The CCM High Performance Tier I Leagues are taking player development to a new level this fall. In addition to the support of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine in the areas of dryland and nutrition, Minnesota Hockey is providing all participants with the same cognitive training offered at the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine facility in Rochester - The Hockey IntelliGym.
The Hockey IntelliGym is a training software designed to enhance players’ spatial awareness, decision making skills and hockey sense. USA Hockey, in collaboration with Applied Cognitive Engineering (ACE), created the Hockey IntelliGym based on a cognitive training program developed for military fighter pilots. The technology has since been adjusted to give athletes the same benefits.
The National Team Development Program (NTDP) was involved in adapting the software to hockey and has been using the program with its players ever since. Its teams have witnessed unprecedented success during that time frame including seven gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championships.
"We're excited about being able to provide IntelliGym to our Tier 1 League players this fall,” said Mike Terwilliger, new hockey programs manager for Minnesota Hockey. “Our league is about development and this fits in perfectly to develop our players' mental side of the game.”
The Hockey IntelliGym is intended to be used like any other training program. Players train on Hockey IntelliGym twice a week for 30 minutes each session. The program is personalized and adapts automatically to the individual’s skill level. Players and coaches should begin to see results on the ice in approximately 5-6 weeks, with the most notable improvements coming in how players perform under pressure.
Recent research by Thomas Buckley from the University of Delaware has also shown the benefits of the Hockey IntelliGym’s cognitive awareness training may extend beyond player performance and assist in reducing head injuries.
“Between the skill-based on-ice practices our coaches provide, the Mayo Clinic Sport Medicine's dryland and nutritional expertise, and the addition of Intelligym to develop critical thinking skills, we're giving our players a development experience that's second to none," said Terwilliger.
Additional information about the Hockey IntelliGym may be found at USAHockeyIntelliGym.com.