By Cary Shuman
When Josh Freedland sustained a severe concussion in his junior season for the Bates College football team, the injury sparked the 6-feet-1-inch, 225-pound linebacker’s interest in the human brain and its relation to athletics.
Freedland had previously played four years of football at Marblehead High School where he became an Agganis All-Star. He would complete his four-year football career at Bates College, a prestigious liberal arts school in Maine, before graduating in May with a degree in Psychology with a concentration in Biology and Health.
With eight years of competitive football under his belt, Freedland knew exactly what it took physically to get ready for each football season condition and strength wise.
But the on-field concussion inspired the student-athlete to look more closely at the mental aspect of sports.
“I wrote my senior thesis on concussion attitudes in collegiate football players,” said the 22-year-old Freedland. “I conducted a study among my teammates.”
The well-received study earned Freedland the honor of being the only undergraduate to present his thesis at the Association for Applied Sports Psychology Regional Conference at Springfield College.
While at the conference, he learned about a new software called NeuroTracker, a 3D multiple object tracking technology. “They have a lot of science validating it and a lot of professional teams and the military are using it. I wish I had been able to use NeuroTracker when I was a college athlete.”
Following his graduation, Freedland wanted to maintain his involvement in sports and help other athletes elevate their skills. He made a career decision and launched his own company, Brain and Body Performance of Boston, which is located at the Marblehead Fitness Center, the facility where he had trained since his junior year in high school.
Freedland conducts his individual training sessions with clients at the facility. “People can do their physical workout with trainers and they can also come to my company for a brain workout. It’s kind of a one stop-shop for everything.”
Freedland said his goal is to keep his clients’ minds sharp and focused. He specializes in neuroplasticity training, using a variety of techniques that enhance mental skills that translate to increased success on the field.
Through neuroplasticity training, he helps athletes improve, measure, and train their mental skills. “It’s basically a rewiring of the brain,” said Freedland.
He said the system can benefit elite athletes of all ages, helping one to analyze opponent’s movements and making quick decisions under pressure. “Those are the foundations to success on the field,” he said.
According to Freedland, a lot of professional sports in North America and Europe, college sports programs, and the U.S. Elite Special Forces use the NeuroTracker software. Olympic athletes and PGA Tour golfers also use NeuroTracker.
“I’m excited about the new technology available for athletes and I’m optimistic about the future of my new company,” said Freedland. “I really believe that the future of athletics and training is going to be the training of the brain to get a mental edge over your opponent. A lot of elite athletes have similar skills and are big, fast, and strong, but the mental part of their games is what gives them the edge.
“Every athlete goes to the gym working on his or her body to get ready for the season, but they don’t train their brains—why not? That is ultim
ately where most on-field success comes from.”
Freedland has the support of his athletic family in his new endeavor. His father, Dr. Eric Freedland, played football at Winthrop High School. His mother, Susan Goldstein Freedland, was a track and field star at Winthrop High School, where she is a member of the Hall of Fame, and ran at UMass/Amherst where she was All-New England/All-East. His younger sister, Emily, is a member of the Bates College women’s basketball team.
(For more information, please visit the company Web site: www.brainbodyboston.com)