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Computer program claims to increase elite hockey players’ situational awareness

I don't know if I believe the hype or not, but the Globe and Mail's Roy MacGregor penned a column about a computer program that sports teams are now employing to help develop what fighter pilots call "situational awareness"--because the program was originally designed to help Israeli fighter pilots improve their abilities to anticipate and react in combat:

Gordie Howe once said he’d figured out what made The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, such a special hockey player.

“I sometimes think that if you part Wayne’s hair,” Mr. Howe joked, “you’ll find another eye.”

Jacob Greenshpan believes he has found the secret to that mythical “third eye” that only the greatest of players seem to possess: an ability to see the ice almost without looking, a gift of anticipating what will happen before it happens.

Interestingly, Dr. Greenshpan himself has never played the game, and he lives in a country that he says has only one ice surface. But no matter – he knows what can make all hockey players better, and at the same time help protect them from injury: Train them like Israeli fighter pilots.

Dr. Greenshpan is the brains behind Hockey IntelliGym, a computer software training tool that is finding increasing acceptance in hockey circles, from USA Hockey’s successful development program to several Canadian major junior teams, including the Ottawa 67s.

“Hockey sense is always said to be something players either do have or don’t have,” says 67s coach Chris Byrne. “What they are saying is that through simulation you can improve your reaction.”

The rest of MacGregor's article is nothing less than fascinating, but many of Hockey IntelliGym's promises are so vast in scope that it's hard to believe.

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Comments

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Pretty fascinating stuff. And here’s a video that shows how USA Hockey is using it. It’s worth 9-1/2 minutes of your time.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 12/27/13 at 12:47 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Pretty fascinating stuff. And here’s a video that shows how USA Hockey is using it. It’s worth 9-1/2 minutes of your time.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 12/27/13 at 11:47 AM ET

Saved to my YouTube Hockey folder.  Thanks for the great find, OTC.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 12/27/13 at 12:51 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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