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Athletes are constantly looking for the advantage, whether it is a teen hoping to make a high school football team or a runner stepping up the start line of their goal race. No matter who you are, building five areas of your brain—memory, processing speed, focus/ concentration, visual-spatial awareness and decision-making—can benefit your performance.
HeadTrainer is a new app available for iOS and Android that was developed with the help of the Duke Sports Science Institute. Duke’s Dr. Claude T. Moorman, III and Dr. Deborah Attix advised the team throughout development, with Dr. Brian Monteleone—a Charlotte-based sports psychologist. Along with several additional scientists with a special focus on the benefits of neuro-gaming and brain-training in athletics, the app was completed.
“What HeadTrainer does that is unique is deliver a training experience that is packaged in a fun, challenging, rewarding and personal experience,” says Dr. Attix. It’s premise is simple: the app utilizes games that improve mental workouts. With 15 games (or workouts) and endless levels for each, these mental workouts take place in sports-themed, digital environments.
HeadTrainer has been endorsed and tried by many professional athletes, including U.S. Women’s Soccer Team star Alex Morgan, NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr., NFL cornerback Richard Sherman, professional baseball player Jose Bautista, professional golfer Rickie Fowler, tennis star (and NYC Marathon finisher) Caroline Wozniacki and surfer Alana Blanchard. Additionally, some of the top athletes in sports offer encouragement throughout the games, with distractive sounds used in places to help enhance the focus and concentration component of training.
“Our mission is to deliver an app for athletes of all skill levels and all ages to engage and improve their cognitive abilities,” CEO Rick Sabath said. “We believe that improved cognition will lead to better performance on the field, in the classroom and on the job,” added Sabath.
It wouldn’t be an app for athletes without a little friendly competition. HeadTrainer allows you to invite friends and teammates to compete through social media and you can build up “experience points” to win virtual trophies and bragging rights.
The basic app is free and additional functionality and options can be purchased for $4.99 per month.