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USA Hockey team uses video game Intelligym to train for Olympics

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February 4
8:13 AM 2014

The Olympic team of USA Hockey will be fighting for a place in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics starting this weekend. The team has used Intelligym, a video game, to train Youth National teams U17 and U18 since 2009, according to VentureBeat.

Intelligym is a program similar to a video game, but it improves mental performance amid high-pressure situations. The graphics may not be that sophisticated, but USA Hockey coaches say their players' in-game ability to react quickly and effectively has been enhanced, the report said.

Professor Daniel Gopher's research team developed the training software. Intelligym traces its origin in the military fighter pilots' cognitive training. After the said training, the pilots' in-flight performance improved by 30%. The research team established the Applied Cognitive Engineering (ACE) and crafted a basketball version of the same training software. The mental skills targeted in the program include anticipation, fast decision-making under pressure, execution, shot selection, spatial orientation, and team work, the report detailed.

According to ACE, Intelligym should be used by athletes a couple of times every week for 45 minutes. Both hockey and basketball programs are available to the public. Consumers can subscribe individually or as a team. The system monitors the statistics of the players and adjusts the difficulty level of the game according to each user's strengths and weaknesses, VentureBeat reported.

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