CONCENTRATION GRID APP FOR ATHLETES/COACHES
Concentration grids (sometimes called focus grids) have been used by coaches and athletes as a mental skills training exercise for decades.
A concentration grid is a grid of randomly arranged numbers (for example, a 10×10 grid of numbers 1 to 100) typically presented on a printed page. The objective of the exercise is to find (and mark with pen) in sequence each of the numbers in the grid. Performance is timed as the athlete is challenged to complete the grid as quickly as possible. Success calls for sustained focus and concentration from start to finish. Highly conditioned athletes can complete a concentration grid efficiently without losing focus. (Newcomers will very likely struggle to maintain focus at first.)
The concentration grid has been a long-time favorite of baseball/softball coaches. For many elite baseball/softball teams, the grid exercise – which calls for a level of focus that a successful pitcher or batter will sustain during an at bat – is an early season tradition. Many ballplayers have been handed a concentration grid sheet by their coach to complete while timed with a stopwatch.
With the new Concentration Grid app coaches can take a page out of their mental skills conditioning program.
The Concentration Grid app allows athletes to exercise their focus/concentration using their Apple or Android mobile devices (or any computer with internet access). The Concentration Grid app presents a grid on the touch screen display of the mobile device (no paper, no pen). The user interface for gameplay is straightforward (intended to resemble a paper sheet). Progress through the grid during gameplay is clearly indicated (numbers turn from black to red as properly selected in sequence). The grid completion time is automatically recorded and displayed on the screen (no stopwatch needed).
The Concentration Grid app offers flexibility and convenience not possible a traditional paper sheets – and saves paper. The app can generate concentration grids in a variety of sizes/shapes in a range from 3 to 14 columns/rows. The nature of the gameplay challenge can be varied by changing the size and shape of the grid – by selecting the number of rows and columns. A grid with fewer rows/columns (for example, a 5×5 grid) will present a test of dexterity as well as focus (for a shorter period of time); a grid with more rows/columns (for example, a 12×12 grid) will require more sustained attention/time to complete. (Grids may have from 3 to 14 rows/columns but do not have to be equal in dimension.)
The app was developed for use by coaches, athletes, students, teachers, parents, children, adults – by anyone who wants to challenge/practice their ability to focus.
The “standard” concentration grid is the 10×10 size, which a practiced grid master will be able to complete in about 3 minutes (but may take a newcomer over 10 minutes to complete). Practiced grid masters might complete a 3×3 grid in 3 seconds, a 5×5 grid in under 12 seconds, a 6×6 grid in about 25 seconds and a 7×7 grid in under 45 seconds. Sustained attention/effort and practice are rewarded with improved performance and reduced completion times on any grid size.
Athletes can challenge themselves against target benchmark gridtimes, against their own personal best gridtimes or in head-to-head competition with teammates and other athletes/students.
The grid exercise can be practiced in complete quiet or with background noise/distractions intended to simulate “game day” conditions. The Concentration Grid app is perfect for use during travel/road trips (bus rides), during breaks at practices/rain delays and as a pre-game ritual – wherever and whenever mobile device access is allowed. The app can be used for training during the season or in the off season.
The app will display the completed grid with the grid time (elapsed time to complete the grid) and a GRID_ID data record on the mobile device screen at the end of gameplay. A screenshot with the completed grid (showing the gridtime and GRID_ID) can saved on the mobile device. Information from gameplay is stored in a data/history file on the mobile device (the file can be cleared/deleted) and can be used to track performance/improvement. The app also includes a share feature; athletes can share personal best gridtimes/screenshots with friends and teammates using email/text messaging and on social media (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and at the Concentration Grid blog).
The Concentration Grid app is available (for 99 cents) on the Apple Store for iOS devices (e.g. iPhone, iPad, iPod) and at the Google Play store for Android devices. Free gameplay and further information is available over the web at www.concentrationgrid.com