Brain Health,
31 MINS

#031: Jason Sada of Axon Sports Discusses the Athletic Brain

February 20, 2014
MP3

In Episode #31, Jason Sada discusses the analysis and training methods employed by Axon Sports to condition the “athletic brain” of elite athletes from around the world. Jason is President of Axon Sports, a cognitive sports training lab that utilizes the latest neuroscience and sports research to build custom cognitive training programs for individual athletes and sports organizations worldwide. Axon Sports Elite Training systems are used in Human Performance Labs, Training Centers and College/Professional Team Facilities throughout the United States and in the UK. These systems provide college and professional athletes advanced cognitive training tools and technology as part of a complete program for cognitive skill development. Axon Sports System Specialists work directly with the organization’s coaching staff and trainers to understand and design a custom training environment specific to the facilities unique strategy and terminology. Each athlete receives a baseline assessment on core and sport-specific cognitive skills, followed by an individualized training plan designed to build on strengths and improve weaknesses. The coaching staff and performance improvement specialists receive regular reports on athlete progress. Combining high-definition touch screen monitors with coordinated lighting and sound, Axon Sports creates an ideal cognitive training environment. Athletes can train their bodies in the weight room and on the practice field, and then train their brains using the Axon Sports systems. When away from the team training facility, Axon Sports’ cognitive training programs can go mobile with athletes using the same advanced software. What used to be a few repetitions on the practice field can now be thousands of mental reps with Axon Sports.

This Week In Neuroscience: Neurofeedback Exercises Measurably Impact Neural Excitability – It’s Like CrossFit for Your Brain!

Speaking of training the brain, an interesting study conducted at the University of London has shown that neuroplastic changes can occur in the brain as a result of natural (not induced by outside elements) brainwave training. Just thirty minutes of self-regulated alpha rhythm exercise had a measurable effect on cortical excitability and intracortical function. Subjects were asked to practice controlling their brain activity using a computer display that provides real-time feedback of their neural oscillations within the cerebral cortex. Simply controlling their thoughts, with their thoughts. The changes in the brain were measured by applying short magnetic pulses to the scalp (transcranial magnetic stimulation) to stimulate the motor cortex and measure neural excitability. The result was a 150% increase in dis-inhibition of intracortical synaptic function (quicker brain reflexes). So you can actually become measurably smarter by thinking. Give it a read. Read the original article here.

What You’ll Learn

  • The elements of the “athletic brain”
  • How the athletic brain processes information
  • Methodologies for training the elite athlete’s brain

Key Terms Mentioned

4 comments

  1. Kyle says:

    Great interview and very interesting topic!

    I was surprised to hear no mention of clients in the law enforcement or military. Listening to Mr. Sada describe the training it sounds like it would be a perfect fit for such individuals, who are often forced to make rapid decisions in highly stressful environments. But perhaps they would not pay as much as the professional athlete clientele. 🙂

    1. Jesse Lawler says:

      Heck, I was thinking the same thing about my office environment, but yes, you’re absolutely right. I wish in retrospect I’d asked that question, but we also intend to touch on a similar issue in an upcoming episode… (Further clues omitted for tantalizing fun.)

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