Archive for Sports Focus Training – Page 2

Part One: An “E-Interview with Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D.

Part One: An “E-Interview with Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D.


Editors Note: Dr. Rayma Ditson-Sommer has done more to promote the positive benefits of light and sound stimulation than most of us combined. From Anthony Ervin (Olympic Swimming Gold & Silver Medalist) and Nate Chittick (St. Loius Rams, 1999 Super Bowl Champions) to Lee Trevino (Senior PGA Golfer) and Kim Hayashi (BMX Bicycle Junior WorldChampion), Dr. Sommer has repeatedly proven individuals can improve their performance levels through light and sound with biofeedback.

Dr. Sommer has spent many years as an international lecturer, having degrees in Music Therapy, Psychology, Specialized Education and Child Development. She attended Southwestern Medical School with an internship at the Menninger Clinic in biofeedback and psychiatry. And to quote Rayma: “I continue my lifetime of interest in children with a constant burning passion for light and sound and a deep reverence for those who have crossed my path, teaching me many lessons in life I needed to learn. (It is) better that people know me as a researcher, developer and teacher of modalities, used to bring change for a better life, for those who find their way in my direction.”

I am just one of many who refer to Dr. Sommer as my mentor. And I thank the late, great Rob Robinson of InnerQuest for introducing us. I am proud to call Rayma my friend, and honored for her taking the time to participate in this interview. All of you will gain from reading this interview, and for those of you wanting to contact Dr. Sommer directly, you can reach her at: or visit


Q: When did you personally start using light and sound stimulation, what instrument did you use and what were your first thoughts about applying it to learning disabled children?

A: “I personally began to study light and sound after the death of my best friend, my husband in 1989. He had been working with light and sound with Rob Robinson of InnerQuest, Inc., and SMR research with Dr. Joel Lubar of the University of Tennessee. When I was filing away their research papers I became enthralled with the possibilities offered by this modality.

I immediately thought of ways I could use AVS for brain wave training to enhance focus, decrease impulsive behavior and improve logic. It seemed the perfect way to ‘wake up’ the leftbrain hemisphere in learning disorder individuals who were almost totally right brained. It was exciting and provided me a road to travel other than grief and loneliness. I remembered a quote from Alfred Whitehead that states: “Ideas won’t keep, something must be done about them.”

This spurred me on and I established the Mastering Alternative Learning Techniques Laboratory at Arizona State University. The MALT Lab was continued and at that time I wrote programs for Synetic Systems, later joining the InnerQuest staff as Director of Research and Development. I then spent many exciting months uncovering ways to help people learn. We carried on eight (8) pilot studies with exciting results and implications for further study.

After leaving InnerQuest I developed a private practice in Phoenix which has evolved into a training center for Olympians, elite athletes, golf pros and many children needing various approaches in learning to improve their quality of life.”

Q: How often do you personally use light and sound? What is your favorite session? Do you incorporate other modalities, such as biofeedback or tactile stimulation, during your sessions?

A: “I use light and sound whenever I have difficulties being creative or focused. I also use it for calmness when I have heard one too many stories concerning hurtful behavior relating to one of the children. I use music to therapeutically enhance my session. I have found that music excites the agents for brain endorphins known as peptides. They promote a positive attitude towards learning by activating the flow of associative memories that travel across the Corpus Collosum embracing synchrony waves for better learning balance. I also use it to help me read and retain information at a faster rate. The type of music used should relate to the intended outcome. For example, alertness relates to Bach, Vivaldi or Paganini. Deep concentration and focus are better influenced through Mozart or Brahms. Modern music, such as Enya or New Age, are best for deep rest and sleep.

My favorite unit is, of course, the second generation Focus Trainer by SportsLink. I put many hundreds of research hours into this new unit and developed it for areas of need in sports, learning, emotionality, rest and relaxation. There are many more high technology based units developed by engineers and those who devote themselves to the improvement of the field. My basic goal was to develop a unit that was scientifically based for learning, easy to use and safe.

The Focus Trainer was actually developed for active use with the clear glasses providing an opportunity for enhanced visual learning.

My overall goals were to:

A. Increase Productivity

B. Improve Mental Balance

C. Develop and Maintain Wellness

D. Achieve Calmness

E. Accelerate Learning

As I stated previously I use the Focus Trainer, light and sound for a specific purpose, usually session 7 or 1, for mental balance and alertness concerning creativity and enhanced development. Reaching the ‘zone’ requires brain synchrony and a relaxation response according to Benson’s research. I find myself training for this state often.

In our training center we use many other therapeutic modalities with light and sound. Although varied, the synergism between the modalities has been very successful. These include:

A. Galvanic Skin Response biofeedback for tracking the autonomic nervous system.

B. Vestibular stimulation to energize the reticular activating system promoting a learned response.

C. Auditory process training stemming from the Tomatis methods.

D. The Pfeiffer Clinic Nutritional Protocol which excludes foods containing large amounts of copper such as chocolate or food dyes. Dairy and wheat are also restricted in some cases.”

End of Part One

Copyright: Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D., author and AVS Journal, Michael Landgraf, publisher (2006) Granada Hills, CA. All rights reserved.





By Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D. 

The word CONFIDENCE is highly important in any sport. Becoming a winning athlete, student or responsible person requires extreme self-confidence and belief in strong abilities in your life. To remind you of words to use to help you remain CONFIDENT, write three words next to each letter below. Think of words that describe a positive approach to goals in life:


C-concentration, coordination, connected

O-observant, opportunity

N-nutrition, nerve control, no negativity

F-focus, fearless, factual

I-intuitive, in control

D-decisive, daring, damage control

E-energy, evading bad shots, edge on game

N-notice of wind, weather,

C-caring, chipping, control, challenge

E-endurance, empathy, excitement

When you have finished, pick one word that best describes how confident you feel. Circle each outstanding word. Read through the remaining words and select the best one to describe how confident you will be in your game. You have now selected words to mentally keep you positive and confident. Write the words and carry them with you glancing atthem when necessary, you will be amazed at the positive boost to your confidence. You will find that you will actually accomplish actions that pertain to the words you selected.


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SwimPro™ Programs for Fitness Training

SwimPro™ Programs for Fitness Training

By Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D.


Strength Enhancement: Session 5 or 10 (GREEN Lens)

Strength comes from training with a mental calmness, aware state. This calm state allows the muscles freedom to react quickly in a manner they have been trained. Stronger muscles can result from lower lactic acid levels plus increased growth hormone secretion. Both of these are a result of the brain functioning at the Delta level for a period of time. Using the SwimPro during a workout will stimulate the brain to send down needed chemicals for the physical competition of tasks.

Speed: Sessions 2 or 1 (RED Lens)

Physical workouts are necessary to improve speed for any sport. A positive mental outlook is also necessary if improvement in performance is desired. When speed is essential, the brain works through a sudden release factor and shifts into a larger production of very high amplitude of Alpha waves. At the same time, the left brain must become relaxed and the right brain takes over the function desired. In fact, the left hemisphere of the brain must almost disengage itself and the visually spatial oriented right hemisphere be in charge. By using the SwimPro on the designated sessions, the required mind-body focus connectionwill function to improve performance.

Endurance: Sessions 1 or 9 (ORANGE Lens)

Mental energy and reasoning power are responsible for endurance. To establish a good neural connection between the mind and body a “survival message” is needed to start the flow of adrenaline. This happens when the body focuses electricalenergy away from the neo-cortex as it sends a message to the sympathetic nervous system. Cognitive function must be improved at this time and requires some relaxation technique or program to acquire a Relaxation Response. By using Session 8,with oran this response can be developed and overall physical function is improved.

Mental and physical endurance are necessary in many sports. Distance swimmers, marathon runners, triathletes, golfers and bicyclers are a few of the competitors who rely on their bodies having strength throughout the event. Muscles will function better and longer if there is some amount of relaxation available for the parasympathetic dominance of the body during these times.

Muscle Mass Development: Session 10 (ORANGE Lens)

Use this session for 10 minutes followed by 10 minutes of guided positive visualization. Visually draw a picture of the physical goals desired. Watch a video of thegoal you desire while using this session. Another technique includes using 8 for deep to enhance the secretion of GHG (growth hormone).

Neural pathways are important for development and strengthening connective pathways to facilitate movement, coordination and relaxed focus. All lead to strength enhancement, muscle mass growth by developing a neural response through relaxation. This state will also insure tendon guard releases for better coordination, muscle growth, focus and performance.

Overall Health Factors: Session 10, 6, 8 (BLUE & VIOLET Lens)

Optimal results occur when any of these programs are sued to optimize health through relaxation and stress management. The programs support the parasympathetic nervous system function as the non-adrenaline level is lowered allowing theimmune system better function. The heart and lungs function at a more healthy level since the lowering of the stress factor facilitates better cardiac health and lessens the impact of the 1500 bodily changes that occur when a person is experiencing stress.

Research reports that many disease entities are a result of stressors of daily life. Add to that high stress experienced by athletes as they strive to perform at the highest level. These people benefit greatly from learning to relax and function without compromising.

Focus Training for Peak Performance

Physiological Basis for Performance

<!–[if !supportLists]–>A.     <!–[endif]–>Brain

<!–[if !supportLists]–>B.     <!–[endif]–>Hemispheres

<!–[if !supportLists]–>C.     <!–[endif]–>Brain waves

<!–[if !supportLists]–>D.    <!–[endif]–>Loves of the brain

<!–[if !supportLists]–>E.     <!–[endif]–>Bran waves

<!–[if !supportLists]–>F.     <!–[endif]–>Autonomic Nervous System

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Sympathetic System

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>Parasympathetic System

<!–[if !supportLists]–>G.     <!–[endif]–>Reticular Activating System

<!–[if !supportLists]–>H.    <!–[endif]–>Visual Processing System

Performance inhibitors

<!–[if !supportLists]–>A.    <!–[endif]–>Stress Reactions

<!–[if !supportLists]–>B.    <!–[endif]–>Learning Styles

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Visual Learner

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>Auditory Learner

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>Kinesthetic Learner

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>Whole Brain Learner

<!–[if !supportLists]–>C.    <!–[endif]–>Anxiety

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Pre-performance Anxiety

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>Panic Attack

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>Detachment Disorder

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>Grief

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5.    <!–[endif]–>Over-all Anxiety

<!–[if !supportLists]–>D.    <!–[endif]–>Attachment Disorders

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Abuse

<!–[if !supportLists]–>a.  <!–[endif]–>Physical

<!–[if !supportLists]–>b.  <!–[endif]–>Emotional

<!–[if !supportLists]–>c.  <!–[endif]–>Sexual

<!–[if !supportLists]–>E.    <!–[endif]–>Auditory Processing Disorder

<!–[if !supportLists]–>F.    <!–[endif]–>Visual Processing Disorder

<!–[if !supportLists]–>G.    <!–[endif]–>Dissociative Identity Disorder

<!–[if !supportLists]–>H.   <!–[endif]–>Borderline Personality Disorder

Performance Enhancement

<!–[if !supportLists]–>A.    <!–[endif]–>Relaxation Response

<!–[if !supportLists]–>B.    <!–[endif]–>Stressor Control

<!–[if !supportLists]–>C.    <!–[endif]–>Calmness Anchor

<!–[if !supportLists]–>D.    <!–[endif]–>Memory

<!–[if !supportLists]–>E.    <!–[endif]–>Practice vs. Competition Performance

 Specific Protocols for Performance Enhancement

<!–[if !supportLists]–>A.    <!–[endif]–>Understanding Nerurotechnology

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Audio-Visual Stimulation

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>Vestibular Stimulation

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>Auditory Stimulation

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>Visual Perceptual Training

<!–[if !supportLists]–>B.    <!–[endif]–>Specific Protocols for Mental Coaching

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Who used what

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>Parents with challenges

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>Children with learning disabilities

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>Sports personnel

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5.    <!–[endif]–>Elite athletes

<!–[if !supportLists]–>C.    <!–[endif]–>Becoming a Mental Trainer

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Golf

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>Baseball

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>Soccer

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>Basketball

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5.    <!–[endif]–>Football

<!–[if !supportLists]–>6.    <!–[endif]–>Figure Skating

<!–[if !supportLists]–>7.    <!–[endif]–>Swimming

<!–[if !supportLists]–>8.    <!–[endif]–>BMX Riders

<!–[if !supportLists]–>9.    <!–[endif]–>Under Achievement

<!–[if !supportLists]–>10. <!–[endif]–>CEO Challengers

Personal Confidence Building for Mental Coaches

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Opportunity Balance Development

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>Self-Understanding

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>Goal Setting

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>Self-Gifts

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5.    <!–[endif]–>Giving


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 Copyright: Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D., 2012. All rights reserved. Posted with permission.

Positive Replacement Exercise for Negative Experiences

Positive Replacement Exercise for Negative Experiences

By Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D.

After a particularly negative experience it is important to reset your mental outlook with positive, nurturing thoughts.  Visualize a kind, caring coach or a loving parent. Hear them tell you that you shouldn’t feel badly, you should forgive yourself and realize that everyone can always do better.

Then set your SwimPro to Session 3 yellow lens, after funning this session repeat it reading a script to yourself that you have written saying:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.     <!–[endif]–>I am a winner

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.     <!–[endif]–>I respect myself

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.     <!–[endif]–>I appreciate myself

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.     <!–[endif]–>I enjoy my physical gifts that allow me to swim well

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5.     <!–[endif]–>I embrace good health habits

<!–[if !supportLists]–>6.     <!–[endif]–>I am in control of my mind

<!–[if !supportLists]–>7.     <!–[endif]–>I am in control of my body

<!–[if !supportLists]–>8.     <!–[endif]–>I feel my body glowing with health

<!–[if !supportLists]–>9.     <!–[endif]–>I feel my body surging with strength

At another time, use session 9 reading a script you prepared dealing with personal messages with specific goals such as:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.     <!–[endif]–>When I stay in the NOW I will swim well

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.     <!–[endif]–>When I pick a goal I will reach it

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.     <!–[endif]–>I am a good athlete

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.     <!–[endif]–>I know how to win

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5.     <!–[endif]–>I am in control of all situations

<!–[if !supportLists]–>6.     <!–[endif]–>I listen closely to my body

<!–[if !supportLists]–>7.     <!–[endif]–>I know what I need to do and allow myself to do it

<!–[if !supportLists]–>8.     <!–[endif]–>I am a winner

When in competition pick 2 positive messages from Group 1, and 2 from Group 2 to repeat to yourself during a swim meet.


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Breath training for calmness

Breath training for calmness

By Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D.


It is no accident that the term “choking” is used during performances. This term actually describes what happens physiologically. The emotional pressure of the performance can actually render the person to feel like they are choking and anxiety sets in. the nervousness tends to constrict the muscles in the diaphragm. Chest and throat. Breathing becomes shallower and muscles receive less air and begin to tighten and shorten.

Biologically, rapid breathing demands that you take in a lot of oxygen and expel most of your carbon dioxide which prepares you for immediate action. At this time the body begins to overreact and so much CO2 is lost that the balance of carbon dioxide in the blood stream is too much. This causes hyperventilation and if this situation lasts too long the brain signals certain brain centers to shut down momentarily in defense to actually force you to resumes breathing normally. This is usually when fainting occurs.

To regain control you must bring the situation to conscious level and release the tension through the following exercise. As a calming effect begins you will redirect anxiety-causing distractions and focus upon your breathing and the fact that you can gain control of your emotions.

The exercise involves:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>INHALE: slowly and deeply, filling your chest with air. Count as you breathe in 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. This count is used to structure your brain by adopting a nice slow pace. Fill your chest easily! Not quickly.

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>HOLD BREATH: counting 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and comfortably.

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>EXHALE: Letting the air out through your mouth saying to yourself easy, easy, easy,easy. Let out as much air as you can. Think of the tension flowing out withair.

Do this 10 times to establish the cadence for your future breathing for relaxation.


<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>INHALE: breathe in fully

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5.    <!–[endif]–>HOLD BREATH: hold briefly  (thinking of the four counts)

<!–[if !supportLists]–>6.    <!–[endif]–>EXHALE: let air out slowly saying mentally easy, easy, easy, easy

Repeat this cycle 10 more times for practice.

You will soon begin to feel a calm, pleasant feeling starting at your chest and traveling through your body.

At this point you should think up positive statements for yourself relating you your breathing. Some of these could include:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>All the tension is leaving my body

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>I feel very relaxed and focused

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>Good feelings are replacing any tensions

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>When I am performing I will remember these goods feelings and I will be calm


<!–[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]–>


<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>INHALE: breathe in again slowly

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>HOLD BREATH: briefly

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>EXHALE: let air out saying easy, easy, easy, easy

Following this last cycle of training tell yourself that you will remember the word “easy” as a signal to have your body and breathing relaxed. You now have learned to control your anxieties and helped your brain to stay synchronized and ready to perform.


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Attentional Focus

Attentional Focus

By Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D.


There are two ways the human brain pays attentions to the task at hand. Either through the unconscious, input-driven path or the consciously analytical path. The first, the unconscious, input – driven approach is a higher level control by the brain. In this way, the brain voluntarily selects between two potential actions. This approach uses more recently-evolved systems housed in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Thiscortex is located at the top of the brain and controls conscious activity by selecting specific actions that lead to achieving pre-planned goals. This are of the brain also rejects those actions which will sabotage the positive goals it desires to fulfill.

The second, the limbic system, is located in the lower center of the brain. This system is responsible for emotional reaction to incoming data. It works in conjunction with the other parts of the brain. For example, when another part of the brain, the amygdale detects a potential danger it immediately signals survival need to the limbic system and the “fight- or-flight” response jumps into action. This spontaneous stimulus is without consultation with the conscious brain system to decide if danger isactually eminent. There is no time for evaluation when the signal for survival is given.

The executive, unconscious system is utilized when conflict rises between the two systems. Its primary purpose is to alter habitual responses that stand in the way of goal achievement. When one element differs from its background it draws more attention to itself without a conscious effort. The unconscious attention begins in the limbic system andmoves on to the cerebral cortex for positive processing. If this movement does not take place, emotionally sets in and performance is altered. It is important that the limbic system, housed in the Theta brain wave be less in charge than the Beta brain wave. If the opposite is true, anxiety, survival, panic is all emotionally based concepts devoid of cal thinking. At this point, the brain becomes analytical, trying to sort out the stimuli, thus hampering motor movement and nullifying motor memory.

Focused attention is the road to excellence and positive goal attainment. It is a function of several parts of the mind brain. Brainactivity is a circuitous route that is physiologically dedicated to a specific task at a designated time. It is markedly amplified by the brain focusing its attention on the feature that the brain circuit is to process through the frontal lobe. The brain continually refines it’s processing capacities to ever meet the challenges it is presented. The communication powers of neurotransmitters help the brain use its astonishing powers to learn and unlearn, adapt and change. Focused attention required the activation of the visual cortex along with the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain. To accomplish selective attention, it is necessary to activate the prefrontal cortex this nudging the brain into processing one signal and rejecting another.

It is of note that the brain does not have a single processing center designated to focused attention. Multiple systems are necessary and include:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.     <!–[endif]–>Prefrontal Cortex: involved in task-related memory and planning

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.     <!–[endif]–>Parietal Cortex: body and environmental awareness

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.     <!–[endif]–>Anterior Cingulate: motivation

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.     <!–[endif]–>Cerebellum/Basal Ganglia: habit formation and movement coordination

We usually describe our goals by our behaviors. Whether we choose one path or another., we conceptualize our will in terms of externally pursuing a specific goal. The quality of the choices we make are related to our ability to achieve attentional focus.

Attentional focus dictates mental direction and in turn actually alters our brain. The power of attention, the power of the mind, reshapes neural circuitry and cortical maps. This is accomplished through the exercise of the will and the effect of attention. The mind has proven that we can alter biological matter significantly through mastering focused attention.

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Copyright: Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D., 2012. All rights reserved. Posted with permission.

Copyright: Rayma Ditson-Sommer, PhD. Phoenix, Arizona, 2012. Posted with permission.


Swim Pro Sessions for Peak Performance Training

Swim Pro Sessions for Peak Performance Training

By Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D.


SwimPro Sessions:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Quick Break (Alertness) –Red Lens

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>Positive attitude (Motivation) –Yellow Lens

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>Mental Recharge (Pre-Performance) –Green lens

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>Accelerated Learning (Coaching) –Blue Lens

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5.    <!–[endif]–>Pre-Performance Readiness (Anxiety, Fear of Failure) –Violet Lens

<!–[if !supportLists]–>6.    <!–[endif]–>Mental Rehearsal (VMBR) –Blue Lens

<!–[if !supportLists]–>7.    <!–[endif]–>Self-Guided Imagery (Visualization) –Blue Lens

<!–[if !supportLists]–>8.    <!–[endif]–>Progressive Muscle Relaxation (Rhythmic Breathing) –Violet Lens

<!–[if !supportLists]–>9.    <!–[endif]–>Positive Affirmation/Self Talk Training (Winning)  –Orange Lens

<!–[if !supportLists]–>10. <!–[endif]–>Deep Relaxation/Sleep/Jet Lag (Body Readiness) –Violet or Blue Lens


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Performance Anxiety Control Through Brain Coherence Training

Performance Anxiety Control Through Brain Coherence Training

By Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D. 

Brain coherence or balance is gained through training. Relaxation, meditation and brain synchrony allow the athlete the freedom to face any competition focused and ready. This training requires stage-by-stage progression if the results are to be positive using neurotechnology, light, sound or color on focus programs.

Stage 1-Turning the Attention Inward


<!–[if !supportLists]–>·  <!–[endif]–>Set aside personal concerns

<!–[if !supportLists]–>·  <!–[endif]–>Stop negative thoughts

<!–[if !supportLists]–>·  <!–[endif]–>Allow the brain and the heart time to balance


<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.<!–[endif]–>Take a deep breath slowly (activate the parasympathetic) nervous system.

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.<!–[endif]–>Keep attention focused on the breathing until exhaling

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.<!–[endif]–>The mind float slowly on the “out breath”

-Keep concentrating on the breath as long as possible emptying them mind of thoughts


Stage 2-Recognizing the Calmness

Results: Oxygenation of the body

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.     <!–[endif]–>Imagine that you are breathing thought the heart

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.     <!–[endif]–>Breath slowly as you visualize your heart being strong


Stage3-Total Body Synchrony

Results: Synchrony and mental focus

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.     <!–[endif]–>Think of peaceful time when you were alert, happy and felt totally in control.

-Focus and motor control are like and animal hibernating needing calmness and control.

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Copyright Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D., 2012. All rights reserved. Posted with permission.

Optimal Focus Training Guide for Swimmer

Optimal Focus Pro

Optimal Focus Training Guide for Swimmer


By Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D.

The skill of swimming is reliant on many things, getting of the block quickly, executing a fast flip turn, keeping focused and calm before the event and visualizing your swim as you train for the meet. Guarding against distractibility is paramount to your performance.

These skills plus many others will insure a winning time for your event in your next and many more thereafter.

Calmness in the Green Room prior to event:

            Session 6 if nervous: GREEN

Session 1 for energy: RED
Session 2 for focus: YELLOW

Practice for quickness off the block:

            Session 1 for quick reflex: RED

Session 2 for focus: YELLOW
Visualization practice of strokes, etc:

            Session 8 for visualizing: GREEN

Session 7 for “seeing”: VIOLET
Session 4 calm recall: BLUE

Imagers (in the moment):

            Session 5 imaging: ORANGE

Deep Sleep for rest and repair:

            Session 10 for relaxed rest: VIOLET

Stress control:

            Session 3 for inner calm

It is important for you to trust your own preference for a color. If you had rather switch color and continue to use the binaural sound suggested, feel free to do so. The brain has its own individual color preferences and this should be honored.

The more important information to help you develop as a world class swimmer is training your brain. Your brain is your body and your body obeys your brain. Therefore you need to rely on your ability to trust your brain. It is useful to use self-talk to tell your brain exactly what you want and what your goal is at the moment. Talk to yourself as you swim, alert yourself that a flip turn is coming or that you are getting ready to leave the block.

In training Olympic swimmers we have won gold and silver medal through mental focus, imaging and visualization. You have a useful tool in the Optimal Focus Pro and you will find that using it will help you develop these skills.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact OPNET, Inc. at 602-912-0609 for a free consult concerning the Optimal Focus Pro unit you have purchased. Dr. Ditson-Sommer also does confidence coaching using Skype throughout the world sharing the secrets that were used by the winning swimmers through the years. This confidence coaching is a vital part of the trainingprogram of young swimmers that have the talent to become accomplished.


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Goals for Winning

Goals for Winning

By Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D.


Feelings of uncertainty are challenging and changing many of the pre-determined ideas we have about ourselves. In the athletic world,attitudes are ever-changing as they relate to the present challenges. Learning to manage change mentally offers more understanding of self and ones’individual abilities.

Goal setting is one of the more challenging aspects of mental development. To better reach goals, a self-understanding is required. Our viewpoints and the way we look at challenges  are mental thoughts coming directly from the mind via a specific brain wave.

Although mental thoughts are your viewpoints, you are distinct from them. You adopt those viewpoints that you find useful. As your challenges change, so then, do your viewpoints as new information or circumstances are presented. Viewpoints tend to remain constant and fully operative unless specific steps are taken to make the change. This flexibility demands full understanding of your personal viewpoints if you are to successfully pursueyour goals.

The primary viewpoints to understand are your attitudes toward failure and success. Wherever the possibility of success exists, so does the opportunity for failure. The result of failure is not a state of being, but rather an act of occurring at a point in time as a consequence surrounding a belief and attitude.

Fear of failure is a paramount obstacle to success. Accompanying the fear of failure is anxiety and mind/body stress. This stress is a product of the nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for “running” the body and is influenced by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system it controls. When anxiety is present the body signals the nervous system that action is necessary. The mind sends a message of possible peril and a “fight or flight” state develops this stage has 1500 body change requirements including faster heart beat, secretion of noradrenalin and surges of energy to the muscles. If performance anxiety or fear of failure are themental attitude, the autonomic nervous system readies itself for the battle. At this point, the body loses its readiness to compete at the perfected level training has required.

The brain begins to operate on an alerted level of beta and cycles faster and faster until it is out of control. At this point, allproper training is lost and reflex becomes the “order of the day” attitudes change, loss of control is a reality and poor performance is the outcome.

To guard against loss of control, setting goals is necessary. Goals are set in the following structure:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Long-Term Goal: Winning and keep winning

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>Objective Goal: improve daily

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>Results Goal: noticeable improvement

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>Behaving Goal: Practice


When setting Goals follow this protocol:

<!–[if !supportLists]–>1.    <!–[endif]–>Make goals challenging

<!–[if !supportLists]–>2.    <!–[endif]–>Self-positive goals

<!–[if !supportLists]–>3.    <!–[endif]–>Pick a goal that pleases you

<!–[if !supportLists]–>4.    <!–[endif]–>Make goals realistic and achievable

<!–[if !supportLists]–>5.    <!–[endif]–>Commit to set goals

<!–[if !supportLists]–>6.    <!–[endif]–>Keep a record of change


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Copyright Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D., 2012. All rights reserved. Posted with permission.