Hypnotherapy and Sports Performance

Hypnosis has become more popular among sports people

Hypnosis and sports performance have had a long and successful history together.  In 1956 the Russians took 11 hypnotherapists to Melbourne and today many, many of our very best sports people, in all different sporting arenas, use this wonderful tool to help them to achieve their very best.

Amateur sports people use hypnosis to achieve peak performances no matter what age, level or sporting ability.  More and more swimming, hockey, football clubs, to name but a few, use the services of a hypnotherapist in order help their players achieve their full potential.  Tiger Woods has used a hypnotherapist to gain a mental edge on his opponents down through the years.

How hypnosis helps sports performance

By a combination of:

  • Positive mental imagery and the rehearsal  of success in the future ( see it happen now, feel it happen now)
  • Relaxation techniques which allow you to focus only on success and your game/race strategy
  • Letting go of all negative thought patterns and beliefs
  • Self belief

Hypnosis is a relaxed state of consciousness, in other words the athlete has blocked out all unwanted distractions and thoughts to allow him to focus only on the goal at hand.  This is the key to success, 80% of winning is in the mind,  20% is ability!  Being in a relaxed state he is in a hyper focused state which can mean the difference between success and failure.

Athlete and Hypnotherapist working together as a team

All athletes have had times when they did not achieve what they had hoped to achieve and often the negative feelings of failure stay with them long after the event has passed. Often the negative reactions to such events are stored in the subconscious mind to be activated every time the athlete finds himself in competition.  This is where the Hypnotherapist helps the athlete to “pluck out” these unwanted and totally unhelpful thoughts and feelings that get in the way of success

We know that there are two parts to the mind; the conscious and the subconscious.  The conscious is that logical and reasoning part, the part we use in decision making.  The subconscious is where we store all past experiences and the feelings we associate with them, all our memories are in there, our associations and our learned responses.  So we don’t have to think about walking because we have learned that at about 12 months, it is all stored in the subconscious mind.  Everything we do or think often enough is stored in there in the subconscious mind and if we think or practise negative thoughts or actions, well then these automatically come to the fore each time we find ourselves in a similar situation.  What this means for an athlete is if negative thoughts or actions become a habit then this will result in a reduced level of performance.

Athletes want to perform to the best of their ability so they must prepare not only their body but their mind. The mind commands and the body obeys. Through hypnosis a therapist can provide the athlete with positive suggestions which will replace any old limiting beliefs or thoughts.  Once these new and positive suggestions are accepted by the subconscious mind then the athlete sees and feels himself to be at his best, performing at his best.

Sports hypnotherapy for young people

Many of our young athletes are starting out on a hard road of self discipline and they need plenty of support and encouragement. All that I have said above is pertinent to young athletes but I would add that it important too that these young impressionable people are often subjected to bullying tactics not only by their peers but by other parents and adults.  Hypnotherapy can help in this area to enable a child to rise above this, handle these situations with strength and not allow themselves go down the road of victim which may have a long term detrimental effect on their confidence and performance.

How Billy Mills Used Self Hypnosis to Win the 10,000m Olympic Final in 1964.  It was the first time an American had won and he had to improve his best time by 2 minutes to do it.


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