Posts in High Performance
Peak performance and stress

Stress damages the prospect of peak performance? Or does it?.  As we will see - it depends.  Conventional wisdom suggests that we need some stress to perform but the devil is in the detail. What do we mean by a little stress? It's something that people say but in practical terms its hard to pin down the consequences.  We see some thrive and some struggle when presented with the same situation. Can biofeedback help?

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Looking for the best biofeedback devices?

The NeXus systems offer in our view the best biofeedback multimodal/multichannel solutions. They are for ideal for high performance measurement, analysis and feedback of human behaviour and for professional use in health and performance applications.  Having said that, what is judged the "best" biofeedback product will always ultimately be shaped by the nature of the application.

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Biofeedback starter system for athletes

Biofeedback tools and techniques are applied by elite athletes in many sports. Athletes care about performance and these days understand that their success doesn't depend on strength alone.  At the peak of physical strength, the difference can be made by the mental focus of an athlete, especially when performing under high pressure.  Here is our take on a biofeedback starter system

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What's the point of HRV biofeedback?

Heart rate variability (HRV) or the study of heart rhythms, ieems a simple measure of physiological state and yet it gives us a powerful indicator of our inner emotional states and level of stress. With a BVP or EXG sensor and employing biofeedback techniques you have available a non-invasive tool to get your ANS back on track.  This may be as helpful to the athlete seeking to manage the stress of striving for peak performance as it is to the man in the street dealing with anxiety and depression.

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Biometric gloves monitor the stress of F1 racing

According to MIT's Technology Review, F1 drivers are getting biometric gloves that monitor the stress of racing.  Pit crews will be able to keep a watchful eye on drivers thanks to new sensors at their fingertips. Drivers will wear gloves that include a pulse oximetry sensor to measure heart rate and blood oxygen. It's a nice example of how physiological measurement is now seen as key to acheiving peak performance across all major sports.

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Apatheia - A state to strive for

What is the one thing I wish I had been taught at school?  Probably it would be the art of not panicking.  It's a skill that eludes many if not most of us.  The obstacles that we face from day to day make us emotional and emotions can be hard to deal with.  Have you noticed that stuff always happens - the events of life take us by surprise and that which seemed so permanent just yesterday evaporates and reminds us of the impermanence of it all.

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It's not just the NeXus hardware

A NeXus system combined with BioTrace+ software provides a fast and reliable system for the research or clinical professional to get to grips with their application. Once upon a time if we wanted to measure a number of physiological signals at the same time it was often a challenge.  You would need knowledge of instrumentation, signal processing and measurement principles as well as know-how about the physiological signals you wanted to capture. 

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How to perform neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is a training technique with the ability to promote growth and change at the cellular level in the brain.  But how is it done? It has proven effective in a wide range of applications but it is not a "cure all".  It is effective in the right hands with the right equipment - "right" meaning competent and confident in a number of disciplines that are evolving and changing as new knowledge emerges. Technology such as the NeXus systems from Mind Media are making this tool set more widely available.

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Finding a state of 'flow'

Biofeedback approaches are one way of finding the edge that leads to peak performance. These are techniques that acknowledge and take advantage of the mind-body connection and use this to great effect.  Science is catching on to "embodied cognition" and how the link between mind and body is far from being a master-slave relationship.  Perhaps you don't need this? - maybe high performance comes naturally and easily to you. Oh well - never mind - Quentin Crisp once remarked that “if at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style”

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Peak performance can be learned

Leading athletes and sports people must often confront the unrelenting challenge to perform at their best week after week, combined with the impossible expectations of others. The result is of course high stress which is typically not optional. The key to mastery is not motivation or a self-help book.  It is about SELF though - Self awareness, Self control and Self management.  These three qualities you can gain with the help of biofeedback. 

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Getting to grips with Biofeedback for Sports

What sometimes makes it difficult to get started in biofeeback is the fact that you must acquire knowledge from several different disciplines - including physiology, psychophysiology, instrumentation, signal processing and learning theory. We are offering a new course on the "Practical Application of Biofeedback for Peak Performance" to be held in central London in May.  Biofeedback is an approach that has grown firm roots in sports and athletics training but getting a clear picture of how to get started and actually use it is not easy.  We think we can help.

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Seeking the winning edge with biofeedback

Biofeedback can help us find the line which separates winning from losing - a line that has often been described as being as fine as a razor’s edge.  You and I know that peak performance is about both mind and body. We strive for hundreds of hours for that one moment. We have have sacrificed and polished our technique but it's not enough.  Biofeedback and physiological monitoring can provide vital insight into our mind-body state. It can give us the leverage to truly discover peak performance and learn to make this our natural state. Sound good? I thought so...

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Stress and competition

Undoubtably there are athletes seeking peak performance that have all the technical skills to be world-class but they are underperforming. Something holds them back as competition looms. Multichannel physiological monitoring with a NeXus system can help us spot how high performers respond to pressure - and what holds them back. We can identify possible strategies for biofeedback training or some other cognitive-behavioural strategy to achieve a performance breakthrough.

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Biofeedback for athletes - embed the learning

Biofeedback can assist athletes to reach optimal performance states. This is the third article in this series about the process.  During the learning stages the athlete practices achieving high performance states with the help of multiple physiological sensors and feedback from the monitoring computer.  After committing to the practice the athlete enters the third stage of learning in which the skill being practiced has developed to the degree that he or she need not consciously think about how to perform the skill.

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Helping athletes with biofeedback

Biofeedback is a great tool for athletes but it's not a silver bullet.  It uses equipment to help the athlete learn to seek and hold high performance states at will. It's a learning process that takes time.  We discussed the Cognitive Stage of biofeedback learning In yesterday's article.  Now we discuss a second stage of learning - the Associative Stage in which the athlete begins to learn to associate internal awareness with external feedback.

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