For more than 20 years, the folks at Dynavision have been working on visual training systems with the goal of providing another method for athletes to improve their performance. Their D2 system has been shown to improve reaction time, and it's also a valuable asset for assessing post-concussion health. [Learn more about the D2 here.]
More recently, Dynavision introduced the I-Span, a versatile visual training system that can improve all athletes' performance. The I-Span consists of a central computer attached to eight illuminated disks, which can sense motion from 10 centimeters away. The disks can be set up in a variety of patterns—such as evenly spread on a rack, sprawled on the ground or in a tight grouping—to target specific training goals. According to Mark Hallis, CMO of Dynavision Sports, "The device is incredibly versatile and can be assembled in countless ways to accommodate different exercises and protocols."
When a disk lights up, it signals the athlete to react and move quickly into a position where he can deactivate the disk by placing a body part or piece of equipment, such as a tennis racquet, within range of the sensor. After giving the athlete time to return to the starting position, the I-Span randomly illuminates another disk. The random pattern forces the athlete to process the stimulus and react by quickly moving in the correct direction. This translates into improved game skills, such as catching a pass, reacting to a ground ball or tackling a shifty opponent. It also works to improve change of direction, since the athlete never knows which disk will light up next.
Two Athletic Republic facilities in Northern Louisiana have already incorporated the I-Span into their training programs, highlighting the system's application across all sports. For example, a soccer player can perform a protocol focused on footwork, while a tennis player can use his racquet to improve hand-eye coordination.
Athletic Republic also uses the system to track their athletes’ progress, which is critical to ensure that gains are being made and to motivate athletes by demonstrating that their hard work is paying off. Kobus Smit, an AR facility director says, “You can test an athlete and actually track his/her improvement over time. That’s exactly what we want—a tangible way to prove to our athletes that the work they are doing with us is making a difference.”