CASE STUDY OVERVIEW: SKUTT CATHOLIC (2022)
The Challenge: Maintaining Championship Pedigree Amidst Roster Overhaul
After six consecutive state titles, Skutt Catholic faced its biggest challenge yet: an 80% turnover in their roster. The quest for a seventh consecutive championship required not just skill, but unparalleled focus and cognitive agility.
NeuroTrainer Intervention: Elevating Athletic and Cognitive Performance
Introduced by Head Coach Renee Saunders in 2018, NeuroTrainer became an integral part of Skutt Catholic’s training regimen. Prioritizing cognitive development, the team engaged in daily 8-minute NeuroTrainer sessions, totaling 184 minutes of cognitive training per player throughout the season.
- 4 athletes per headset on rotation
- 8-minute pre-practice and pre-game priming sessions
- 2 groups – before school & during lunch
- 23 sessions per player (on average)
- 184 minutes average time in headset over season
BEFORE PRACTICES (LEARNING)
Designed to elevate neuroplastic skill acquisition by increasing levels of adrenaline and acetylcholine, increasing metabolic rate while enhancing focus. Results in an energized, intense state helping athletes attack their task with focus, determination, and energy.
BEFORE GAMES (PERFORMING)
Designed to help induce a state of deep focus. The multi-object tracking task puts increased demands on the visual cortex and parietal lobes and forces the cerebral cortex (the source of conscious thought) to quiet.
The Results: Cognitive Gains and Athletic Dominance
Skutt Catholic becomes the first team ever to win 7 consecutive state championships in 7 years.
By the end of the season, there was enough data from inside the headset to correlate to in-game performance improvements. We broke the team into 3 cohorts over the course of the season ranked by time in headset leading up to games, and serving statistics, both in serve errors and in ace %. The results were exceptionally positive.
Coach Renee Saunders Breaks Down The Results
ENHANCED DECISION MAKING
“When it comes down to game time, the biggest thing I can see with NeuroTrainer is decision making and ability to read plays ahead of time. The players can anticipate when things are going to happen.”
“Focusing with athletes is a challenge. Their focus allowed them to dominate and finish games early. Their focus was definitely better for the kids that trained with NeuroTrainer daily.”
What Players Are Saying
NeuroTrainer helps me with my vision and seeing things a lot sooner than I would have a a years ago. It helps me be a better hitter because I can play shots and see areas of the court that are open on the other side.
I’m able to read the hands of the blockers really easily, and am able to see shots in holes and also in defense. My reaction time is a lot sooner, and I can pick up my opponent’s hands or what they’re going to do really quickly.
It works with things that I wouldn’t really think of working on. Even though I’m not in season working on volleyball, I can still train my mind and train myself for the game.
I like the feeling of being inside the headset and getting better at seeing things around me. It feels like I’m in my own space and able to do my own thing, while getting better at something that I enjoy doing.
I’ve improved my ability to read the ball while I’m in defense, and pick up where the serve is going in serve/receive. It helps me read the ball which is very important in volleyball. You always have to know where it’s going and where it could go while seeing where the other people are on the other side of the net. It really helps with my peripheral vision and seeing or picking up things that are happening around me.