For the Air Force Academy men’s ice hockey team, winning has become a tradition. The Falcons captured the Atlantic Hockey tournament title in four out of five seasons from 2006-11, earning a berth in the NCAA tournament in each of those years.
So it may come as a bit of a surprise that, entering the 2011-12 season, Air Force made a change and added a new training component. Looking to help its players become more mentally aware of their surroundings on the ice, the coaching staff began incorporating The Hockey IntelliGym into their plans.
“Hockey sense is one of the toughest things for coaches to teach,” said Falcons assistant coach Mike Corbett. “But with the IntelliGym, we saw our players’ mental confidence improve. The training has led to better decision-making in the difficult, high-traffic areas of the ice where the game is so often won and lost.”
Resembling a video game with cognitive scenarios similar to what players will experience on the ice, the IntelliGym trains the decision-making skills necessary to stay one step ahead of the puck and the game.
And since the program was adapted from technology originally designed to help train fighter pilots, the IntelliGym made perfect sense for the cadets at the Air Force Academy.
In February, the Falcons captured their second-ever Atlantic Hockey regular-season crown, adding to their long-standing winning tradition.