How to maximize success with the Football IntelliGym®
Setting the Right Expectations
It is important to remind athletes that the IntelliGym is not a video game, but that it is a complex training program that requires commitment and dedication to see results. Many athletes do find training to be a fun experience, but it is also challenging and requires athletes to stay motivated over time. Setting the right expectation in the beginning is key to gaining buy-in and ensuring commitment to a consistent training routine.
Level of Difficulty
The controls are difficult to control, and this is intentional. For the brain to see improved performance, it must enter a state of high cognitive load for new neural connections to be formed. This is achieved by integrating complex motor controls with intricate visual demands. It is helpful to remind users that it is meant to be difficult, and those who are resilient and battle through the challenge and frustration are the ones who will see success. For athletes that are struggling to learn the controls, it can be beneficial to re-train on previous levels before moving on to more challenging ones.
Support and Encouragement
Ensuring an atmosphere of support and encouragement (from both coaches and parents) helps to maximize motivation. Providing support after challenging training sessions in addition to rewards for progress and performance are helpful in overcoming obstacles to training. Both individual and team-based incentives are helpful in maintaining training compliance over long periods of time. It is more important to complete the training than it is to excel within the training environment.
Training Schedule and Routine
Athletes are recommended to complete at least 2 x 30-minute training sessions per week. Athletes can train more frequently provided that there is at least 1-2 sleeps in-between sessions and that training does not occur right before a mental exertion (game/practice), similar to how an athlete would train at the gym, as mental fatigue can occur.
Training logs and progress reports are available via the online Members Area and Football IntelliGym Monitor mobile application. Use your IntelliGym registered email address and password to access the members area and app to see participation and compliance reports (training dates and extent of sticking to training guidelines) and well as performance index (measuring improvement of cognitive skills).
Measuring On-Field Performance
While the IntelliGym measures improved cognitive performance, it is important to have an element of on-field measurement so that the training is accompanied by concrete results. Measuring goals, assists, completed passes, takeaways, wins, and other measurable statistics, in addition to measuring qualitative categories (confidence, decision making, etc.), both offer a way to show the true value of the training program.