FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – While on-campus workouts have resumed for student-athletes, there’s still work they can be doing from home.

“It’s just as important to train neck up as it is neck down,” said Dr. Scott Burkhart, a neuropsychologist with Children’s Health Andrews Institute. He said getting better at sports requires more than just physical performance.

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“Most people don’t realize that a basketball point guard dribbling a ball up a court has 140 different decisions they could make in that sequence of play,” he explained.

Cognitive training can help boost your child’s work on the field by improving attention, decision making and focus.

Dr. Burkhart shared the following tips for how athletes can focus on cognitive skills while social distancing:

1. Mindfulness and breathing exercises to improve focus.

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2. Reviewing film can have athletes process their attention, decision making, and alternative options.

3. Simulating game experiences as much as possible allows the athlete to create a better cognitive map and improve preparation.

4. Noting eye movement patterns can serve as a tool for how quickly and accurately an athlete finds the right target.

a. After establishing the pattern, the athlete can be coached to move more efficiently.

b. The athlete can also be coached to hold their gaze on the target longer.

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