Enhancing Practice with OPTI Brain
Written by Judi Adams – 2x Olympic Archer, Coach, Author, and Avid Opti User
When I was competing, I remember how hard it was at times to transition from work or school to sports practice. With assignments due or a full work schedule, it was necessary to fit my practice session into a cleverly crafted time period. Many times the session fit my schedule but I could tell it was less than ideal for my state of mind.
As I coach students now, I see similar challenges in decompressing from a busy and sometimes stressful day and it occurred to me that Opti Brain could be leveraged to get your brain into an effective and efficient state that would enable an optimal practice session.
I still practice almost daily and I start my practice session with a resting map collected for 30 seconds in the OPTI Brain app. I know that some days are better than others and as I look back at the maps, I could almost predict the value of the practice session based on my starting brain map – especially if it were a lower than normal synergy score.
To test this theory, I did the following protocol:
I began with a resting 30-second map collected from the OPTI Brain app – you can see below that I started fairly balanced – which is not always the case. On my not so good days, I will start with a significantly higher amount of activity on my left side. In the example below, I am left brain and back brain dominant with significant activity on the left side
in the active proces
sing waves of Beta1 and Beta2.
After 10 ‘imagery shots’ where I vividly performed in my imagination, the shot and saw the arrow land in the center of the target (in my imagination), you can see the change in a 30-second collection. The overall activity decreases a little and the right hemisphere activity increased creating more balance. Synergy increases from 70.5% to 71.7% and you start to see more of a common pattern across all the waves.
Next, I spent 10 minutes on Opti Train using the visual video and music in a resting state. Look at the amazing results below – you can see the overall total brain map shows significantly decreased activity and starts to take on a very balanced (Left/Right) pattern while still back brain dominant. The synergy score shoots up to 74.1% and not only do you see distinct patterns in the waves that are common to my best performance, but you also see a significant decrease in the activity in the active processing waves of Beta1 and Beta2 which we would expect to see when performing.
I firmly believe that taking a little bit of time to prepare for practice by balancing my brain will likely enable a much more productive practice session. Give it a try with your practice session or use this protocol to help your students decompress the day prior to a coaching session.