4 Reasons All Athletes Should Train Their Brains

Prior to his senior year at Michigan State, Kirk Cousins knew if he wanted to be an NFL quarterback, he needed to take his game to the next level. To make that happen, Cousins teamed up with Neurocore, a company that specializes in optimizing brain performance to help people of all ages achieve their personal and professional goals. With Neurocore’s help and brain-mapping technology, Cousins discovered his brain activity tended to spike in high-stress situations because his mind primarily functioned on the presence of adrenaline. He then worked on techniques to calm his brain activity to improve his performance on the field.

Cousins is the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings and attributes his success in the NFL in part to his vastly improved “brain performance.”

“Certainly, my on-field performance can correlate with my Neurocore work to some degree,” Cousins said. “I’ve found being able to maximize the mental and emotional side to athletics, in turn, helps to maximize the physical.”

“I see it as the next frontier,” Cousins said of training your brain. “If you look at weightlifting in the 1950s and ’60s, not every football player was lifting weights; they weren’t sure about the benefit it would give you. Now everybody has a strength coach; everyone lifts weights. I see brain training as being that next thing, the next frontier.”

Here are four reasons why Kirk Cousins believes brain performance training can help all athletes capitalize on their physical training.

4 Reasons All Athletes Should Train Their Brains

Prior to his senior year at Michigan State, Kirk Cousins knew if he wanted to be an NFL quarterback, he needed to take his game to the next level. To make that happen, Cousins teamed up with Neurocore, a company that specializes in optimizing brain performance to help people of all ages achieve their personal and professional goals. With Neurocore’s help and brain-mapping technology, Cousins discovered his brain activity tended to spike in high-stress situations because his mind primarily functioned on the presence of adrenaline. He then worked on techniques to calm his brain activity to improve his performance on the field.

Cousins is the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings and attributes his success in the NFL in part to his vastly improved “brain performance.”

“Certainly, my on-field performance can correlate with my Neurocore work to some degree,” Cousins said. “I’ve found being able to maximize the mental and emotional side to athletics, in turn, helps to maximize the physical.”

“I see it as the next frontier,” Cousins said of training your brain. “If you look at weightlifting in the 1950s and ’60s, not every football player was lifting weights; they weren’t sure about the benefit it would give you. Now everybody has a strength coach; everyone lifts weights. I see brain training as being that next thing, the next frontier.”

Here are four reasons why Kirk Cousins believes brain performance training can help all athletes capitalize on their physical training.

1. Brain Training Helps You Make Quick Decisions

Whether it’s blocking a lay-up, kicking the perfect goal, or running a football play, part of being an athlete involves the ability to make crucial decisions in the blink of an eye. Being able to control the rate at which your mind functions is beneficial because it grants you the ability to stay calm in high-stress situations. This means your brain activity and heart rate will be similar in competition as it is in practice, and you’ll be more likely to make calm, smart decisions at anytime — at the beginning of the game or in those clinch, overtime final seconds.

2. Brain Training Helps You React and Adapt

Following the ability to make quick decisions, is the ability react to opponent strategies. Because competitors come from all different backgrounds, it can be difficult to predict their next move. With a calm, rational mind, you’ll be able to adapt to whatever they throw at you, without panicking or having an unexpected strategy impact how you play.

“Without taking control of your mind, you’re subjecting your athletic ability to be reliant upon things you can’t control — like what you’re opponent is going to throw your way,” Cousins said. “A stronger mental game is key to not getting shaken up and being able to focus on your talents. A strong brain helps you to have a clear mind and to respond creatively on the field in tough situations.”

2. Brain Training Helps You React and Adapt

Following the ability to make quick decisions, is the ability react to opponent strategies. Because competitors come from all different backgrounds, it can be difficult to predict their next move. With a calm, rational mind, you’ll be able to adapt to whatever they throw at you, without panicking or having an unexpected strategy impact how you play.

“Without taking control of your mind, you’re subjecting your athletic ability to be reliant upon things you can’t control — like what you’re opponent is going to throw your way,” Cousins said. “A stronger mental game is key to not getting shaken up and being able to focus on your talents. A strong brain helps you to have a clear mind and to respond creatively on the field in tough situations.”

3. Brain Training May Improve Your Consistency

Both the ability to make quick decisions and the ability to react to your opponents’ strategies contribute to your overall success rate. With each ball served, every jump landed and each pass completed, you may gain confidence and develop a personal strategy, better mental game, and better results. This makes for a more reliable athlete and dependable teammate.

“It’s like building muscle memory for your brain, which, in turn, helps build muscle memory for your physical game to improve your overall performance,” Cousins said.

4. Brain Training Gets You Ahead of the Game

As Cousins described, in the 1950s, there were very few football players who incorporated a regular lifting routine into their athletic schedules. Today, all elite athletes are lifting at least four days a week on top of strenuous cardiovascular training to make sure they are at the top of their game. Similarly, he predicts in the next 15-20 years every athlete will be participating in brain training with companies like Neurocore to improve their mental stamina. Athletes who take advantage of services like this now may be ahead of their competitors who wait until they are of elite status to partake in mental training.

“If you’re not doing things to advance yourself and you’re simply staying where you are, someone else — your competition — is doing things to advance themselves,” Cousins said.

4. Brain Training Gets You Ahead of the Game

As Cousins described, in the 1950s, there were very few football players who incorporated a regular lifting routine into their athletic schedules. Today, all elite athletes are lifting at least four days a week on top of strenuous cardiovascular training to make sure they are at the top of their game. Similarly, he predicts in the next 15-20 years every athlete will be participating in brain training with companies like Neurocore to improve their mental stamina. Athletes who take advantage of services like this now may be ahead of their competitors who wait until they are of elite status to partake in mental training.

“If you’re not doing things to advance yourself and you’re simply staying where you are, someone else — your competition — is doing things to advance themselves,” Cousins said.

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Neurocore makes no claims that it can cure any conditions, including any conditions referenced on its website or in print materials, including ADHD, anxiety, autism, depression, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines, headaches, stress, sleep disorders, Alzheimer’s and dementia.  If you take prescription medications for any of these conditions, you should consult with your doctor before discontinuing use of such medications.