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As an athlete, you work tirelessly to gain a competitive edge—primarily through hard work and dedication to practice and weight room training sessions. Your skills improve over time, but you still might need another way to get the jump on your opponents.
For more than 20 years, the folks at Dynavision have been working on a visual training system in hopes of providing another method for athletes to use to improve their performance. Their system develops a person's ability to see, process and react. By improving the brain’s ability to process information and send signals to appropriate muscles, athletes can more accurately assess a situation and react quickly—such as a batter seeing a curveball and adjusting his timing and swing to hit it.
Dynavision’s D2 system employs a large, vertical blackboard with a series of small buttons spread in a circular pattern. The athlete stands in front of the board, and when a button is illuminated, he must press it as quickly as possible. His reaction time is measured and used to establish a baseline for improvement and to assess health.
University of Cincinnati football is one of the few programs in the country employing the system, and the team has already realized substantial benefits. Complex plays and quick decision-making define football, so D2 is an appropriate tool for helping players train themselves to make instant, in-play adjustments—to complete a perfect pass or stop an agile running back.
UC also uses D2 to ensure that their athletes are fully recovered after suffering concussions. Head injuries are a major problem in contact sports, and many recent news stories have focused on their effects later in life. Currently, most players are assessed with only a verbal test, which is potentially unreliable and inconsistent. UC athletes can be tested by the D2 system, with results compared to their baselines, to assess brain health.
“We are seeing an advancement in technology that’s going to help us provide better safety and efficiency in determining things such as return to play, as well as improving performance,” says Bob Mangine, UC's head football athletic trainer.
Other programs are starting to take notice. Dr. Jim Ellis, UC football optometrist, works closely with the Air Force Academy, because they have similar goals for the D2 system. “Their baseball team, in one year, raised their batting average 30 points and led the nation in batting,” he says. “It’s pretty dramatic what you can get from this stuff.”
Although your training facility may not currently have the D2 system, Dynavision could impact your training program in the future.