VSU’s Athletic Department has a new approach to aid its players in hand-eye coordination on the field.
CogniSens Athletics, a Canadian-based company, has donated two of their NeuroTracker devices with 3D-MOT (Multiple Object Tracking) to VSU to assist with the development and training of its athletes.
Mark Powell, a VSU alum and Vice President of Collegiate Development for CogniSens Athletics, is honored to bring the NeuroTracker to VSU. According to Powell, the NeuroTracker has already been a huge success.
VSU strength coach, Michael Doscher, has welcomed the CogniSens program with open arms.
The training will take place in the “CAVE,” a 10x10x10 room, where the virtual world of CogniSens is brought to life.
The training begins with eight balls on the screen that are stationary. Four are red and four are yellow. They eventually merge into one color and move around the screen, alternating positions. The balls become numbered when the exercise is finished. The athletes are then asked to identify the four balls they were asked to track from the beginning.
“They identify and call [the numbers] out for verification,” Powell said. “This challenges their processing skills, peripheral abilities, timed decision-making calls, while cognitively expanding their perceptual recognition skills.”
The NeuroTracker is useful for all athletes and is not sport specific. However, the program mostly deals with football players because of the high amount of perceptually overwhelming action they endure (98% of their plays are specifically off of the ball).
VSU will be the only Division II University using the NeuroTracker as part of their training program, and no other Division II school will be allowed to use the system. According to Powell, CogniSens is currently in negotiations with 6 Division I schools, one of which is the University of Florida.
Valdosta will serve as a host school and all interested schools are invited to visit Valdosta to see how the system works.
Teams that currently use the NeuroTracker system include Manchester United (an English professional football club), five National Hockey League teams and several rugby teams worldwide.