Off the Ice. But Never Off Guard.

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"The mind is the most powerful tool that we have…We can develop our minds just like we can develop our skating…and that’s what this program allows us to do."

Former U18 National Team Coach, Kurt Kleinendorst

The NDTP (National Teams Development Program) has been base camp for the development and fine tuning of the Hockey IntelliGym®. A similar program has already proven effective on the basketball court (The Basketball IntelliGym®), with players' stats improving 30% on average and coaches thrilled with the significant competitive edge these results have given their teams. In most cases, by the time the player has completed his 8-10 training sessions, the results are clearly seen in the arena.

Hockey, as all coaches are aware, is a much faster and far more aggressive sport, where split-second decisions not only influence scoring, but can also prevent devastating injuries to valuable players. Knowing hockey cold - or, as former US U18 National Team Coach Kleinendorst put it, "embracing the game" – is the secret to becoming a truly competitive player.

The beta results with the NTDP had coaches cheering: In January 2009, the U17 team won the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, beating teams from Canada, Russia, Sweden and the Czech Republic. That same year, the U18 team increased their win ratio from 29% to 70% after only ten IntelliGym® training sessions. This measured increase is much higher than any wins ratio increase in the NTDP's history. Eventually, the team won the IIHF World Under-18 Championship – skating all the way to a gold medal.

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We’ve given young players the ultimate assist!

Hockey sense. Elusive and unteachable– either your player was born with it, or he was not... until NOW. And yet – it is an indispensable skill if one wishes to succeed on the ice.

The leadership of USA Hockey, responsible for the game’s continuous evolution in the U.S. and for the development of its best players, was thrilled to discover that perhaps hockey sense can be improved, with the proper technology to cultivate players’ minds.

Enter Applied Cognitive Engineering (ACE), the world’s leader in training minds to literally grow new instincts. This team of cognitive psychologists, computer engineers, and game theorists originally developed their award-winning software to train precise instincts in military fighter pilots. ACE’s program, demilitarized and rebranded as the IntelliGym™, was then adapted to the game of basketball, with stunned coaches reporting a 30% increase in player stats and team wins.

USA Hockey then approached ACE about adapting the technology once more, integrating its cutting edge brain science expertise with the hockey know-how provided by USA Hockey. If anyone could actively cultivate hockey sense, it would be this team of experts. And guess what? We did.

Tap into the science of winning.

Two years, two million dollars, and dozens of experts since face-off, we can say with confidence that the IntelliGym™ program is set to help coaches and their players dominate the ice, play safer, and gain an indisputable strategic edge. The National teams achieved unprecedented success with players in the '92, '93 and '94 birth years finishing first in 9 of their last 12 international tournaments.

 

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The NTDP U17 team was the first to adopt the Hockey IntelliGym™. After 10 training sessions, on average, results started showing on the ice. The graph on the left compares total wins ratio prior to completing 10 training sessions, and after that point in time.
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The NTDP U18 team adopted the Hockey IntelliGym™ after the U17 did. After 10 training sessions per player, on average, results started showing on the ice. The graph on the left compares total wins ratio prior to completing 10 training sessions, and after that point in time.
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The NTDP is a very advanced program. It works with the athletes on every angle of their game. From nutrition to tactics, and from power skating to physical training. The facilities are great, and the coaching staff is top of the line. So it is only natural to expect the teams to improve along the year. And indeed they do. However, 2009-2010 was different. The graph on the left compares the improvement during the season of NTDP teams from previous years to that of the 2009-10 U18 team.

The Hockey IntelliGym: Tech Specs

  • Coaches receive attendance and progress reports, if so desired, of players training at home
  • Results on the ice are expected after 10-15 training sessions on average
  • The application is a downloadable program. Each user has personal user name and password
  • Runs on any personal computer with Internet connection
  • Runs on all common operating systems (Windows, Mac)
  • Training session duration: up to 30 minutes
  • Recommended regimen: Two training sessions per week
  • Training data is sent online to the IntelliGym servers, which then personalize the training program to each individual based on his strengths, weaknesses, and progress
“We fully expect the Hockey IntelliGym to become part of the regular training regimen for players at all age levels and abilities.”

Jim Johannson, Assistant Executive Director of Hockey Operations for USA Hockey

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National Teams