by offering upsells! In your case, perhaps you could offer personalized one on one fitness coaching or diet/health consultation to your clients.

Increasing the quality and value that you provide to your existing clients is one of the main things you can do for your gym business. Launching customized coaching services with personal trainers might be the smartest way to generate more revenue, offer more value, and improve the viability of your gym.

#10- Offer Engaging Group Fitness Classes

Group classes are one of the most intelligent fitness marketing strategies for your gym. A group fitness class helps to introduce your team to your existing members, and they can also be a powerful branding mechanism to attract new leads.

If you want to establish rapport and goodwill with your gym membership, then group classes rock. If your group fitness classes actively engage your clients, then remember the power of streaming on YouTube, Facebook, or your website.

You can take your group fitness classes a step further. Why not offer free group fitness classes to the public periodically so you can attract new leads? That way, you can hopefully get new prospects in the door to sample your facilities without any stress or risk. After the fitness class, you could offer a free trial to your gym, a special discount, or other promotion that you have in mind.

#11- Engage with Your Ideal Clients on Social Media

Never forget that the feedback of your gym members is valuable and that’s why you should not only ask for member feedback at your physical location but also on social media.

If you’re on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or any other social media channel, ask your audience for their feedback. Ask them what they want to see at your gym. Ask them if any potential feature or group class is helpful and valuable to them.

Invite your clients to submit feature requests! That way, if your customers or prospects need a health service or fitness instruction, they can ask your team for help. You’ll know for a fact that any proposed facility is in demand, and your prospective (or existing) client will appreciate that you took the time to ask.

#12- Launch a Worthwhile Referral Program

If you strive to offer the best customer experience, then there’s a chance that customers will tell their like-minded friends and colleagues about your gym.

A referral program can be one of the smartest ideas for your gym. The entire fitness marketing strategy is to offer a fantastic service that your members want to talk about anyway. With an effective referral program, you give your best clients even more motivation to help spread the word about your gym or fitness service.

#13- Create Engaging Website Content Frequently

Try to make a list of helpful tutorials, videos, recipes, success stories, and fitness tips that you could post on your website. If you decide to use WordPress to build your website, then updating your site with frequent blog posts is easy to do. Blogging is a recommended gym marketing strategy. You can even give away free coupons and surprise gifts on your website to keep your customers and prospects engaged.

The best part about blogging is that all the content you create could also make excellent social media content. So, you can craft helpful content on your blog, and then share that content across all your social media channels. This way, you can provide value to your existing customers who follow you on social, and you can also aim to attract new clients.

You can invite your members to ask health questions that they have. You can post the answers directly on your blog or website afterward. Answering questions can be a neat benefit that only your gym members get so that you can add as much value to your membership as possible.

Here are some powerful blog topic ideas for your gym membership blog:

  • Video Fitness Tutorials
  • Written Fitness Guides
  • Fitness FAQs
  • User Testimonials/Reviews
  • Surprise Coupons and Promotions
  • Healthy Recipes
  • Group Fitness Schedules

 

#14- Use Targeted Email Marketing to Its Fullest Potential

Email marketing allows you to promote your exclusive deals, and to also share compelling content with your prospects. Try your best to build a powerful brand by sharing excellent health-related content.

Once you begin to generate email marketing leads, think about different fitness marketing strategies to test. Develop promotions, gifts, and other deals to turn your hot leads into hopefully happy, long-term customers.

Never stop thinking about building your email list of targeted prospects. Your email marketing game plan won’t matter one iota if you don’t have email marketing leads.

Here are a few powerful email lead generation methods for gym owners:

  • Advertise your lead capture page to local prospects using Facebook or Google Ads
  • Launch a campaign where new leads get a free 30-day trial when they subscribe
  • Collect email addresses from students who register for your free group classes
  • Launch a social media contest and offer a 6-month complimentary membership prize

#15- Use Weekly Newsletters to Generate Leads and to Engage Clients

A weekly newsletter can be one of the best ways to provide real value to your existing members. One of the best ways to populate your newsletter content is by polling your customers to see what they want to learn.

Here’s a list of potential newsletter topics:

  • Share fitness tips that your audience has requested
  • Answer popularly asked questions in the fitness world
  • Share upcoming schedules for your group classes or individual sessions
  • Advertise your advanced coaching and consulting offers
  • Consider cross-promoting supplements or other related products

 

Conclusion

Remember that fitness marketing is all about creating a fantastic experience for your existing customers, so they stay subscribed and even help spread the word. If your marketing budget isn’t the biggest in the world, then customer retention is even more critical.

The topics in this guide can help you to offer more value so you can provide a better gym membership experience for your amazing clients. Hopefully, your members will be so happy about your service that they can’t help but write stellar reviews and tell their friends.

To learn more about how your gym can feature the fantastic benefits of Reflexion, click here to contact our team.

Three Challenges of Startups: How to Overcome Them

Starting up a new company is an exciting and challenging endeavor. Innovative ideas, endless enthusiasm, and big hopes for the future surround the founders and first employees. The team at Reflexion knows what it’s like. The company started with three high school friends who were inspired to continue to developing their neuro-fitness service that tracks cognitive changes. It became the founders’ mission to develop cutting-edge brain-training technology to help all athletes improve their game.

During a company’s journey through its first years, founders of a startup face many challenges and must learn to overcome them. Here are some of the lessons learned.

 

Set Realistic Expectations and Play for the Long-Run

Entrepreneurs often start with a great idea and experience some initial success. The challenge becomes how to turn that initial success into a long-term business strategy. New companies make the mistake of assuming that the initial excitement will continue or even grow at an unrealistic rate on its own. However, initial bursts of success are typically short-lived without a clear and consistent business plan.

Unless founders of startups are well-seasoned in establishing new companies, they should find a successful business mentor to help get things established. Begin by learning about your market, the competition, and existing and future demand. Then set realistic expectations and SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

 

Obtain and Manage Money Wisely

Every startup needs money. Over time, the more revenue you generate, the more expenses you incur. The balancing act of how much money to invest or borrow in order to realize the goals of your startup can be a tricky one.

Whether you decide to fund the new company on your own with help from friends and family, turn to a financial institution for a business loan, or drum up interest and cash from outside investors, money will be a significant challenge for your startup.

Be sure to research the advantages and disadvantages of all your funding options as well as examine the risk tolerance of your investors and your management team. Set clear time frames and goals and be sure to keep communication as transparent as possible.

 

Finding the Right Team

Employees can often make or break a company, and in the case of startups, they are even more important. Entrepreneurs usually have a specific vision and working style, and it is critical that the initial team complements the founders.

It’s nearly guaranteed that new companies will require more than a typically full-time job from its initial employees. The team members you select will need to be invested in the vision and mission of the company, possess the technical skills, and contribute to an overall synergy to launch the startup into the market successfully.

 

Conclusion

If your new company enters its first year with a smart, realistic business strategy, a team of people invested in the business vision, and the financial backing to support the initial launch, your startup will be that much further ahead that those hundreds of new companies who don’t.