What Is Peak Performance Training?
Elite students, professionals, and athletes usually have similar levels of education, training, and conditioning as their peers, yet they are able to achieve better results. So what separates the elite from the average? It’s often due to differences in level of concentration, endurance, efficiency, and composure under pressure. Peak Performance Neurofeedback Training provides the tools to strengthen healthy brainwave patterns in order to help transform average performance into elite performance. The ultimate goal is to train the brain to become more efficient, which leads to improved accuracy on tasks, resistance to stress, and overall resiliency. We use Neurofeedback to help achieve these goals.
The Neuros Centre in Barcelona has a great introduction video to Neurofeedback:
How Does Peak Performance Training Work?
Peak Performance Neurofeedback Training is often used to help optimize performance for those who are looking to maximize their brain’s functioning. For this type of brainwave training, it is common to target areas of the brain related to emotional regulation as a means of helping individuals deal with stress, such as those that may occur in the workplace, classroom, or at an athletic event. In addition, brain waves related to focus and working memory are often addressed. Individuals are ultimately taught to regulate their brainwaves in order to achieve a “flow state,” which helps individuals block out all other distractions in order to become immersed in the task at hand. As such, Peak Performance Training can be very beneficial for athletes, professionals, musicians, and students.
A great analogy for understanding Peak Performance Neurofeedback is the gym. A workout is an opportunity to improve our strength, endurance, and cardio through specific exercises. Exercise allows to improve our fitness and help us achieve our goals. Neurofeedback in the context of peak performance training works the same way. It is an opportunity to practice being calm, alert, focused, and relaxed, which improves our mental fitness.
Who is a good Candidate for Peak Performance Training?
Peak Performance Neurofeedback Training does not involve one generalized protocol. A clinical and QEEG assessment should be conducted in order to determine the most effective type of brainwave training. In addition, the client is able to decide which areas they would like to focus on. These areas depend on the needs of the client and may include the desire to:
Reduce performance anxiety (e.g. exams, presentations, client interactions, etc.).
Improve focus and concentration.
Become resilient to stress in the the workplace or educational setting.
Reach a “flow state” in order to block out distractions during periods of increased focus required in projects, tasks, and athletic events.
Who Uses Peak PERFORMANCE training?
Currently, there are a number of organizations that have been documented* to utilize Peak-Performance Neurofeedback, such as:
NASA Astronaut Training Centre.
Formula 1 Racing teams.
Professional Football Clubs such as AC Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea.
Olympic Training Centers (American and Norwegian).
Canadian National Olympic Sports Centers.
Taiwanese Olympic Team.
Singapore Olympic Sports Council.
US Special Forces and Navy Seals Training.
United States Army's Centers for Enhanced Performance.
Wingate Institute of Sports & Physical Education, Israel.
Human Performance Institute, Australian Special Forces.
West Point Military Academy.
*List adapted from Brainworks Neurotherapy
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)
1) Will Peak Performance Training work for me?
It depends on your current situation and training goals. After a detailed assessment and clinical interview, we can decide if you are a good candidate for peak performance training. We would then move forward and design a personalized program to help you achieve your training goals. Moreover, EEG-based peak performance training is something not well known and may benefit clients who has tried other methods to optimize their performance.
2) How many sessions will it take for changes to occur?
This depends on your training goals. Generally, clients observe changes between the 5th and 10th session. We have to remember that Peak Performance Training is a learning experience. Everyone learns at a different pace and have different criteria for change.
3) How many sessions must I complete in total?
Clients usually complete 20-40 sessions though more may be required depending on their training goals. Certain peak performance clients (executives, athletes, and students without a diagnosis) may meet their goals at the end of 20 sessions. After specific training goals are achieved, new training goals can be defined, and a new training program can be created.
4) Can I continue to take medication while completing Peak Performance Training?
Yes. We only ask that the trainee stops taking medication during assessments as it does affect their EEG recordings.
5) Is Peak Performance Training covered by insurance or extended health care benefits?
Psychological assessments and reassessments are covered by most insurance companies. Peak Performance Training may be covered by certain insurance companies for certain conditions. Insurance companies may cover treatments plans approved by a clinical psychologist. Please inquire with your extended health care benefits company and we will do our best to work with them.
6) Are there an risks/side effects associated with Peak Performance Training?
Peak Performance Training is based on a Neurofeedback Training protocols. This is a non-invasive treatment modality that focuses on teaching individuals to regulate their electrical brainwave activity. No research to date has reported any negative side-effects from Neurofeedback training. Neurofeedback training programs are designed so that only positive, optimal brainwave patterns are reinforced. No negative or unwanted brainwave patterns can be created in this way.
7) Can Peak Performance Training help me if I do have a diagnosed condition?
Neurofeedback and Biofeedback techniques are also used in Peak Performance Training settings to help improve an individual’s level of calm, focus, relax, and alert. If you have a diagnosed condition, the benefits of Peak Performance Training may help a diagnosed conditioned. If you have a diagnosed condition, Peak Performance Training may be a great option after you complete your initial treatment plan.
8) What age ranges are the best candidates for Peak Performance Training?
Peak Performance Training relies on the concept of neuroplasticity, which states that the brain can alter its function and reorganize itself in response to learning and other events. Neuroplasticity tends to decrease as you age, so younger clients tend to progress the quickest. This is why it is easier to learn a language or skill early in life as opposed to when you are older. The most common age ranges for training are 8-24 years old, although some clients start as young as six years old. Older clients (55 years of age and over) may need a few more sessions to achieve certain training goals, but can still greatly benefit from Peak Performance Training.
9) Does Peak Performance Training hurt?
Peak Performance Training is very similar to Neurofeedback training it it’s set up. Electrodes are placed on to the head and ears in a comfortable manner. Clients may feel fatigued at the end of a session because Peak Performance Training is essentially a workout for your brain. The client is practicing self-regulation, and they may feel tired after a session.
10) What does a client do during a Peak Performance training session?
Each of our clients is paired with a clinician who works with the client on a one-on-one basis. After a baseline recording of the trainee’s brainwave patterns is taken, the client begins training their focus and concentration. Complex EEG software is used to give the client feedback when they are relaxed, alert, and focused. The client gets multiple chances to practice achieving this state. After each round, the mentor gives the client feedback and explains their scores related to their brainwave patterns. This is reviewed at the end of the session with the parents as well.
Please note that services are not covered under OHIP, but may be covered by insurance or extended health care benefits.