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Defining CF2

It is important that we settle on a definition of what CF2 actually is so that we can help introduce and explain some of the initiatives that the project is bringing to life.

Eugene has used the term "bridging the gap" between mental health models and support structures, and mental skills training.

To me, the framework is a challenge to our development systems to assist competitors, performers, first responders, specialists, educators, coaches, and administrators to graduate people who excel at their roles and functions without necessarily suffering the personal impacts that more poorly devised and delivered programs have done.

The CF2 model is about helping (guiding / directing / driving) development systems to create a training environment where success is inevitable. This line is stolen from a sign above a door in an NCAA swimming facility from some years ago. It is often seen these days in a range of operating & training environments and industries.

CF2 is not an intervention per se, but a set of standards. The concept is that cognitive fitness can be trained in a manner similar to physical strength & conditioning principles by the systematic development of an "integratable" set of human factors / skills / qualities. Further, that the training of these systems can be periodised across a "deployment cycle" typical to the industry grouping.

You may recall that one of the initiatives I identified for CoSEP in the strategic planning document before taking on the Chair role was the creation of a monthly award (leading to an annual recognition) for organisations preparing / developing individuals to become their best. The award is / was to recognise the achievement of standards in specific training areas, or more preferably in total across training areas.

That is, has the organisation achieved / stretched the standards for preparation work done in, say tolerance to painter perhaps in resistance to distraction. I postulated a "performance index" score where each of the CF2 "sub-factors" carried a weighing against an overall cognitive fitness score. This concept could also be applied to a group such as a travelling team (eg Olympic sub group, say gym team, swim squad) - looking at how well prepared the group is. For example, what preparations and training considerations have been made for frustration uncertainty, lack of venue noise, etc.

These ideas have a wide range of extension possibilities, but for now we need to "sell" the concept of trainability of skill sets that create "fit for purpose" performers.

The decision to combine these factors into our modules came from the need to "chunk" these sub-factors into a more digestible, manageable collection of training areas.

The effort to identify training programs and activities under the modules is to lead / blend into the bricks and mortar concept of a cognitive gym. They are the core matter of daily / foundational training.

I am interested in your developing views of such a definition.

Jeff and I have often spoken about the coverage of the rising incidents of mental health issues in elite sport. I think we share a view that there are some fundamental attitudes and beliefs about the impact of a "high-performance" lifestyle on individuals. First up, if it was easy, there would be lots more world champions. Just qualifying for the tracksuit doesn't guarantee the career success. Systems that offer hope and dangle dreams in order to maintain numbers / economies are not cutting it.

A key component of the CF2 concept is the importance of preparing people for the environment they are going to be faced with. This is, of course, referred to as "ecological validity" - how realistic & relevant is preparation in creating "readiness to perform".

The CF2 argument includes that by completing the correctly periodised fundamental and higher order factor training that the likelihood of better predicting and managing the realties of the lifestyle are enhanced. In essence, the qualities, understandings, expectations, and skills sets evidenced by elite career performers are built into their preparation.

Perhaps you have begun to form some alternative (or hopefully) more advanced views. The first section of the website will be addressing these concepts in a plain english, short series of one-liners. We need to be comfortable with the consistency of the message.


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