MSU graduate school helps student-athletes improve sensory performance
Murray State student-athletes train year-round to be the best they can be. In 2022, improving strength and conditioning isn’t the only way riders can improve their chosen sport.
One area that can be sharpened is sensory work. For the first time, Racer student-athletes have access to a sensory enhancement pathway that ultimately controls their athletic movements and responsiveness. It is a fact that most of the brain is dedicated to sensory processing. By developing a person’s feelings, it can affect the quality of sports performance.
For the second time since 2020, Chris Andrews, president of the Bernell Corporation and a 2007 graduate of Murray State, has brought groundbreaking technology to the Racers.
“Doctors estimate that up to 80 percent of perception in sports comes from the eyes,” Andrews said. “Unfortunately, for most athletes, vision is an area they pay very little attention to. It’s a common misconception that 20/20 visual acuity means you have perfect vision. In reality, it just means you’re average. that most people I don’t realize that visual skills can be trained as well as strength and conditioning.’
Originally developed by Nike, the Senaptec Sensory Station is the world’s only complete sensory performance assessment and learning solution with comprehensive cloud-based data and analytics. One of the key features is the program’s ability to compare evaluation results with more than 50,000 athletes in dozens of sports around the world. With this information, an athlete’s visual and sensorimotor skills can be specifically measured against other athletes in their sport, position and level to learn their strengths and weaknesses based on their peers. They may even compare themselves to other positions in their sport or to higher levels such as professional athletes. Once they understand how they compare to other athletes, they can focus on training for their specific weaknesses.
“Just as we improve our intelligence by absorbing new information into our brains, we can train our brains with visual exercises to make them more efficient. An athlete can improve anticipation, reaction, balance and many other skills,” added Andrews. “Strong visual skills are often part of the ‘intangible’ skill set possessed by elite athletes that helps them rise to the top of their sport and outperform their peers.”
There are currently 15 training modules with frequent additions.
Senaptec Sensory Station – Training modules
- Hand-eye coordination – Find and engage targets quickly and accurately.
- go or don’t go – Requires quick decision-making and rapid movements.
- Dynamic Vision – Peripheral vision awareness and rapid eye movement.
- Perception Training – Data collection and brain memory.
- Inhibition of the reaction – Quick decision making and muscle response.
- Spatial Memory – Improve memory skills.
- Spatial Sequence – Consistent memory training.
- Track multiple objects – Avoid collisions with multiple objects moving across the screen.
- Depth Perception – Make judgments about depth.
- Near Far Shift – Train your eye muscles to quickly switch focus and recognize details.
- Visual Search – Search and retrieval tasks are essential for navigating most sports and real-world activities.
- pace – Teaching audio/visual correlation and time waiting.
- Cancellation form – Assessment of vision problems.
- Visual-motor integration – Neuromotor training.
- Divided attention – Combining a central cognitive task with a peripheral motor task.
“My wife, Vanessa, and I are proud to be graduates of Murray State University,” Andrews said. “Murray will always hold a special place in our hearts, and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to give back to the university today. My hope is that this system will not only help our student-athletes develop their visual skills, but also identify vision problems that often go unnoticed but, when detected, can be taught and lead to dramatic improvements both in sports and and in the classroom. The donation of this system would not be possible without the support and generosity of the management team. at Senaptec, most notably CEO Joe Bingold and National Sales Director Dr. Jeff Klosterman. Dr. Klosterman has been instrumental in this process and has generously donated his time to help train the staff at Murray and is committed to ensuring that we take full advantage. I would also like to thank Dr. Canaan Montgomery of West End Eye Care in Paducah who assisted with on-site training and system setup for athletic training. g staff and offered his services as sports vision advisor to the athletic department.’