Hockey Sense Is a Vital Skill for Both Performance and Safety

Hockey sense was once thought of something a player had or didn’t.

It’s a vital skill for both performance and safety, but only 10 years ago training the brain was the stuff of dreams. Thankfully that’s changed.

Enter Hockey IntelliGym, a gamified software program that focuses on improving hockey I.Q. through 30-minute computer training sessions, ideally used 2 times a week during the season for on-ice results after about 6 to 8 weeks.

The cognitive training program was originally developed by psychologists, computer engineers, and game theorists to help military fighter pilots develop precise instincts. It was then adapted for hockey via a collaboration between USA Hockey and the original team of scientists and researchers.

It has been shown to improve on hockey sense and game understanding with initial results within five to six weeks. It is used by players off the ice as part of an overall training regimen and is currently used by more than 30,000 hockey players aged 10 to 15, including by the U.S. National U17 and U18 Teams. Intelligym is used by entire teams, as well as individual players who are interesting in boosting their hockey sense as part of their overall training strategy. Within one season, there is an average 30% increase in stats such as goals, assists, completed passes, and reduced giveaways within one season. 

“As a former NHL player and Stanley Cup recipient, I got to be on the ice with the best players in the game of hockey. I learned one main thing from being around these great hockey players and that was you must have a great mind to excel at the highest level,” said Stanley Cup Winner Shjon Podein.

“When I first took on coaching a high school team, I wanted to provide the players with the best training possible and give them the extra edge that it takes to help win games. For this, I’ve implemented the Hockey IntelliGym into our regular training regimen. So far, our guys are completely into it and I personally know that the numbers on the ice will follow,” he said.

In addition to improved on-ice performance, IntelliGym has also shown to decrease the potential for concussion and other on-ice head injuries. Last year, a study out of the University of Delaware and presented at the Mayo Clinic Ice Hockey Concussion Summit found that players who used IntelliGym saw a significant reduction in the number and magnitude of head impacts, compared to a control group who used a placebo program. Another study conducted by USA Hockey and Applied Cognitive Engineering, presented at the IIHF International Youth Coaching Symposium during the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Helsinki, Finland, showed a reduction of 15% in on-ice injuries and a 28% reduction in concussions for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

For more information or to sign up for the Hockey Intelligym visit

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