NIKE SPARQ Sensory Training
I was recently invited to participate in a media day invitation to test out the “SPARQ Sensory Performance” at TOSH – The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Murray, Utah. TOSH is part of Intermountain Health Care. If you haven’t heard of SPARQ, it is Nike’s groundbreaking sensory performance training technology. This type of training is available at four locations in the United States catering to athletes in a number of professional sports including Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the National Basketball Association. Nike chose to partner with TOSH and the “Athletic Republic Performance Sports Training” group to bring this technological training to athletes in Utah and the surrounding area.
SPARQ training assists athletes to increase their abilities through visual sense. It is a comprehensive program that maximizes an athlete’s abilities through visual sense by using tools that assess, analyze, and ultimately improve an athlete’s sensory performance. These tools include the Nike SPARQ Sensory Station. This is an interactive touch screen that tests the athlete’s current abilities. This information is then used to produce a tailor-made program for each athlete. Next, the athlete is exposed to the Nike Sensory Training Station and the Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobe Eyewear. “The goal is to enhance the athlete’s ability to pick up subtle motion cues, increase visual information processing and improve on proper timing of motion, which will lead to overall athletic performance.”
I must admit, I was a bit skeptical when I heard about his program. I went through the testing and didn’t know what to expect. I consider myself and average athlete and thought that the improvements I would make would be minimal. After the initial touch screen test, I put on the Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobe glasses. Essentially, the glasses mimic a strobe light. While that is going on, they threw tennis balls at me, which I would then catch. When I was instructed to take the glasses off, they threw the tennis balls at me once more. I can honestly say that the balls seemed to be moving in slow motion. It was easy to catch. When the increased the velocity of the throw, it still seemed slow and I was able to react accordingly. I can honestly say that my “abilities” to catch were enhanced, and this was after only twenty minutes! I can’t imagine what regular training would do to my overall abilities, but I have a feeling it would be dramatic.
Those of you that are interested in this revolutionary training can call TOSH – Performance Sports Training at (801) 314-2996.
What did I think? It was simply incredible and something that I would recommend to any athlete.