Norbert G. Laderoute Letter
My name is Norbert G. Laderoute, former athletic director of the Canadian Combat Arms Training Center at Gagetown, New Brunswick. In 1980-81 while BPER (Base Physical Education Recreational Officer) for CFB Gagetown. I acted as the coach/psychologist for the Biathlon (cross country skiing & sharp shooting) in CFB Valcartier, Quebec.
The team approached me as they heard of my success with the Canadian Military Pentathlon Team and Bisley Rifle Team and they wanted help in their training as "they could not hit the side of the barn door" after their cross country skiing.
They were marched into the gymnasium in Valcartier and (since they were in random order) we had them numbered off 1-2-1-2 etc. There were approximately 24 competitors in all and thus randomly divided themselves into two groups - one stepped forward, two stepped back. All instructions were given to the athletes by their sergeant major and since he was a francophone the words were kept at a minimum. They were told "do mentally what you do physically."
We provided them with 24 GSR devices from Thought Technology; and half of them were standard GSR 2 (Galvanic Skin Response Monitors) and half of them when turned on only produced a constant low tone. The groups were told do mentally what you do physically and the people with real GSR with (variable tones) were told to make the tone go down as many times as possible where the people with low tone were told that "this low constant tone was monotonous and would relax them".
Within four weeks the group that had the false GSR 2 marched in on mass and said "this is not fair." They said that the other group was getting so much better then them it was clear that they were being discriminated against and they wanted the good stuff. It was decided that an ABA study should be done so that the B group be given an "active ingredient" and to see if there had been a rare random selection of inferior athletes or if this was a real training effect. After a few weeks of training the B "fixed tone" group came up equal to the real GSR 2 group. Not only did their shooting get markedly better but times on the track which averaged about 20 minutes improved by more than 16%. While we understood that the athletes relaxed more quickly and thus became more accurate in shooting, since their heart rate would be lower, but we did not understand why their time on the track were getting so much better. Thus, we asked them to do their standard "mental practice" while we asked them every 60 seconds what they were doing. They were visualizing skiing for 20 minutes and shooting for two minutes, since they were told "to do mentally what they do physically." They were actually skiing the entire cross - country course in their mind. It seems that this "mental training" in a deep state of relaxation made a powerful "Mind Muscle connection."
These facts can be corroborated by Captain Steve Tibbits, a level 4 cross country skier, and a winner of the British Bisley competition (the Whimbleton of Sharp Shooting). Steve Tibbits has been the head of small arms training for the Canadian Armed forces in Gagetown NB for over twenty years and can attest the veracity of these results.
- Nory G. Laderoute
- Former Athletic Director of the Canadian Combat Arms Training Center
- Gagetown, New Brunswick