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Exploring sport coaching and psychology
Exploring sport coaching and psychology

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7 Examining ‘Tools to warm up the mind’

Since innovation is entirely new to you, we will evaluate the way this innovation is described and then look for further evidence with the help of Michael Johnson.

Activity 5 Evaluating innovation 14

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Read Tools to warm up the mind [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] again and identify:

  • i.What is the claimed innovation?
  • ii.Does anything help support its credibility?
  • iii.Is there any key information missing that would help evaluate this innovation further?


  • i.The article talks about a programme (the meaning of this ambiguous word is not clear) that delivers ‘pulses’ to the mind before exercise. It is claimed that this ‘upgrades’ the brain’s hardware (a strange, computer-like choice of words) and athletes can go faster and further. Hardware is completely misleading, since it refers to the grey fleshy bits of the brain. The ‘software’ of the brain would be its thoughts, emotions, etc..
  • ii.The mention of the military and medical sectors is attempting to suggest it may have some credibility beyond sport. The bold claim of helping people walk again is perhaps purposefully used to attract attention, much like using the term ‘upgrade’ when talking about the brain.
  • iii.It is not clear what the pulses consist of (e.g. sound, magnetism, heat, microwaves), nor what systems in the body are made more efficient, and therefore how it operates (muscular, cardiovascular, nervous systems). As a reader, one is left uncertain whether this development is about helping human learning (e.g. learning to walk), processing (e.g. thinking) or performance (e.g. walking faster)?

You have started to evaluate this, but you can now explore a little deeper.