What is it and what does it provide?
Interactive Metronome (IM) is a brain-based, multi-disciplinary assessment and treatment tool that has been shown, in clinical research, to improve the neurological functions of motor planning and sequencing. Motor planning and sequencing are core functions of the brain. They determine the simple ability to reach out for a glass of water, take notes while listening to a presentation, walk smoothly, or arrange words in a sentence so that speech makes sense. These and many other everyday functions result from the ability to motor plan and sequence.
What is involved in training?
The program involves the athlete to perform hand and foot exercises to a rhythmic beat for a high number of repetitions while auditory guide tones provide immediate feedback, letting the athlete know if the response was on time, early or late. Feedback is used to refine timing and rhythm to get more in sync. The difference between the athlete’s action and the actual beat is measured in milliseconds and presented as a score. By keeping the beat, the brain is trained to plan, sequence, and process more effectively. Research has shown that the brain learns through repetition of precise activities. In turn, this produces measurable gains in physical and mental abilities.
How does our brain keep time?
Did you know that your brain has an “internal clock” that keeps time? And that it does so at various intervals: microseconds, milliseconds, seconds, minutes, and hours? Timing in the brain (or what scientists call “temporal processing”) is responsible for detecting where a sound is coming from as sound hits one ear microseconds before the other, for waking up and putting to sleep our brain every 12 hours or so, and for focusing attention, reading comprehension, remembering information, processing speech, motor coordination, and several other human capabilities.
IM's game-like auditory-visual platform engages the patient and provides constant feedback at the millisecond level to promote synchronized timing in the brain. Exercises can be customized and involve a hierarchy of increasingly complex and precisely timed motor movements intertwined with gradually higher & faster cognitive processing, attention and decision-making.
Why is Timing-training Important?
Decreasing millisecond timing as low as possible improves accuracy in your sport and consistency in sports performance. Performing high repetitions of IM over the course of training induces automaticity. This improves seamless & consistent execution in sports.
How does Sports Timing Training work?
Every session of the training lasts for 60 min AUDITORY-VISUAL INTENSIVE WITH PROGRESSION TO GAMES (athlete). This 21-30 day intensive program is designed specifically for athletes & progresses quickly from basic Interactive Metronome training to use of training visuals & games. It is recommended that the athlete commit to IM training 4-6 days per week, resting on the 7th day each week. Athletes should retrain with IM prior to competitions to achieve & maintain peak performance. As the athlete progresses in the session, the Timing program monitors the athletic performance and can change the number and types of exercises accordingly.
The program is designed to improve an athlete’s timing. Vigorous exercises have a positive impact on sports timing, which in turn improves an athlete’s ability to achieve the desired outcome within the shortest span of time.
The timing coach observes and monitors an athlete’s performance throughout the test, often encouraging and motivating him/her. Depending on the athlete’s timing, the level/session of training, and other factors, the timing coach assigns a specific exercise and duration accordingly.
Can a Training Session be rescheduled?
For athletes and coaches involved in a virtual training session, a high speed internet and large bandwidth is crucial to maintain coordination and monitor performance. The training coach needs to be able to see and hear the athlete performing the exercises. Therefore, it is always a good idea to postpone, delay, or reschedule a training session if you’re facing internet/connectivity issues or if the Skype, Facetime or any other communication app is not working.
Can this training be taken, along with regular training?
Sports timing training is designed and implemented to improve an athlete’s existing performance. It does not, in any way, affect your regular performance. Therefore, this test can easily be undertaken during your regular sports practice.
When to schedule a Session?
Although sessions can be taken anytime, we recommend that athletes take this test during their off-season. For the first 5-6 sessions, it is advisable not to participate in any other games. For the next sessions, athletes can practice their regular sports & participate in games, while taking the timing tests.
Ideally speaking, if your sport has one-week break in between matches, you can use that time for your sport timing training. Try completing the first six sessions during the break. Make sure that you do not have any matches on the days you have scheduled for the sessions.
What are the Benefits?
The March/April 2001 issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy identified five core areas of statistically significant improvements gained through the IM program: Attention and Focus, Motor Control/Coordination, Language Processing, Reading and Math Fluency, and Ability to Regulate Aggression/Impulsivity. Other studies have shown significant correlations between Interactive Metronome and academic achievement in mathematics, language, reading, and attention to task. The IM program has also proven to be a powerful tool for improving both the physical and mental aspects of athletic performance. To view these clinical studies please visit www.interactivemetronome.com
For more information or to schedule a free consultation please call us at (708) 567-6301.