By Dr. Rayma Ditson-Sommer
It all started with Klete Keller winning a bronze in the 400-meter freestyle in the Sydney 2000 Olympics and with Gary Hall Jr. and Anthony Ervin winning medal after medal until the 50-meter freestyle competition with the greatest swimmers in the world. As the gun went off, Gary and Anthony pulled side-by-side until they set a record winning pace and an upset in a tie for the gold medal.
As the Olympics ended, Rayma Ditson-Sommer, PhD, and her Arizona Mental Training Center office in Phoenix had coached athletes to a nine-medal standings through the use of neurointegration and neurotechnology light and sound. All training was centered on timing with mental training protocols being included in all aspects of the daily workouts.
The outstanding difference in the approach to the 2000 Olympics training regimen of these medal winners was the daily use of Sportslink light and sound programs based on sports research for each program written by Dr. Ditson-Sommer.
The overall goal was the development of a relaxation response in each athlete with the addition of synchrony training. In this way the door to the zone was easily accessed and the key to this door found through synchrony.
Historically, athletes have used light and sound in various ways. This year’s Olympic athletes used light and sound programs as a daily ‘way of life’ for travel, sleep, focus and performance readiness.
Daily usage involved training sessions in visualization and imagery with an individual protocol for each athlete. GSR biofeedback was used to record data on each individual, giving them reference points for improvement. By the end of the summer, before they left for Sydney, most of these athletes could keep their mental states at a synchronous level ready for competition for as long as thirty minutes at a session. This assured them that they could reach this same level when they wished.
The edge to performance came when the entire group of 13 athletes sent to the Olympics from the Arizona Mental Training Center arrived in Sydney with absolutely no jet lag and ready to begin training five days before any other teams. This was accomplished by prior charting of ultradian rhythms, finding the trough and peak periods for each athlete. This information was used to designate a certain protocol using the Sportslink light and sound unit session before the trough time began. This practice allowed them to function at peak performance whenever necessary, taking into account differing time zones, performance times, and designated rest and sleep times in their schedules.
Light and sound programs have been written for many years, some to provide entertainment, some to stimulate certain mental states. The programs used at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games by different athletes ushered in the first use of this modality with exciting results. Hopefully this will open the door to more specified program development with the individual user in mind. Such ‘prescriptive’ approaches can do nothing but supplement the positive utilization of this outstanding modality through the use of safe, reliable program development in the future.
Presumably this is a never-ending story. The athletes are already setting their sights on Athens 2004 and are setting up training times in the Arizona Center. NBA team members are using the Sportslink to improve free throw shooting and NFL players are sitting in their locker rooms before a game stimulating synchronous states of mind for better performances.
Light and sound is a treasure, a gift, and a miracle all rolled into one. The same program that brings an athlete a gold medal can enable a child to get better grades. Programs that allow relaxation and rest to the sleepless and anxious can provide mental comfort to children suffering from attachment disorders and post traumatic stress disorders. The greatness of this modality must be recognized and preserved through careful and meaningful use to ensure its forward movement to a complete acceptance by all.
The SportsLink light and sound machine is alive and well and is a partner for many who strive for peak performance in their daily lives.
“The SportsLink helped me study for tests. I was able to retain more information in less time.” ~Alex, age 16
Dr. Rayma Ditson-Sommer is the Director of OPNET, Inc., in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to her responsibilities at the Arizona Mental Training Center, Rayma continues her years of working with learning disabled and hyperactive children. Dr. Ditson-Sommer is a pioneer in the AVS field and can be contacted at: The Arizona Mental Training Center, 3220 E. Mennezona Circle, Phoenix, AZ 85018; Phone: 602-912-9533; Fax: 602-912-9533; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.