What if soccer players were spaceships scoring with, defending, and fighting over a hexagonal ball on your computer screen? That unlikely scenario is the reality in Football IntelliGym, a computer-based training program that is designed to improve the cognitive skills associated with playing soccer.
According to IntelliGym CEO Danny Dankner, the training software improves players’ “game IQ” — in other words, their ability to make fast decisions under pressure. Researchers at VU University in Amsterdam studied IntelliGym’s effectiveness by running the training program on Dutch football academies PSV Eindhoven and AZ Alkmaar. In the study, 52 players aged 14-17 used the IntelliGym twice a week for 30 minutes over a 10-week period, and it was found that the experimental group — the group that used IntelliGym — showed a 30 percent improvement in on-field performance.