FocusBand For Golf - What Is It? Does It Work?

GLT Golf Director of Education
  • Author: Iain Highfield
  • GLT Golf Director of Education
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The FocusBand is an EEG device designed to help golfers train their brain to get into a state conducive of high perfromance. 

 

EEG stands for electroencephalogram and can be used to identify neural signals and track the rapid execution of sensory, cognitive and motor processes. EEG devices are used in sports in an attempt to identify neural signals associated with expertise.

 

EEG devices such as the FocusBand are used to provide real-time measure of neural activity and allow athletes to draw correlations between brain activity and behavior. A number of EEG devices can be programed to give feedback when desired perimeters are met in an attempt to improve performance. This ‘Neurofeedback’ is a conditioning technique that is employed to teach participants to modify their own current neural activity, by facilitating the recognition of specific brain states associated with desired behavioral outcomes. Over time, athletes are able to learn how their internal mental state correlates with the neural signal and train this to become automatic.

 

DOES IT WORK? 

 

A majority of literature now supports the view that changes in alpha activity are linked to differences in performance. However, seeing performance as a simple linear function, where high degrees of alpha increase performance, may underestimate the complexity of the relationship. For example further studies have begin to record intra-hemispheric coherence.

 

Uncertainty also stems from inconsistencies in the section of the brain where performance related changes in alpha have been reported to take place. This location is suggested to vary dependent on the ability of the athlete.

 

To Learn More About EEG / Neurofeedback Click Here and Listen to Expert Adrian Quevedo Share His Passion and Knowledge.

What else do coaches need to know? 

 

To find out more about 'Teaching With Golf Technology' Check out GLT's FREE on line course

 

Concerns about variability in electrode locations and the lack of contextual validity in sports neuroscience studies reflects further the application of EEG techniques to assess factors contributing to performance are in their infancy. Limitations such as lack of ecological validity, differences in methodology, failure to address individual differences leads some to conclude that we cannot determine that any EEG device impacts performance in-line with the claims it makes. 

 

The information we have presented so far is written from an evidence based standpoint. At team GLT we like to read the academic literature before we try any golf training product. 

 

As far as the practical application of using FocusBand it is very easy to apply and a number of students have definatley felt a short term increase in performance when using a FocusBand. However, it is feasible that this increase in performance could be to do with factors unrelated to changes in brain activity and due to psychological processes, such as changes in attentional processing or motor control changes such as increasing degrees of freedom. 

 

Also, in true GLT fashion we would love to see some evidence on retention and transfer of the mental and technical skills learned via the FocusBand coaching process. 

 

Click here to learn more about RETENTION of golf skill

 

Click here to learn more about TRANSFER of golf skill