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F1 stressbusters prepare to enter the corporate world

MENTAL TRAINING used to lower stress levels among Formula One motor racing pit crews is set to be rolled out to the corporate world.

A unique neural efficiency programme developed by a company based at Silverstone Park’s Innovation Centre is proving its worth for F1 teams and is already in use at a major corporate in Italy.

Now CoFiGi Performance founders Simon Fitchett and Jof Cox say is the time to offer the same principles through their ‘mental economy gym’ to non-motorsport sectors in the UK.

CoFiGi monitors an individual’s brain patterns using electroencephalography (EEG) bands which detect activity during tests which can include responding to words or numbers on a screen. The EEG reads electrical activity in the frontal lobe – the thinking part of the brain – and CoFIGI then uses the data as a start point to improve neural efficiency.

“From a corporate’s aspect, you might have two people doing the same roles and are pretty good at their jobs. However, one is working at 6,500rpm and the other at 1,500rpm,” said Mr Cox. “We want to get the first person down to the second person’s data.”

CoFIGI is the UK arm of Italian-based Formula Medicine,  a global leader in training methodologies which are the result of innovative research developed with F1 drivers, and its latest enterprise Mental Economy, created solely for mental training.

Simon Fitchett.

Mr Fitchett said: “If you think that sports people work out to exercise the body, what we do is help exercise the brain to make it perform as strongly and efficiently as possible.

“With the feedback that we and Formula Medicine have had from HR bosses, we believe employers in the corporate world can really benefit from the methods and techniques that we use in F1 to improve the performance of people working in high-pressure roles and environments.

“We have seen strong results with top racing drivers. After we have analysed how their brain is responding to an assessment we put them through, they use our techniques to increase their brain’s efficiency and capacity.

“Take the pressure situation of a pit stop during a Grand Prix, for example. You do not want to be giving away even a quarter of a second to your rivals and that is what we are about – getting the individual to operate virtually on autopilot so they achieve that poetry in motion.”

Assessment and training take place over ten weeks either at CoFIGI’s base at Silverstone Park or at the client’s premises. Delegates’ data remains completely confidential.

“Over a ten-week course we would be 100% confident that each individual would see a notable improvement in their mental ability – and stress levels when under pressure – which they can apply to their world of work, thus improving productivity,” said Mr Cox.

“This is not about stepping on people’s toes or making anyone feel threatened. Instead, we very much see this as an add-on to an employee wellness scheme that, focusing on mental health, would be a huge bonus for them.”

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