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USA Hockey uses cognitive training to enhance pattern recognition, game-intelligence

USAHockey_IntelliGymAster­oids on Ice: Video Game Helps Young Play­ers Devel­op Skills (New York Times):

  • Could a desk­top com­put­er game be what makes the young Amer­i­cans so good?… “Work the brain; the sci­ence is there,” said Dan­ton Cole, in his fourth sea­son as the coach of USA Hockey’s U-18 team…For the past five sea­sons, USA Hock­ey has used Intel­li­Gym, an Israeli-devel­oped cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­gram, to teach hock­ey sense and spa­tial aware­ness to its play­ers in the nation­al team devel­op­ment pro­gram and on its nation­al youth teams.
  • You have many objects around you, things are hap­pen­ing very fast; you need to respond; you need to have spa­tial aware­ness; you need to have very good antic­i­pa­tion; and you need more com­plex skills, like exec­u­tive func­tion in your brain and atten­tion con­trol,” said Dan­ny Dankn­er, the chief exec­u­tive of Applied Cog­ni­tive Engi­neer­ing, the com­pa­ny that makes Intel­li­Gym. “You can actu­al­ly train your brain to do that, even in a very, very com­plex, chal­leng­ing envi­ron­ment like a hock­ey game,” said Dankn­er, who added that the pro­gram was based on one used to train pilots in the Israeli air force, in which he served as an offi­cer.

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