Pro Testifies On Brain TrainingWritten By: David Burns
Dr. Burns and his knowledge of the brain along with his tests and exercises that he performs should, without a doubt, be implemented into youth programs in all sports.
Hi my name is Nasyir Rodriguez and I play for the North Sound Seawolves soccer club and I would like to share with you my experience with Dr. David Burns.
With this being my ﬁrst concussion, meeting with Dr. Burns was a completely new experience for me. At ﬁrst I thought it would just be a normal “doctor” visit, I thought he would just check my eyes, ask me how bad my head was hurting and then tell me to rest and check back with him at a later date. My thoughts were wrong. There were a number of objective tests that gave a complete understanding of how bad my concussion was. One test that I did was called the ImPACT test which measures verbal and visual memory, processing speed and reaction time.
Unfortunately for me I never did the test before which put me at a disadvantage because there were no previous results for me to compare my new ones with. This is why taking the ImPACT test is VERY IMPORTANT. Taking the test is a vital thing to do because it serves as a BASELINE which you can compare results to see before your concussion and after, which will give you an exact idea of the severity of your concussion.
My scores after doing the test were way below what it should of been, my lowest score was 10%. My eyes were a mess as well, I could not track a moving light smoothly and after doing it for too long I lost sight for a couple of seconds. After gathering all the results from my test, along with Dr. Burns vast amount of knowledge, he came up with the best solutions and exercises to get me back onto the field.
After doing exercises that Dr. Burns gave me to practice at home, I was amazed to see the difference it made when I went back and did the test over. I was able to track moving lights without any problems. My balance scores had gone up and my coordination was better.
What I liked about Dr. Burns approach was that we started in his ofﬁce where there was no stress factors and he broke everything down as simple as he could so that I could really understand what was going on with my head. Then as I improved we took it to the ﬁeld and made it more related to the sport I play. Which in my case is soccer. The main thing that intrigued me was how he joined in the soccer concepts into the brain training.
His exercises ranged from spinning while running, counting backwards and doing a ﬁgure 8 with your hand all at the same time. Spinning and then trapping a speciﬁc color ball while doing math. These exercises may not be what’s going to happen on a soccer ﬁeld but think of it like this. For me as a midﬁelder I constantly have to think of more than one thing at a time, I have to look over my shoulder to see whose behind me, while the ball is being played to me, where to go so the defender can’t get the ball and then where do I pass the ball next. All of these decision have to be made in seconds, which is why you can understand the importance of the exercises that Dr. Burns is doing.
Just like any other technique or skill you want to perfect, you practice it. These were just a few of the exercises that I got a chance to do, however there were a list of creative exercises that he mentioned that I could not wait to try. With these exercises some of the things that will improve is vision on the ﬁeld, coordination and timing, quicker thinking which results in quicker reactions. All skills that are fundamental to becoming better players.
Dr. Burns and his knowledge of the brain along with his tests and exercises that he performs should, without a doubt, be implemented into youth programs in all sports. My time with him was a deﬁnite eye opener and I am sure it would have the same effect on anyone who tries it.
I strongly recommend that time be set for Dr Burns to work with the children and get them involved with his program from as young as possible to give them the edge over other players that could only wish to get this kind of opportunity. This could be what makes AVERAGE players GOOD players and GOOD players GREAT players.