Science & Safety

Exploring a new way to reduce concussions

Concussions are a top concern for players, coaches, and parents. While treatment and detection of head injuries has been a focus (rightfully so), prevention is a major strategy of vital importance. Cognitive training with IntelliGym has shown indications to cut the chances of getting a concussion in half, see recent study presented at the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Ice Hockey Summit III: Action on Concussion 2017. IIHF_U18_WORLD_CHAMPIONSHIP_2010_small
IIHF_U18_WORLD_CHAMPIONSHIP_2010_small Most hockey injuries are a result of unanticipated hits. The IntelliGym improves on-ice awareness and anticipation thereby reducing unanticipated contact and head impacts.
A study conducted at the University of Delaware and presented at the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Ice Hockey Summit III: Action on Concussion 2017,shows a significant reduction in the number of head impacts after training with the Hockey IntelliGym. IIHF_U18_WORLD_CHAMPIONSHIP_2010_small
IIHF_U18_WORLD_CHAMPIONSHIP_2010_small A study conducted by USA Hockey and Applied Cognitive Engineering, presented at the IIHF International Youth Coaching Symposium, during the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Helsinki, Finland, showed a reduction of 15% in on-ice injuries at the National Team Development Program of USA Hockey, and 28% reduction in concussions.
The IntelliGym was adopted by the USA National Team U18 in 2009. Since then, the various cohorts have won an unprecedented seven IIHF World Championships. IIHF_U18_WORLD_CHAMPIONSHIP_2010_small
IIHF_U18_WORLD_CHAMPIONSHIP_2010_small In 2009 the USA National Team Development Program integrated the Hockey IntelliGym with its U17 and U18 teams in the middle of the season. A total of 44 players used the IntelliGym that winter. As a result, IntelliGym trainees improved their PPG (Points Per Game) by an average of 42% compared to the pre-IntelliGym stats.
The Soccer IntelliGym has been developed in collaboration with 10 elite football academies in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria, as well as with two universities. Among the clubs adopted the IntelliGym are PSV Eindhoven, AZ Alkmaar, Hamburger SV, Red Bull Salzburg, Rapid Vienna and DSC Arminia Bielefeld. More than 600 football players participated in the pilot programs and research. The program’s training efficacy has been studied by the Cologne Sport University, led by Prof. Daniel Memmert and by the VU University Amsterdam, led by Prof. Geert Savelsbergh. Both studies have shown a significant on-field improvement in the performance of IntelliGym trainees compared with the control group. IIHF_U18_WORLD_CHAMPIONSHIP_2010_small
IIHF_U18_WORLD_CHAMPIONSHIP_2010_small The IntelliGym's training concepts were initially developed for fighter pilots. The pioneering studies in the field were conducted by Gopher et al. from the Technion, and by Hart and Battiste from the NASA-Ames Research center at Moffeit Field, CA, on a total of 122 flight cadets. The studies have shown a significant transfer of skills from a computerized environment to flight, with some 30% increase in actual flight performance of the test subjects compared to a control group.
USA Hockey’s collaboration with Applied Cognitive Engineering has already garnered world class scientific recognition, winning the first ever Brains Fitness Innovation Award. An excerpt from the judging panel summary is as follows: "Excellent team approach between specialist, coach and player. Great concept and need, and an insights/model which could apply very broadly to skill development. The adaptation of cognitive training to this particular sports domain is clever and can be generalized to a wide range of other activities. I was impressed with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program and their Hockey IntelliGym. To develop/adapt such a program and clearly demonstrate its impact on real-life performance, is fantastic. There is also a great opportunity to expand this to even more athletes and sports and to everyday life." Braing_Fitness_Innovation_Award