Perceptual-cognitive Training with the Neurotracker 3D-MOT to Improve Performance in Three Different Sports
The purpose of this study was to analyse the effectiveness of a new training programme to improve sports performance using the Neurotracker 3D-MOT instrument. This device uses 3D technology and is designed to work on different perceptive-cognitive skills of elite athletes following a progression principle which involves visual, postural and technical elements. A quasi-experimental pre-post test design was utilised. A total of 37 water polo, taekwondo and tennis athletes took part in the study, which was carried out at the High Performance Centre (CAR) in Sant Cugat del Vallès, Spain. The following visual skills were evaluated in the first phase: static and dynamic visual acuity, visual contrast sensitivity, saccadic fixations at distance and near, response time to peripheral stimulus, stereopsis and selective focused attention. Furthermore, coaches and athletes used a visual analogical scaled questionnaire to analyse the athletes’ visual concentration, perception speed and peripheral vision in order to determine their level of performance. The second phase consisted of 26 training sessions with the Neurotracker 3D-MOT, performed in the following way: 14 seated, 6 standing up and 6 in an integrated position where balance was necessary. At the same time, athletes and their coaches completed the questionnaire to evaluate their subjective improvement. Finally, the pre-test exams were repeated. The results of the study indicated that the training programme led to a statistically significant improvement in most visual skills (visual acuity, stereopsis, contrast sensitivity and saccadic movements), as well as some transference to sports performance.