To increase cognitive load on an athlete we must create situational uncertainty and keep them on the limit for as long as possible without a chance for them to fully adapt to the cognitive demands. In sports, there are moments when athletes need to be fully focused and the athlete who cracks first is the first to lose.
By applying modes, such as Time to Exhaustion Mode, we can manipulate cognitive tasks to create a mental pressure cooker environment and force athletes to maintain a fully focused state. In this pressure situation, one slow response, and it's all over with.
Time to Exhaustion Mode first gets the athlete to perform a 3-minute test phase to find their best average reaction time from minutes 1, 2, or 3. Once this test phase is complete Soma NPT will display the athlete's target reaction time which is what the athlete must try to maintain. The athlete is also shown their threshold reaction time. This is the slowest reaction time allowed. If just ONE response is slower than the threshold reaction time the task is terminated.
How does Time to Exhaustion Mode (TTE) work?
Once the time to exhaustion mode has been applied to a cognitive task, the athlete will perform a 3-minute test phase to find their best average reaction time.
Once this test phase is complete Soma NPT will display the athletes,
Target Reaction Time
This is the target reaction time the athlete must try to maintain for as long as possible.
Threshold Reaction Time
This is the slowest reaction time before the task will terminate.
Very quickly you can see that athletes will learn to adapt to this intense high-pressure environment and fully concentrate in order to perform at a consistently high level to avoid the task terminating early. After all, nobody likes to be a loser.
In the screenshots below you can see the first time someone performed a reaction time task in this special mode they lasted less than a minute whereas the next time they performed they lasted nearly three minutes.
TTE mode, like other specialised training modes, can be layered into your athlete's cognitive training depending on their needs for that mesocycle. Here we have an effective way of re-creating pressure for athletes without needing to exert them physically. We can build resilience and train vigilance deliberately and separately from competition or games. In sum, athletes can continue to improve their mental toughness while avoiding physical overtraining.