Westside High: Expansion From Football To Academics

Westside High School | Omaha, NE

Summer 2022

And we are going to be working with West Side to co-facilitate a performance camp the end of June with a group of 25 students and five faculty to start exploring how NeuroTrainer integrates into their current academic, mental skills and steam & innovation programs. They’re looking to help kids really understand the tools that they have available to optimize brain states, as well as improve their attention and become the masters of their focus and their productivity. 

Where it started

2 Quarterbacks were looking for support for different mental states

In 2021, the head football and quarterback coach from Westside High School had aspirations of winning the state championships. They were coming to the end of their season and looking for help to improve both practice and in-game performance for their starting quarterback and their alternate quarterback the following season. 

2 approaches to priming the mind

Within a week of starting the engagement, both quarterbacks were up and running on a priming protocol. Priming is a category of cognitive training that delivers real-time focus and mental activation training. After an 8-minute NeuroTrainer priming session, athletes are more focused, alert and ready to perform in practices and games. 

Priming 1: Optimizing mental states for calm, focused attention

The starting quarterback had been having challenges with nervous and negative self talk before practices and games. He found that the Locked In module, which is a slower more meditative experience, helped to alleviate and attenuate his stress. 

Priming 2: Optimize mental states for sharp, invigorated attention

The alternate quarterback found that he needed something more invigorating to wash out all of the stimulation from the day. He found that Fired Up was a more effective tool and helped him turn on all the right neural networks to be able to perform at his best. 

Results: Expansion to athletic department and entire academic institution 

They ended up finishing second in the state. The alternate quarterback who is only a sophomore ended up in the starting quarterback role. 

The coach believes it is because of NeuroTrainer priming that had such a powerful effect on being able to quiet his brain and let him perform at his best. 

Expansion to entire athletic department

That summer, the boys golf program integrated NeuroTrainer as part of their overall mental skills and brain training system. And then shortly thereafter, the Westside girls soccer team came on board, and quikly racked up over 100 training sessions for each athlete. 

Westside High School is founded on three principles, the third of which is technology integration. So they’ve been looking at ways of continuing to highlight and introduce new technology, but in ways that are going to be very relevant to some of the challenges they face today. And they know that one of the challenges they face today is overall focus and attention for their students because of all the different demands on their attention. 

So, through that collaboration, we were able to land an athletic department deal that we’ll be launching in August with 200 licenses to be spread across the athletic department. 

Expansion to entire school

As a result of positive outcomes with the STEAM camp, NeuroTrainer and Westside have successfully deployed the first high school-wide deployment of NeuroTrainer. This engagement provides a full year of cognitive training to every student, as well as every faculty member. It’s goal is to address the pressures and demands and the overall social emotional health and well being of both faculty and staff, and a strong case for future school-wide and district-wide initiatives.

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