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Neuroscience & Individual Football/Soccer Training | An Article By SwitchedOn Training

An analysis by Brett Johnson, founder & CEO of the SwitchedOn Training app

“How to get the most out of your individual training using neuroscience”, an article from the founder and CEO of the SwitchedOn Training app, Brett Johnson.

These times of quarantine have taught us an important lesson that I wish I would have learned earlier in my career; we have to take control of our development if we want to become great. That means putting in the work by yourself, and not relying solely on a coach/trainer to achieve your goals. After earning a degree in neuroscience and getting to football (soccer) at the professional and semi-professional level all over the world (England, Germany, Australia, and the USA) there were 2 important things that I noticed:

  1. The best players put in a ton of time training by themselves to perfect their craft.
  2. The best players weren’t always the most physically gifted, but they had incredible cognitive skills (focus, decision making, reaction time, etc.)

The biggest problem I saw with individual training was that you can only perform physical pre-determined actions (meaning you know what you are going to do before you do it), but games are the exact opposite. Games provide an unpredictable environment that forces you to use your physical AND cognitive skills simultaneously because you have to:

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  1. Perceive what’s going on around you
  2. Process that information to make a decision
  3. And then perform the action as quickly and efficiently as possible

Many of the top coaches I played under would provide a form of training that replicated this, by showing you random colored cones that you would have to react to with different actions. This was so helpful for not only improving my physical/technical skills, but learning how to use these skills in a reactive game-like environment which requires vision, focus, and split-second decision making. After doing some research, I realized that training these physical and cognitive skills simultaneously was a much more efficient way to train because it would provide better transfer to competition and would help improve the cognitive skills that are so important to becoming an elite player, but there was no way to get this by yourself.

I decided to create an app that would allow you to get this kind of training by yourself. It’s called SwitchedOn Training, and it works by letting you customize randomized cues in the form of colors, numbers, and arrows, that you associate with specific actions or movements. There are endless ways to implement this into your training such as:

The cognitive aspect of the game is something that is still fairly undiscovered and often overlooked, but anyone who has played at a high level can attest to how crucial it is. When Xavi was talking about his time at Barcelona FC he said, “When you arrive at Barca the first thing they teach you is: think, think, think, quickly. Lift your head up, move, see think.” This app helps you do just that; get your head up, scan your surroundings, focus, think, process information, make split-second decisions, and react, using just your mobile device.

SwitchedOn currently being used by professional footballers’ players and coaches around the world, and they are seeing incredible results. This app can be used for FREE on iOS and Android, and you can download it using the links below. We are still in the early days of developing it, so all feedback is greatly appreciated. We want to help athletes around the world have access to quality training that will allow them to take control of their development, and maximize their potential.

iOS

Android

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