You’ve spent thousands on gear and countless hours at the range. Could this device help you improve in a fraction of the time?
On May 6th 2008, Sean Hutchison sat in his Seattle apartment looking out over Lake Washington when he had what he calls his “Eureka Moment.”
A coach with the 2008 US Olympic swim team, Hutchison had been studying fluid mechanics (“basically the physics of water”), brain science and biomechanics for a few years. It suddenly dawned on him how we was going to convert all this knowledge into a training and coaching tool that, he was sure, would prove radically more effective than traditional coaching methods.
“I’m not sure how long I sat thinking about it,” he says. “It could have been five minutes or two hours. But how it was going to work became very clear. I was convinced it would allow people to learn motor patterns much faster and better than they had before. I first tried it on a 16-year-old swimmer whose technique and speed improved dramatically after just a few minutes.”
Hutchison named his innovation Ikkos (pronounced ee-kos) after a coach from ancient Greece who was known as the ‘Trainer of Champions’,” says Hutchison. “Before the 2008 Olympics, the US Olympic Committee founded the Order of Ikkos—an award that symbolizes excellence in coaching.”
More than just a tool for swimmers, Ikkos has had profound success with hundreds of athletes across numerous disciplines, and it has helped the US national swim team set several new national and world records.
There is, of course, a golf app called CopyMe Golf.
There are three parts to the process, says Hutchison. The first is audio/visual. The user downloads CopyMe Golf, slides his iPhone or other appropriate device into the back of the Ikkos Black Box which shuts out all peripheral vision focusing the eyes on the phone’s screen, and watches the video for roughly five minutes.
“The video is a slowed down, looped version of the motion the user wishes to mimic and develop,” says Hutchison. It repeats 30 times and the visual, adds Hutchison, is “downloaded onto the nervous system.”
For the second part, the user then puts on blacked-out goggles and repeats the motion very slowly over and over again, remaining conscious of the movement. He does this for about ten minutes.
The third and last part is conventional practice.
Hutchison says that while that is extremely satisfying, the most gratifying result came in a Brazilian hospital in September 2012, when he watched an eight-year-old girl with cerebral palsy make dramatic improvement to her walking after just 15 minutes with Ikkos.
“She lifted her knees significantly higher than she had before using Ikkos,” says Hutchison. “And then she tried running down the corridor with her assistive device.” Not surprisingly, the girl’s parents were overjoyed, and her doctors had trouble believing what they were seeing.
Ikkos founder Sean Hutchinson
CopyMe Golf has quietly been available for a couple of years, and is now becoming a serious part of the coaching conversation. You may have recently read about Phil Mickelson using blacked-out goggles with his short game coach Dave Pelz. There is no official link between Ikkos and Mickelson, and the five-time major champion has never mentioned the product by name, but it appears he might be benefitting from the fruit of Hutchison’s mind.
The Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) has begun recommending its use. “And I’ve also discussed Ikkos with the Golf Channel’s Michael Breed,” says Hutchison who has become a highly sought-after speaker at training seminars, and addressed a room full of golf instructors at the recent PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.
Golf equipment manufacturers have a nasty habit of saying their new product is set to ‘revolutionize’ golf when, in reality, it’s a slight modification of something that has already existed for years.
Ikkos isn’t necessarily golf equipment, but it could just revolutionize your game.
Ikkos VR Black Box – $40.
Ikkos Custom Goggles – $25
Download the CopyMe Golf app for free.