Prior to his senior year at Michigan State, Kirk Cousins knew if he wanted to be an NFL quarterback, he needed to take his game to the next level. To make that happen, Cousins teamed up with Neurocore, a company based in lower Michigan that specializes in optimizing brain performance to help people of all ages achieve their personal and professional goals. With Neurocore’s help and brain-mapping technology, Cousins discovered his brain activity tended to spike in high-stress situations because his mind primarily functioned on the presence of adrenaline. He then worked on techniques to calm his brain activity to improve his performance on the field.
After a standout senior season at MSU, Cousins was drafted as a fourth round pick for the Washington Redskins. Cousins continued to work with Neurocore in the NFL, but as he describes, he “got away from it a bit in 2014.” It was also in 2014 Cousins was ruled an inactive quarterback and benched for the conclusion of his third professional season. In 2015, Cousins recommitted himself to his mental training in an effort to boost his on-field performance. By fall of 2015, Cousins had proven himself to his coaching staff and was named the starting QB for the Redskins.
“Certainly, my on-field performance can correlate with my Neurocore work to some degree,” Cousins said. “I’ve found being able to maximize the mental and emotional side to athletics, in turn, helps to maximize the physical.”
Cousins also received the honor of being named the NFL's “Most Improved Player” last year, a title he attributes in part to his vastly improved “brain performance.”
"I see it as the next frontier," Cousins said of training your brain. "If you look at weightlifting in the 1950s and '60s, not every football player was lifting weights; they weren't sure about the benefit it would give you. Now everybody has a strength coach; everyone lifts weights. I see brain training as being that next thing, the next frontier."
Without further ado, here is a list of five reasons why Kirk Cousins believes brain performance training can help all athletes capitalize on their physical training.
1. Brain Training Helps You Make Quick Decisions
Whether it's blocking a lay-up, kicking the perfect goal or running a football play, part of being an athlete involves the ability to make crucial decisions at the blink of an eye. Being able to control the rate at which your mind functions is beneficial because it grants you the ability to stay calm in high-stress situations. This means your brain activity and heart rate will be similar in competition as it is in practice, and you’ll be more likely to make calm, smart decisions at any time — at the beginning of the game or in those clinch, overtime final seconds.