Being excellent in any sport requires both physical and mental fitness. We often see athletes training hard physically, but fail to address any mental hurdles or maladaptations Being a good athlete is a lot of work and a lot of stress. Many focus on the physical hoping it will propel them to success. Research, on the other hand, indicates that it is actually the opposite that is true. Sports performance has more to do with mental than physical ability and hypnosis can help.
Get In The Game
Many people seem to believe that hypnosis is just for fun, giggles, weight loss, or to quit smoking. Despite that, there are many benefits of using hypnosis as an athlete.
Research shows that the best athletes tend to be both mentally prepared and possess fairly positive attitudes. While many of them can physically endure to score the point, that is not what makes them an excellent player. In fact, many of the best athletes recognize that it is their positive mental beliefs that enhance their natural ability.
To say that it is starting to go mainstream would be an understatement. Did you know that many countries have been using hypnosis on their athletes since the 50’s. For example, the Russian Olympic team took 11 hypnotists with them to the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.
And even here there are several athlete employing sports psychologist (who often use hypnosis) and hypnotists. Did you know Tiger Woods not only worked with a hypnotist in his early years but claims that he still employed self hypnosis to improve his game. And Tampa Bay Lightning NHL players have spoken to the St. Petersburg Times about their experiences using hypnosis in 1988. Even Michael Jordan who had his coach on the Chicago Bulls incorporate hypnosis into their pregame ritual. These are just a few examples.
Have you every been playing your favorite sport and found yourself thinking one of the following?
- What if I don’t do my best?
- The coach is counting on me.
- I don’t want to let my teammates down.
- I don’t know if I can make that shot.
A lot of the things we say to ourselves, our self-talk, is negative and self-defeating. This only makes it harder for someone to excel and perform optimally.
Worse yet, every thought that passes through our minds can immediately impact or cause physical and chemical changes in our body. This means that our mental state can directly impact how we move and cause distractions from our goals. This one of the reasons why some people play better when it is just for fun or during practice than they do in the actual game.
The good news is that these forms of negative self-talk are avoidable. We don’t have to fall victim to self-fulling prophecy.
We often say that discipline is one of the keys to success. If you’ve ever watched a sports movie you know that word gets tossed around a lot. And while that is definitely true, we often ignore why. The truth is that control of your mind and emotions, leads to greater impulse control and control over your body. This gives a disciplined person, particularly an athlete and edge over others who may not have as much control .
The truth is that discipline makes us more flexible. And we have a saying in hypnosis. The person with the most flexible system tends to win and this happens for many reasons. Discipline may prevent an athlete from making mistakes due to nerves. Or it may prevent them from overthinking the play. It can help someone overcome anxiety, depression, and other emotional struggles. Control of negative thoughts and emotions is the basis of sports psychology and can often be enhanced through hypnosis.
In The Zone
In addition to controlling mental perceptions, patterns, and behaviors, athletes often refer to being in the ‘zone’. Athletes describe the ‘zone’ as that mental state in which they find themselves absorbed in the moment. They are unaware of everything except their place on the board, the strategy, and how they are going to succeed. All outside distractions simply melt away. Many athletes hope that they can find themselves in this state more often. Athletes often say that this is when they are performing their best. Hypnosis can often help athletes find the ‘zone’ more consistently so they can use that mindset to enhance their sports performance.
Sports Performance and Hypnosis
Hypnosis seeks to engage athletes in positive thought patterns. Thereby helping them to focus on their goals and achieve them. It does not matter what sport you play. If you are seeking a way to increase your sports performance, hypnosis can help.
Maybe you’re realizing that you don’t have the positive outlook you need to see that game winning strategy. Or maybe you’re struggling to relax and find that flow. You may just be struggling with anxieties and confidence. Or you could be distracted or afraid.
You too can use hypnosis to improve and enhance your mental attitude. Maybe you need to relax and remove anxieties or boost your confidence. Or maybe you need to learn to maintain composure, overcome distractions or fears, and gain confidence in your own abilities. Whatever the reason, hypnosis can help you achieve any of these aspirations.
Often it is as simple as re-imagining how you handle the situation. Ultimately, the brain doesn’t distinguish between doing something or imagining doing something. If the mind can imagine it or believe in it, it is capable of making it happen. Tapping into the power of the unconscious can help you tune into your own potential for success.
Benefits of Hypnosis and Sports Performance Enhancement:
- Improve their confidence and self-belief.
- Remove negative thoughts or beliefs
- Increase motivation and dedication
- Use deep relaxation and concentration to imagine success.
- Maintain composure and overcome distractions.
If you are interested in learning more about how the process works, please visit our How Hypnosis Works page.