In physical training, we try and maintain a certain work rate. This may be, exercise intensity, duration, bar speed, or a certain heart rate zone. We are always trying to optimize an athlete's work rate and physical output in order to be sure we are managing load correctly. The same principles can be applied to cognitive training to maximize an athlete's cognitive work rate and minimize deviations in their cognitive performance.
Soma Analytics gives coaches the ability to monitor minute-on-minute (MoM) cognitive measures so you can objectively measure your athlete's consistency. If you find your athlete's performance is deteriorating over the duration of the task, you may want to apply deviating pacing mode to your atheltes cognitive tasks.
Deviating pacing mode is designed to track variations in performance and give the athlete visual feedback when cognitive performance deteriorates. This feedback allows athletes to constantly push their cognitive limits. If the athlete can maintain a variation of 1-3%, they will not receive visual feedback. The duration of the feedback will depend on how much variation has occurred between their responses. This means athletes cannot get too relaxed and comfortable with their current cognitive processing speed. They must become comfortable with being uncomfortable and continue to push beyond the edge of their capabilities.
What is Variation?
The coefficient of variation (CV) is a statistical measure of the relative dispersion of data points in a data series around the mean. Variation is used to measure the degree of variation between testing trials in an individual athlete’s repeated measurements. This cognitive data point is the most important data point to identify changes in cognitive performance because variation tells us how consistent an athlete is. The lower the variation the more consistent the athlete is and the better their cognitive performance.
In the variation example below, you can see one athlete has high levels of variation minute on minute, while the other athlete has lower variation over the 20m cognitive task.
High Variation MoM
Low Variation MoM
To summarise, variation gives you insights into real changes in cognitive performance and how consistent the athlete is performing.
Variation is used to measure the degree of variation between responses
Deviating Pacing Mode
Deviating Pacing Mode (DPM) is designed to track variations in performance and give visual feedback when performance deteriorates.
What does DPM stand for?
Deviating Pacing Mode
When to use DPM mode
When you want your athlete to maintain high levels of cognitive processing with minimal deviations in performance.