All 360 Athlete programs are scientifically based and designed for athletes that are trying to achieve maximum results in competitions. The three programs include Sports vision, Physical and Skill, and Focus. Athletes may need more one program than other one to hone one particular skill set but they have to be in multiple programs for maximum athletic performance after assessment.
This program is recommended for any athlete, age 10 and up, serious about taking their athletic performance to the next level.
The sports vision program assesses balance and visual skills and then develops a customized training program to strengthen eye muscles while improving information transfer from the eye to the brain and from the brain to the muscle. Reaction time and the accuracy of those reactions are evaluated and tracked throughout the program.
Athletes that demonstrate poor visual and brain skills; indicative signs include but are not limited to the following:
The physical and Skill Program will help improve footwork, maximum and elastic strength, and coordination. Exercises will incorporate building speed and endurance, core stability and mobility, rotational power, biomechanical excellence, and reaction time, while decreasing the odds of injury. The result is a stronger, more explosive and balanced athlete.
Athletes that exhibit challenges with motor response and skills. Examples include but are not limited to:
The Sports Psychology program will help athletes maintain control under pressure, increase consistency, and perform to the best of their ability, both in mind and body, during the biggest sporting events. Training will focus on connecting positive thinking to athletic performance
Athletes that show signs of poor psychological skills. Signals include but are not limited to the following:
I am asked this question numerous times a week and I answer it the same way each time, “How well are you recovering?” For the average high school athlete who is in-season, 2 days a week are spent resistance training and 6 days a week are spent playing their sport, plus any extra activities done during PE or recreationally. Adult athletes at 360-athlete train 3-4 days with a combination of weights, isokinetics exercises, and metabolic conditioning, plus any recreational activities (jogging, tennis, golf, basketball, etc). High school athletes average 8+ workouts a week and Adults 5+. The Bulgarian Method for Olympic Lifters allows athletes to build up to training multiple times per day, 6 days a week, and with heavy weight. The body can handle high workloads, but as the Bulgarian trainers understood recovery was crucial. A majority of the high school and adult athletes have a hard time recovering between workouts and therefore constantly struggle in a negative energy balance. Here are 3 simple tips to help with recovery.
|General sleep hygiene strategies|
|Maintain a regular schedule of going to bed and waking up|
|If you cannot sleep within 15 min, get out of bed and try performing a mundane task|
|Eliminate the bedroom clock|
|Avoid coffee, alcohol, and nicotine in the hours before bed|
|Avoid watching television, eating, working, or reading in bed|
|Be conscious of food and fluid intake before bedtime|
|Nap appropriately (30 min and not late in the afternoon)|
|Maintain a room temperature comfortable for sleeping (~64F)|
By Dan Peterson Last year, the Spanish newspaper Marca revealed the nicknames that Real Madrid players have given each other inside the Santiago Bernabéu locker room. While some names poked fun at a player’s appearance (“Nemo” for Mesut Özil’s bulging eyes), superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was simply known as “la máquina”, Spanish for “the machine.” With his humanoid robot physique and his superior speed and quickness, Ronaldo seems to be programmed for goal scoring. Indeed, sponsor Castrol has developed a self-proclaimed documentary, “Ronaldo – Tested To The Limit”, to attempt to explain the Portuguese player’s body strength, mental ability, technique and skill. The most interesting of the four segments, mental ability, helps us realize that without the command center of the brain, the machine-like body parts are useless. While physical attributes such as strength, speed, agility and power are necessary for athletic greatness, sport skill begins with evaluating the playing environment, taking in cues and making decisions through sensory input and perception. Vision supplies 80-90% of the information athletes use to plan their motor skill movement. Surrounded by sports scientists and testing equipment at a Madrid soundstage, Ronaldo was asked to perform two experiments that showcase his visual perception skills of gaze control and spatial awareness. First, his challenge was to keep the ball away from an opponent for at least 5 seconds in a 1v1 drill. While his opponent was a former Division One player, Andy Ansah, there was no doubt Ronaldo would succeed in keeping possession. The insight came from both players wearing eye tracker equipment that can later show the gaze or saccadic movements of their eyes. Elite athletes have more sophisticated patterns of cues that they watch for and focus on to beat their opponents versus novice players that gaze at many focal points. Professor Joan Vickers at the University of Calgary is best known for her pioneering work in athlete eye tracking and working with coaches and players to develop strategies and logic of what they should be looking at during competition. For example, hockey or soccer goalies should focus on the shooter’s hips or body angle rather than the puck or ball. Through the eye tracking video, Ronaldo’s opponent, Ansah, looked mostly at the ball and the feet but his eyes darted in a less defined pattern. Ronaldo, on the other hand, clearly had a strategy of watching Ansah’s hips and space around Ansah that he could exploit. His command of the ball at his feet allowed him to only occasionally check its position. This superior spatial awareness allows great players to watch their opponent and react to the slightest hints of their next movement.thlete eye tracking and working with coaches and players to develop strategies and logic of what they should be looking at during competition. For example, hockey or soccer goalies should focus on the shooter’s hips or body angle rather than the puck or ball. Another aspect of visual perception in many sports is to track a moving object. An outfielder racing to catch a fly ball, a tennis player returning a 100 mph serve, or a soccer striker taking a one-time shot of a well-crossed ball all require a sophisticated, yet mostly subconscious, skill to intercept the object’s path and act on it. To show that most of this task is calculated in the brain rather than simply with the eyes, Ronaldo was asked to do something he is paid very well to do, finish off a crossed ball into the goal. However, to make it more interesting, during the ball’s flight to Ronaldo, the lights were turned off inside the arena forcing the player to calculate the final flight trajectory of the ball and make contact with it in the dark. Just as a baseball hitter only gets about ¼ of a second to decide to swing at a 90 mph pitch (and can rarely “see” the ball all the way across the plate), an athlete often relies on his brain to complete the 3D scenario and rapidly predict the path of the flying object. As seen in the video, the first two crosses are “easily” finished off by Ronaldo when he is allowed to see about half the ball’s flight towards him. The real expertise is shown when the room goes dark immediately after Ansah kicks the ball. The only cues available to Ronaldo are angles and movement of Ansah’s hips and legs to predict where the ball will end up. Not only did he meet the ball but added a bit of Portuguese style by using his shoulder to finish the goal. There has been some debate over the years on how exactly humans track moving objects. Several studies and theories have looked at the movement of baseball outfielders as they follow a fly ball off the bat. The late Seville Chapman, a physicist at Stanford, developed the Optical Acceleration Cancellation (OAC) theory that argues a fielder must keep moving to keep the rising ball at a certain angle to him. If he moves forward too much, the ball will rise too fast and land behind him. If he mistakenly moves backward, the ball’s angular flight will drop below 45 degrees and land in front of him. By keeping a constant angle to the ball through its flight, the fielder will end up where the ball does. Subconsciously, Ronaldo may be using the OAC theory to start moving towards the ball based on its early trajectory, then computes the rest of the flight in the dark. The advanced skill of predicting the path of the ball instantly after the kick puts Ronaldo into a world class category.
By Dan Peterson As football players move up from youth leagues to high school to college and, ultimately, the NFL, there is often a sharp learning curve to adapt to the next level. They struggle with the speed of the game and the need to “slow the game down” to make better on-field decisions. Even for elite players, with all of their physical talent, training the brain to react instinctively to game situations takes hours of preparation and repetition. Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winning behavioral psychologist, describes this education as moving from System Two to System One thinking, which applies to more in life than just football. When Robert Griffin III was slowed down by his knee injuries last season and during his off-season surgery recovery, he was forced to spend his training time on his mental game and pattern recognition skills. “I was talking to the guys about it toward the end of last year, being slowed down kind of slowed the game down for me, because I had to slow down, and it made me have to get through all of my reads,” Griffin told the Washington Post, “For me, the biggest part was mastering the offense first, so I can continue to beat teams with my mind and get guys in the right position.” Mike Shanahan, Redskins’ head coach, agrees, “When you come in your first year, you’re just trying to learn the terminology of the system and everything’s coming at you a thousand miles an hour,” Shanahan said. “So in the second year, it does slow down a little bit, and people do feel more comfortable. If you keep on studying the game, you keep getting better and better.” Imagine a young quarterback breaking the huddle with a specific offensive play called. From repeated practices and playbook study, he knows what the formation is, what each player is supposed to do and what should happen after the ball is snapped. This type of a planned, intentional thought process is described by Kahneman as “System Two” or slow thinking, in his bestselling book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” As the young quarterback scans the defense in front of him, he begins to look for cues; the location of the safeties, the possibility of a blitz, etc. Kahneman likens this to doing a complicated multiplication problem or following directions to a new restaurant. Once the ball is in his hands, his world moves much faster. He no longer has time for deliberate thought but has to react instantly to the ever-changing scene in front of him. Who is open? Did the blitz come? Did receivers run the right routes? While he would like to stop the play for a few seconds to analyze his options, the approaching defensive end forces a snap decision. This automatic, reactive thinking is what Kahneman calls “System One” or fast thinking. Just like when we hit the brakes on our car to avoid a car or instantly recognize a familiar face, our brain triggers an instant response without conscious effort. The goal of film study and practice drills is to get through the learning curve and move as many decisions as possible from System Two to System One. When scrambling out of the pocket, a quarterback needs to rely on his vision and brain for quick, accurate choices. It’s the same on the other side of the ball as a linebacker or safety anticipates the play based on subtle cues he sees right after the snap. For an inexperienced player, his untrained System One thinking can sometimes fool him. Kahneman lists many different tricks or biases that our brain plays on us. When we pick a choice that seems correct, we might just be falling for the “availability bias” or just choosing the first option that comes to mind. This is where creative coaches can wreak havoc by designing disguised formations and movements. Seeing a linebacker up on the line pre-snap might fool a QB into looking for a blitz only to have him drop back into coverage. Confidence and emotions also play a big part in rational decision making. Players and coaches will often choose to avoid a loss rather than try for a big gain. In the “loss aversion bias”, the pain of a possible interception can prevent a QB from trying to make a difficult throw that could result in a big gain. Even Griffin hinted that he gave into this bias last season as he was still learning. “You try not to second-guess,” he said, “but the touchdown-to-interception ratio was pretty good, so yeah, were there some throws that you look back and today, ‘could I have made them?’ Yeah, I probably could have made them. But that’s why you play the game, and the more you play the game, the better you get. You can always get better. You never rest on what you did last year.” While young players don’t need to know the intricate details of Kahneman’s prospect theory, they may listen to their heroes, like RG3, encouraging them to put in the long hours of practice and studying to make the game slow down.
By Dan Peterson After the San Antonio Spurs clinched their trip to the NBA Finals on Monday night, Tim Duncan was asked to describe the contributions of his point guard, Tony Parker. “Every year he just gets better and better and better,” he commented to the press. “I told him I’m just riding his coattails.” High praise indeed from a four-time NBA champion and 14-time All-Star. Duncan’s remarks add to the growing opinion that Parker is the best postseason point guard in NBA history. Whether its his scoring touch, 37 points in Game 4 against Memphis, or his vision on the court, a career best 18 assists in Game 2, Parker has the ability to see what is available in front of him to help his team. This specialized court vision is rare and originates from a specialized area of the brain, according to new research. As you watch the video below of Parker’s amazing performance in Game 2, notice the angles and speed with which he has to not only see teammates but then get the ball out his hands. Vision, reaction, decision and action all happen in a split second. “Behind what seems to be automatic is a lot of sophisticated machinery in our brain,” said Miguel Eckstein, professor in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. “A great part of our brain is dedicated to vision.” Eckstein’s research group recently explored how humans are able to pick out certain objects in a crowded scene (say, for example, Tim Duncan under the basket). They flashed (250 ms) 640 indoor and outdoor scenes on a screen for volunteer test observers, then asked them to find a certain object in the scene (i.e. a clock in a bedroom scene or a surfer in a beach scene). In half of the images, the target object was not there. While they searched the images for the targets, the volunteers’ eye movements were tracked as well as their brain’s electrical activity through the use of a functional MRI machine. While the volunteers successfully found the target objects 80% of the time that they were in the scene, they were not aware that some of the scenes did not contain the object. By watching where they focused their gaze to find the object, the researchers discovered that the brain uses logical, contextual clues. If searching for a surfer, they would look on the water, not the beach; if searching for a truck in a street scene, they fixated on the street, not the sidewalk. In the image below, the yellow-orange dots show where the person fixed their gaze to find the target object (click for a larger image). While this seems obvious to us, it is this contextual form of visual searching that computer algorithms still cannot accomplish due to the enormous amount of real world knowledge that we take for granted. “So, if you’re looking for a computer mouse on a cluttered desk, a machine would be looking for things shaped like a mouse. It might find it, but it might see other objects of similar shape, and classify that as a mouse,” Eckstein said. The fMRI images showed that an area of the brain called the lateral occipital complex (LOC) is most active during the test subjects’ scene search. It is this group of neurons that provides clues to us of the most likely place to look for certain objects. In the same way, by knowing the Spurs offense and through years of drills and practice, Parker’s LOC can suggest the most logical places to search for teammates and the difference between them and opponents. The research appears in the Journal of Neuroscience. “A large component of becoming an expert searcher is exploiting contextual relationships to search,” commented Eckstein. “Thus, understanding the neural basis of contextual guidance might allow us to gain a better understanding about what brain areas are critical to gain search expertise.” Training an athlete’s visual search skill is critical to success on the court or field. Repetition through tools like the Axon football or baseball training apps will provide the LOC with the rich database of contextual scenes needed to spot an open receiver, a blitzing linebacker or a curveball. WHAT ARE VISUAL SKILLS? Visual skills are one of the four pillars that make up an athlete's so-called "intangible" skills set. These intangible skills, which we refer to globally as sports vision skills, are all in the head and include:
NUMBERED BALL DRILL Using numbered balls to improve contrast sensitivity in a dynamic visual environment; that is, the ability to distinguish detail on a high velocity object Equipment balls with numbers Duration Three sets/ three minutes per set Description Tray to recognize the numbers that are on the ball , or colours when they are pitched to you, don’t worry about the hitting
Improves peripheral awareness and field vision EQUIPMENT/SET-UP: Several basketballs DURATION: Three sets | Three minutes per set DESCRIPTION: 5-minute drill to develop post play and peripheral visual skills in basketball players Pair up players with one passer and one receiver. Receiver must, at all times, look directly into the eyes of the passer and not at the ball. Receiver must track ball using peripheral vision only. Step 1: Passer throws ball to receiver's out-stretched hand, alternating between right and left. Step 2: Passer throws bounce pass to receiver's side, alternating between right and left, and forcing the reciver to move a few steps to the side. Step 3: Passer throws the ball high, just beyond receiver's line of vision to receiver's out-stretched hand, alternating between right and left. Do this drill for 5 minutes every day to develop your peripheral visualskills.
Improves dynamic visual acuity; that is, visual focus while in movement EQUIPMENT/SET-UP: Standard vision chart and a mini-trampoline, mattress or skipping rope DURATION: Three sets | Thirty seconds per set DESCRIPTION: Post the vision chart on the far wall at a distance of about 20 feet. The athlete jumps up and down on a mini-trampoline or a mattress, or skips rope and reads the letters on the chart from top to bottom. Switch the chart to counter memorization of the chart.
Improve dynamic visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and focused attention Equipment: Paint or purchase a puck, ball or object that is similar to the color of the background it is used on; for example, use a white puck for ice hockey or use a green ball for field hockey. Procedure: Practice regular drills in low contrast conditions by substituting, for example, a normal black puck with a white puck. Build up to 10 minutes of practice with similarly colored object. 3 Air Force Exercises to Improve Your Vision Athletes at the Air Force Academy have been performing cadet vision training exercises for more than a decade, with impressive results. The first year the baseball team used vision training, they led the nation in batting average. Since then, Air Force athletes have achieved better than 20/20 vision and improved vision drill scores by 200 to 300 percent. Get your own results with these three vision drills. Saccadic Drill Why do it: Enhances eye stamina and focus, which pilots need to complete precision maneuvers and athletes need for games. How to do it:
private tennis lesson $150
private training session $150
group training session $ 60 per person
package of 10 $45
package of 25 $ 40