A new technology that was first developed for the training of Israeli Air Force pilots is now being used by athletes around the world. Israel’s IntelliGym develops software based “Brain-Gyms, ” training tools that significantly improve the performance of trainees in targeted tasks.
Israeli investor Danny Dankner, the owner of Applied Cognitive Engineering, IntelliGym’s designer, has patented the technology called Cognitive Simulation, which is applicable to a variety of potential users, such as competitive sport players, security personnel, fighter pilots, medical staff, traders and test prep students. The company declares that, “Wherever there is a need to cope with vast amounts of information and make rapid decisions under pressure – those who use the IntelliGym technology will have a significant competitive advantage.”
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The company also boasts that its technology will help reduce the number of injuries suffered by athletes in all sorts of fields.
AS Danny Dankner, ACE’s chief operating officer, put it to NoCamels, “We were asking coaches how they train athletes to make the right decisions. For many of them, they thought being a smart player was a born trait. Either you were born that way or not. But, just like training your muscles, everyone can train their brain fundamentals.”
Athletes train in front of a video screen and engage in video game like simulations. These simulations train the player’s mind how to react and perform in varying game situations.
The company’s first sports product, the Basketball IntelliGym, has been used by NCAA Division 1 college teams for years now. It was designed from research and mapping of the brain skills that are required for top performance in basketball. These include reading plays, positioning, decision making, team work, and execution under pressure.
The company promotes its Hockey IntelliGym by declaring to players “Boost Your Hockey Sense Skills” and declares that it is “proven to enhance awareness and improve on-ice decision making.” It has helped the U.S. Hockey team win 9 gold medals in a dozen different international competitions. The commercial version is now used by professionals in the NHL. It is also used by America’s Air Force Academy.
Since it began to use it in 2009, the US Under 18 National hockey team has increased its winning percentage from 29 to 70%.
The IntelliGym technology is based on a concept originally developed for by DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) by Professor Daniel Gopher of the Technion in Haifa.