Mental training at hockey camp

Gold in the Net (GITN) hockey camp for goalies are using the latest technology to enhance performance.

Reilley Elder-Cherry works on the Dynavision device during the recent Gold In The Net hockey training camp.

Reilley Elder-Cherry works on the Dynavision device during the recent Gold In The Net hockey training camp.

Walking into the doors at the Summerland Arena this past week was almost like stepping into a neuroscience lab.

Gold in the Net (GITN) hockey camp for goalies are using the latest technology to enhance performance.

Most people have not experienced a biofeedback machine or visual-motor sensory stimulating machine but these are some cutting edge tools they have brought to town for their camp.

Dynavision has been the secret training weapon for NHL teams for about a decade.

This visual-motor sensory machine helps improve peripheral vision and reaction time under stress.  This skill level for a goalie can be a determining factor to make or break their career.

The Dynavision board stands approximately seven feet tall with small lights spaced out over the entire area.

At eye level there is a small blue computer screen for the athlete to stare at while a light flashes in the periphery.  The athlete touches the light as quickly as they can while maintaining their eyesight forward, then the next light immediately illuminates.

This fast-paced exercise continues for about a minute.

The machine has the ability to display numbers into the small centre screen which they are to call out while touching the lights for a more dynamic, stressful challenge.

Reilley Elder-Cherry, 17, goalie for the Fort St. John Flyers AA Tier II Midget team explains that after using the machine for a week,

“I feel the difference already.  I can read plays better and it helps open up my peripherals.  I have better tracking with the puck and it doesn’t seem like it’s coming as fast anymore.  It really helps.”

Their goal is to be 0.5 of a second or less for their average reaction time.

It’s no wonder this Dynavision light-training reaction device that was designed for all types of athletes (race car drivers, football players, baseball players), was soon discovered to be a versatile tool for rehabilitation of concussions, brain-injuries, visual field-deficits and even stroke victims.

Bob Simpson, who works with GITN on mental training shows me another tool they are using.  He hooks me up to their emWave program by attaching a monitor to my earlobe.

I thought it similar to a biofeedback machine but emWave works with emotions and breathing to monitor coherence levels instead of measuring brainwaves.

Dr. Alan Watkins who lectures on TEDx Talks explains that connecting to our basic physiology (breathing, heart rate) is the foundation that creates a chain reaction to our overall performance.

He explains that the streams of electro signals from inside our body (heart, joints, lungs, digestion etc.) send out streams of data that in turn affect our emotions, feelings, thinking, behaviour and ultimately performance/results.  By tuning into our physiology and being aware of our body we are able to learn how to take control of it.

This is important for athletes when they are under pressure.

Bob Simpson explains that the program helps athletes find their own unique ideal performance state and how to stay there amidst distraction and pressure.

Finding your ideal performance state may be a big task, but when starting to learn these skills at 17, this personal awareness may be honed over the next five to 10 years which could help lead them to the sports career of their dreams.

Beyond sports, this technology can help reduce stress, improve health, emotional management and performance wherever their careers and life may take them.

Joanne Malar is the program coordinator for Summerland Recreation, three-time Olympic swimmer, 2012 Olympic Commentator, kinesiologist and holistic nutritionist.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Nominally 'flushable' wipes caused one of Keremeos lift stations to shut down, damaging the pump inside. The Village is asking residents not to flush anything that isn't human waste. (Black Press)
Keremeos reminds residents not to flush wipes after pump damaged

‘Flushable’ wipes caused the pump to seize up and burn out

Twin sisters Kyla, left, and Jordyn Bear have accepted scholarships to play at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York for this upcoming fall. The 17-year-olds dream of playing together for Canada in the Olympics one day. (Jesse Johnston/CP photo)
Lake Country twins inspire Indigenous hockey players

Grade 12 George Elliot Secondary students Kyla and Jordyn Bear earn hockey scholarships at NCAA Division 1 school

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A in Princeton

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Most Read