The Role of SMARTGOALS, Brain Functions and Excelsior

Athletes training using SMARTGOALS guided by SportBrain methods.

If you’re an avid follower of SportBrain, you’ve likely stumbled upon some intriguing Excelsior videos. Ever wondered what SportBrain does for this top-tier soccer team? Let’s delve into the world of brain-focused athletic training.

Discovering the SMARTGOALS Revolution

Last October, SportBrain acquired a set of SMARTGOALS, innovative goals adorned with LED lights. Over the past year, I’ve tirelessly designed training drills and showcased demonstrations across numerous clubs. With each passing week, the boundless potential of SMARTGOALS training unfurls before me. My methodology revolves around diving deep into scholarly articles to pinpoint brain functions essential for athletes. Subsequently, I curate exercises aimed at nurturing these sport-specific brain functions. Though the scientific evidence is still in its infancy, I’m committed to staying aligned with established research.

The Intricacies of Motor Inhibition

Consider the brain function termed ‘Motor Inhibition.’ It challenges athletes to resist or delay certain choices or impulses. A foundational test underlying many of my exercises is the Stroop test. For instance, reading the words “Red, Blue, Orange” is straightforward. However, stating the colors of the words “Green, Yellow, Purple” can be more challenging. This test is ingeniously designed to induce contradictory responses, emphasizing the suppression of ingrained automatisms. Such principles easily translate to on-field scenarios.

The Birth of ‘Winning Through SportBrain’

In spring, I released my e-book titled ‘Winning Through SportBrain.’ Shortly after sharing it on Twitter, Adrie Poldervaart, Excelsior’s then-new coach, reached out. We delved into the potential SMARTGOALS could infuse into soccer. Poldervaart, a staunch advocate for innovation and differential learning, shared his thoughts with the soccer community. He emphasized the importance of varied training methods for effective learning, saying, “There are three variables: the individual, the activity, and the environment. Altering any of these affects a player’s learning and execution. Repetitive identical exercises are less effective since no two situations are the same.” His philosophy revolves around automation, equipping the body to swiftly make decisions due to ever-changing conditions.

SportBrain’s Tailored Training for Excelsior

After collaborative discussions with Poldervaart, SportBrain crafted training material for specific line exercises. Our primary goal? Enhancing individual brain functions like Motor Inhibition, Cognitive Flexibility, and Selective Attention, while fostering team synergy. Athletes are constantly challenged using SMARTGOALS, incorporating drills that hone skills under soccer-specific pressures like space, time, and opposition.

A Glimpse Into Our Training Regime

Get a firsthand look at one of our many training exercises:

At SportBrain, we collaborate with trainers, sports clubs, federations, and organizations aiming to elevate their performance. Recognizing the uniqueness of every sport and athlete, we advocate for a personalized approach. Stay tuned for more insights.

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