Hypnosis For Sports Performance

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Solution-Focused Hypnotherapists can help people improve their sports performance, from beginners to professional athletes.

As Covid restrictions are lifted, we are already seeing outdoor sports facilities reopening. These include golf courses, tennis, basketball courts and outdoor swimming.

Physical practice is essential, I think this goes without saying. But it will never allow the athlete to achieve the perfect swing, or the best run or the textbook corner. The brain doesn’t work that way. Knowing how our brain stores our movements is helpful. In fact, it allows the client to accept bad shots, poor times and mistakes. Furthermore, the client will be better able to recover and avoid mistakes in the future. It’s real brain stuff!

Sports performance is one of those fascinating areas. As far back as 1968 the Swiss Olympic ski squad used imagery and went on to win 3 medals and more in 1972. In 1959 Ingmar Johannson used hypnosis training to win the heavyweight boxing title from Floyd Patterson. Jimmy Connors used hypnosis in winning the US Open championship. Tiger Wood’s mental coach, Jay Brunza, hypnotised him to block out distractions and focus on the golf course. In May 2000 Glenn Catley became World Super Middle Weight Champion. He describes the greatest help that Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy gave him was confidence in his own inherent ability.

How can we help our sports performance clients?

We, often hear sports people describe how they can perform well when they play with their friends. But when there is a competition, they go to pieces! It’s so true that playing sport is as much a mental game, as it is a physical game.

A study in 2020 by Prediou et al Visualisation in sport describes the use of visualisation techniques which can improve motor skills, self–confidence and decrease anxiety. Through the use of imagery, pain management, endurance, motivation and physical performance can be enhanced.

We can help clients focus on realistic goals and increase their self-belief. Learning to concentrate for long periods of time helps to avoid distractions. Getting into ‘the zone’ is key and we can help sports people maintain this.

Likewise, improving specific skills can be enhanced by using mental rehearsal techniques and we can teach our clients how to do this. During our hypnotherapy training, you can hear about Glenn Catley’s story on how the Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy sessions improved his performance.

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