Enhanced Sports Performance

There has been a tremendous amount of research demonstrating that thought content affects physiology (Suinn, 1993; Mahoney & Meyers, 1990), as well as the athletes’ focus of concentration. Angry thoughts and images, like thoughts and images associated with worry and anxiety, affect heart rate, muscle tension, and respiration rate. The changes in muscle tension levels and respiration rate can have a direct and very negative effect on the athlete’s fine motor coordination and timing.

Even emotionally neutral thoughts lead to physiological changes that interfere with performance and the athlete's ability to make smooth transitions.

The relationship between focus of concentration and emotional arousal is a reciprocal one (Mahoney & Meyers, 1990). This means that by teaching and/or helping athletes attend to neutral, task relevant cues, you can slow breathing and reduce muscle tension, allowing them to get back in the flow of the game. There is a wonderful article, “Getting into the Optimal Performance State,” written by Robert Nideffer, PhD that is well worth the read. You will find the article at:


Distraction, anger, overload or anxiety can thwart all efforts at physical performance. When confidence is low and/or when the athlete loses control over emotions, however, it becomes impossible to get into the zone because transitions are interfered with.

Sports performance can be enhanced through techniques for improving visual concentration. And some problems with athletic ability may be linked to depth perception.

Visual skills are important to sports performance. For example, depth perception is the ability to quickly and accurately judge the distance and speed of objects; peripheral vision affords the ability to see objects in the periphery while concentrating on a fixed point; visual concentration is defined as the ability to stay focused on a visual task for increased awareness and fewer distractions.

The Brain Breakthrough Approach:

How Color Therapy Can Help

At Brain Breakthrough we make use of an instrument called the Visual Field Charter. This tool is used to measure the visual field using different colors to determine the brain’s ability to process sensory and perceptual information. The Field of Vision is the ability of a person’s eye and brain to perceive things peripherally while looking straight ahead. While peripheral vision is defined as a more global ability of the brain to accept light in a less detailed way, the field of vision indicates the more specific amount of light that the eye can admit and the brain can translate into visual information or perceptions.

The way to measure the extent of a person’s visual field is to determine, while the subject is focused on a central point, at what range outside that point the individual begins to detect color, specifically white, blue, red or green. The measurement of this range of color recognition can be enormously helpful in determining the overall function of the brain and thereby the subject’s mental, emotional and physical well being. Just as a basal thermometer gages the body temperature, which information can be translated into a determining factor of a person’s physical condition, the visual field measurements can be used as an indicator of emotional and physical stress.

Research indicates that the size of our visual field can change relative to emotional states; history or presence of emotional trauma; and history or presence of physical trauma. Once we determine the light perception deficit we determine the proper frequency the client will utilize for one or more 20 session series. This approach has been found to be very successful in enhancing reading and writing skills, focus, attention and concentration. We will often suggest other adjunctive approaches to expand the field of vision. If there are emotional or physical components in addition to the visual deficit, we utilize our other modalities to address them.

With Light Stimulation Therapy, we at Brain Breakthrough use color frequencies to expand the visual field of awareness improving depth perception, peripheral vision and visual concentration.

How HeartMath emWave™ Therapy Can Help

Research has identified a psycho-physiological state in which the interactions between the heart, brain and nervous systems become synchronised. This state of synchronisation can be observed, measured and trained using award-winning bio-feedback technology. This measurable state provides players with increased coordination, improved motor skills and timing, improved decision-making, sensitivity and clarity on and off the playing field.

The tools and techniques taught in this program train athletes how to regulate and shift their psycho-physiological state in the moment and then extend it for prolonged periods. Get a competitive edge using the HeartMath emWave Program.

You will learn how to:

• Increase your awareness of how your thoughts and emotions affect your body and the impact that can have on your performance

• Get in the zone for optimal performance intentionally and at anytime

• Eliminate negative and inefficient emotional undercurrents

• Effectively manage anxiety, pressure and excitability

• Increase confidence and self control

• Regain energy for optimal performance

• Improve your focus during stressful moments whether it be during training or competition

• Effectively recover so you optimize energy and sustain performance

Results are:

Measurable – you can watch your heart rhythms change in real time and monitor your progress

Sustained – you continue to improve your ability to get in the ‘zone’ and deal with the challenges of training and competition.

HeartMath techniques are being used by athletes and teams across the world in sports as diverse as ice hockey and equestrianism to professional golfers and footballers to Olympic swimmers, divers and canoeists.

How does the HeartMath emWave™ Program work?

One of the primary focuses of the program is to teach you how to control your emotions. If you control your emotions you will improve your performance.

Jimmy Roberts of NBC Sports once asked Tiger Woods: “In the closing holes, as we watch the conclusion of this championship today, what should we look out for? Is there something that is going to be a particularly dicey situation for the competitors today?”

Tiger Woods’ response: “No, not really, but I think the guys who are really controlling their emotions are going to win; the guy who is controlling his emotions is going to win.”

Reaching the next level of athletic performance depends upon the ability to regulate emotions and manage stress. Thoughts and emotions have a profound effect on the heart’s rhythm and this rhythm impacts performance. Under pressure, stressful thoughts and emotions cause the heart’s rhythms to become irregular and jagged. This erratic pattern inhibits brain function and diminishes the visual field, reduces reaction speed and impairs decision making.

Conversely, a positive mental and emotional state, not unlike being in the zone, allows the rhythms to work together (rather than against one another) which facilitates brain function, improves mental focus and physical coordination and ultimately the body can perform more effectively.

You can purchase an emWave™ Program from your Brain Breakthrough practitioner.