Reaching the peak performance in competition is something athletes constantly struggle with. Many companies, doctors, research labs, and sports teams invest a lot of time and money developing new strategies and technologies to improve athletes’ performance—ranging from new training techniques to researching failure, success and how the human body works to perform sports-specific tasks. After a year of experience and research on the subject, Sebastian Harmsen states “to this day, there hasn’t been a perfect formula for success in sports, but some athletes are pretty darn close!”
As part of his research process, Harmsen spoke with professional athletes, sports psychologists, nutritionists and physiotherapists exploring brain fitness and how the mind influences physical endurance. He learned that an athlete at a high level of performance is already incredibly fit and does not necessarily need to get physically stronger to perform at their best, but that they need to improve their mental strength. Competitions are won not only with physical strength but also mental strength and focus. Thus, Harmsen chose to focus his thesis on design interventions to monitor and improve mental fitness in athletes.
The Rehab Glove
Technological advancements have helped medicine come a long way, but those that deal with physical rehabilitation still have their shortcomings. Athletes suffering from injuries tend to take high risks—some continue playing despite their injuries, and others are forced to retire earlier than anticipated. The Rehab Glove is a piece of advanced technology that could be applied to the entire body to treat many different types of injuries and even possibly prevent them from occurring in the future.
Stealth Mind is designed to monitor and report on an athlete’s daily activity, improvements and accomplishments. Once it is defined whether the athlete wants to use the headset or not, they will get to the main screen which displays data specific to their performance. They can select the type of exercises they need to strengthen different parts of their mind. This is very important because every person is different. Therefore, our minds evolve and we need to strengthen different parts at varying stages in our lives. This application is like a gym, but for the brain.
Zenith means peak, as in peak performance, which requires extreme focus to achieve success. The first product created is a headset wearable called Zenith. Using EEG technology, Sebastian created a wearable with sensors to read athletes’ brain waves while they are training. It can track the athlete’s state of mind during competition, training, relaxation and sleep. It analyzes the brain throughout these phases to see where the athlete needs to make improvements.
The Zenith App
The Zenith App is designed to track a person’s brain waves while working out. This app will let the athlete know how their brain is performing under moments of stress, training, relaxation, and sleep, to name a few. The app also recommends brain exercises that will help the athlete enhance the neuro-cognition in a specific part of their brain that they are not utilizing to its full potential.
To learn more about Sebastian’s Harmsen work, take a look at his projects in more detail on sebastianharmsen.com. To contact him about work opportunities, or to simply congratulate him on a job well done, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.