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IntelliGym Helps U.S. Teams Find Success On International Ice By ALEX CLARK I t's a new year and USA Hockey is in the middle of another exciting international hockey season. Along with speed, skill, and teamwork, U.S. teams will rely on hockey sense to help them achieve success on the ice. And with each passing year, more and more U.S. players rely on The Hockey IntelliGym to help improve their hockey IQ. This comes as no surprise to USA Hockey officials. After all, the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams have been using the IntelliGym since 2009. It was with the assistance of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., that the program designers converted technology that had originally been designed to help train fighter pilots into a software-based cognitive trainer that helped hockey players enhance on-ice awareness. Since that time, thousands of players, ages 10 and up, have added the program to their off-ice training regimen, including ADM Model Association Peewee teams; men's and women's college teams at Northeastern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and more; and Canadian junior teams such as the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League. 34 JANUARY. 2014 The Hockey IntelliGym has also played a role in the training of many of the athletes who will be representing the red, white and blue this winter. Since many of the members of the U.S. National Junior T eam played at USA Hockey's NTDP, they were exposed to two years of training with the cognitive tool. In addition, several members of the U.S. Women's National T eam added the IntelliGym to their training regimen in the build up to next month's Olympic Winter Games. This past fall, USA Hockey added The Hockey IntelliGym to the off-ice requirements for the members of their U.S. Men's and Women's National University Teams that competed at the Winter World University Games, Dec. 10-21, in Trentino, Italy. "We wanted to include the IntelliGym for the training of these college players leading up to the games," said Ashley Bevan, USA Hockey's senior director of Adult Hockey. "It allowed them to improve greatly on their hockey awareness and decision making as they prepared for high-level competition." For Bevan and the staffs of the U.S. Men's and Women's National University Teams, hockey sense is a key component for USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM success in short international tournaments, particularly when players have not been playing together for an entire season. The ability to remain calm in high-pressure scenarios is an added benefit of improved hockey IQ. Another feature of the IntelliGym enjoyed by the teams' coaches is the ability to monitor the players' program usage and improvement. The IntelliGym also allows users to enter their on-ice statistics to track improvement over an entire season. "The IntelliGym is extremely user friendly and allows coaches, team leaders and even parents to follow the progress of their players," Bevan said. Alex Clark is a manager of marketing for USA Hockey. ONLINE For more information on The Hockey IntelliGym and how it can enhance hockey sense in just 10 sessions, visit USAHockeyIntelliGym.com.