Neurofeedback for Peak Archery Performance : Case Studies Eleanor Fong

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1 Neurofeedback for Peak Archery Performance : Case Studies Eleanor Fong

2 About me NUS graduate: Bachelor of Social Science Neurofeedback therapist at Spectrum Learning Hypnotherapist Air rifle shooter Archer

3 Archery Sport Involves multiple steps: raise bow, pre-draw, draw, anchor, aim, release, follow through Timing and coordination is crucial for good shot execution Limited amount of time for shooting Being calm and focused is key

4 Archery Sport: Main Challenges External distractions: wind condition, noises, visual distractions etc Internal distractions: Inner mind chatters, emotions etc Overcoming the challenges will improve performance

5 Hypothesis Sensory Processing (touch, temperature etc) Multisensory integration External distractions (visual and auditory) Internal distractions (Thoughts) Neurofeedback training (increase alpha at parietal) improve archery performance

6 Protocol Protocol: Pz alpha (music feedback) Shaping across sessions Main instruction given: Experiment around different methods to make the music play more smoothly

7 Procedure Three seasoned archers chosen One simulated competition before nfb trainings and on after nfb trainings Trained them to carry out nfb training themselves 24 sessions within 1.5 months Close cooperation between archers and me

8 Case study: Archer A Tried to focus on breathing to calm down. A lot of passing thoughts. Music choppy S1 S4/S5 Realized focusing on breathing gathers attention from thoughts and calms her down during nfb and archery trainings Integrate nfb learnings with archery with success: Focus on breathing and looking at one spot to calm thoughts down S7 S10 Integrate nfb learnings with archery competition and achieved great results: Bronze in Individual Knock-out S24 Across sesions: Lesser thoughts, able to control attention to breathing and music better

9 Case study: Archer A Able to calm down to a point she can hear her heartbeat during nfb, archery trainings and NUS competition Came to the realization that focused attention calms thoughts down and allow muscle memory to take over more easily Can choose to tune out background noise Benefited from nfb trainings Pre-nfb comp: 490/600, Post nfb comp: 500/600 Were able to control attention to keep calm

10 Case study: Archer B Busy experimenting (eg: talking to herself, imagine shooting, thinking how to make music play etc) what makes the music play more smoothly and occasional peeping at the eeg Felt S10 was the breakthrough: Started to let go of thoughts and not experimenting so much and the alpha starts to increase S1 S9 S10 NUS competition last in ranking Doubted herself S15 Integrated NFB learnings into archery trainings: Pace was good, shots were powerful S24 Across sesions: generally lesser thoughts, increased ability to control attention to look at a spot to calm down

11 Case study: Archer B Very conscious during nfb trainings Sets high expectations on herself Nfb training trends are very good Have difficulty integrating nfb learnings into archery competitions Coaching helped her to relax and enter calm state during archery but unable to sustain Benefited from nfb trainings: understood what letting go means Pz alpha-theta may help her better Pre-nfb comp: 433/600, Post nfb comp: 364/600 Had expectation to perform which interfere with the shots

12 Case study: Archer C Doing visualisation of shooting during nfb trainings Stopped doing visualisation and just let go of all thoughts and then music plays more smoothly. Realized that focused attention (attention on the music) helps to make music plays more smoothly. Tried to sustain that state throughout session. S1 S3 S4 S8 Able to tune out music at the background and focus completely on shooting during archery training on same day before S8 S15 Shot cycle increased from 15s to 19s past 15s of nfb helped to increase her focus while she aims S20 S24 Day after S20: Integrated nfb learnings (think of music playing smoothly before comp, focused attention on the target face) into comp and attained significant results: got 8 out of 64 in Individual knockout, broke 4 personal best, achieved 2 goals she set for herself since Oct 2015 Across sessions: Increased ability to focus attention to music in nfb and focus on shot during archery

13 Case study: Archer C Has been able to focus prior to nfb and nfb helped to improve focus tremendously Alpha state helps her deal very extremely cold temperature Realized that the key to a good shot is focused attention as this allows her to let the muscle memory take over easily Benefitted greatly from nfb trainings Wanted to continue with nfb trainings after the project Pre-nfb comp: 663/720, Post nfb comp: 664/720 Was on medication that affects ability to focus

14 Summary Archers come to self-realization that focused attention on shooting is the way to improve their shots By focusing attention and ignoring distractions (external and internal) by increasing alpha at parietal Increased ability to access muscle memory and execute good shots Neurofeedback trainings improve archery performance

15 Thank You!

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