To be a successful athlete involves maintaining high levels of physical and mental fitness. Like many sports professionals I have used the power of mental clarity to improve my performance. As a runner, visualising the race allowed my muscles and mind to feel like I had run that race already. When I used these visualisation techniques it knocked a second off my previous time. Not a bad reduction in a 200 metre race. How did I do it? I learned to relax, allowing more oxygen into my body, giving me a boost of natural energy. Many top professionals use forms of hypnotherapy and relaxation including Formula One drivers, top footballers and golfers such as Tiger Woods.
One of my clients, an ambitious footballer, was able to visualise games in advance. He has risen in the ranks after a few sessions.
Positive Thinking in Sport
Being in control of the negative thoughts and emotions which can cause our bodies to feel tense and anxious, means the athlete can focus on the sport itself and can reduce the risk of underperformance due to ‘nerves’.
The ‘zone’, as some top athletes describe the feeling when they are in control, means that they get so absorbed in what they are doing, they hardly notice outside distractions and perform at their best. The distractions can actually help to increase their focus. Hypnosis can be taught to help sportsmen and women access the ‘zone’, helping them to enhance their performance.
How can Hypnotherapy Help with Sports Performance?
Golf - A relaxed swing means a ball that goes where you intend it to.
Running - Visualising the race stops the nerves and performance tension building.
Football - Makes the ball feel almost a part of the foot.
Many other sports people use hypnotherapy or similar relaxation techniques.
Hypnotherapy helps to improve and enhance an individual’s mental attitude by helping them to relax, removing anxieties and boosting confidence. Each individual is different, so results will vary. Hypnosis helps sports people to maintain composure, relax and overcome environmental distractions and fears. It also helps people to gain confidence in their ability.
The brain can’t distinguish between doing something or imagining doing something so visualising winning a competition can help tune your mind for success. I can say that I have personally tried this myself with a gold medal result.
So how does hypnosis help athletes?