Monday, July 30, 2012
Special Olympic Edition: Mental, Physical Training for Olympic Volleyball
The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about Beach-volleyball star Kerri Walsh-Jennings and her teammate Misty May-Treanor who have dominated the sport for more than a decade, capturing gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.
What I found interesting in the article was that Ms. Walsh-Jennings started a brain-training program from Los Angeles-based Neurotopia in preparation for this year’s Olympics. "My training has always focused on physical agility but brain training helps sharpen my mental agility as well," she says.
According to the article, the company says it has had more than 1,500 athletes complete an evaluation, which identifies an athlete's strengths and weaknesses, and about 25% have completed a full training program. Over the past 18 months, "we have evaluated 61 Olympians and we anticipate 10 individuals and several teams to be competing in London," says Neurotopia Chief Science Officer Leslie Sherlin.
The article states that Ms. Walsh-Jennings, who started using Neurotopia earlier this year, does a double session, which lasts 90 minutes, two times a week. While wearing a brain wave sensor headset, she controls a videogame with her brain. A technician monitors her brain activities and may provide coaching or adjusts thresholds to continually challenge her. “It’s a lot less physical than my other workouts, but in some ways equally challenging,” she says.
This sounds a lot like the NeuroSky Technology that I wrote about on July 9th in which one plays a video game by merely using your brain, i.e. no joy stick, as the technology “…translates brain waves into digital information and beam it wirelessly to computers or other devices.” See http://johnstumor.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-07-13T07:00:00-05:00&max-results=7
Here a link to the nifty Wall Street Journal article by Jen Murphy http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304141204577510740730336270.html
And here’s a link to Neurotopia’s website: http://neurotopia.com/