Golf Instruction Tool Uses Brainwaves

BRAIN ATHLETEGolf improvement takes on virtually all forms, whether you’re working with a golf professional, reading a book or magazine, or using one of the thousands of golf training aids. One segment of the golf improvement market that has become quite popular recently has been biofeedback.

One Japanese company has recently launched a new brainwave athletic trainer called the BrainAthlete. It is a biofeedback device, especially tailored to athletes, that tracks concentration levels to help the athlete find the optimal level for each activity. The device is integrated in a standard golf visor, with three non-invasive contact points in the headband that monitor EEG activity.

NeuroSky has been working with the USA Olympic Archery team for over four years, but the concept of “mental training” goes back much further. “When it comes to expert level players or athletes, the difference between win or lose, gold or silver is often the athlete’s mind”, says Dr. Lee, NeuroSky’s CTO and one of the company founders.

The potential of this technology and device to help other athletes – amateur or professional level – is huge. According to the National Golf Foundation, there are 28.8 million American golfers. Acknowledged as a mental game by many, golf is the ideal sport to introduce the neuro-feedback technology because it can help golfers improve on their skills.

As a professor of psychology at Arizona State University, Dr. Debra Crews has been studying golfers’ brainwaves for a decade. She sees a correlation between mental state and performance accuracy. Her challenge has been the lack of portability in bringing medical EEG to the golf course. “EEG will be a factor in golf coaching and other sports where mental acuity influences outcomes.” Dr. Crews would historically record EEG data and return to her office on campus later to conduct analysis.

The device will communicate with a PC and cost around $500 when it hits the US in the first quarter of 2011.

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