Sports Performance Hypnosis
What do Tiger Woods and Wayne Gretzky have in common?
Both men have used hypnosis to successfully increase their sports performance.
A 2000 study conducted at Sheffield Hallam University by John Pates, Rachael Oliver, and Ian Maynard revealed that hypnosis aided the performance of five golfers. The study compared the average putting score of the golfers prior to having hypnosis and following the hypnosis. The results showed that the average putting score of the golfers increased following hypnosis. The golfers also reported feeling less anxious about how they would perform and more confident in their putting abilities.
How well you play or compete has everything to do with the associations and automatic responses that are stored in your subconscious mind. The moment you go to hit, throw a ball, or run, your mind — without rationalizing — responds with whatever pattern it holds. Through hypnosis and guided imagery, you can train your subconscious mind to automatically perform like a pro because succeeding in any sport is not just about a specific movement but also about your mindset. It is by training the subconscious mind that the well-trained athlete enters what is often referred to as the “zone” — that peak area of performance in which all movements flow without conscious thought. Hypnosis can help athletes by removing blocks, keeping your mind focused, and by enhancing existing associations and creating new ones that make it easier for you to access your knowledge and training when engaging in the sport.
Just as positive associations can be formed in the subconscious, so can negative ones. For example, a football quarterback may have been unable to advance more than ten yards in the rain during a spectacularly bad game. This quarterback might thereafter associate rain with playing poorly. Negative associations such as this make it harder for the athlete to find that perfect place where mind and body become one, and their performance ultimately suffers. Hypnosis can reveal these associations and break them by tapping into the powerful subconscious.
Keep a Focused Mind
With the use of hypnosis, you can remove any negative associations that had been holding you back. Negative associations such as this make it hard for the athlete to perform because the mind wants to continuously go back to that previous negative pattern. This often leads to anxiety as the person stops believing in himself and starts anticipating the worst. Hypnosis can reveal any hidden associations that are hindering performance and break them by tapping into the powerful subconscious. In doing so, you gain the ability to focus and win the game.
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Master the Mental Game
Creating new positive associations and patterns is important in enabling reliable performance. With hypnosis and guided imagery, you can condition your mind to enter the “zone” when playing. By mentally rehearsing your performance under hypnosis, you can input motivation and self-confidence into your game. Science has shown that when a person mentally rehearses playing a sport, the body areas used in that sport receives electrical signals. This shows that the mind truly does affect the body. In many ways, the mind is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it will become. Whether you are improving your golf or training for a marathon, hypnosis gives you the edge that you’ve been looking for.
- Tiger Woods has been using self-hypnosis since the age of 13
- Golfer Jack Nicklaus gave full credit to self-hypnosis for his record wins. He said that 90% of winning was mental.
- Coach Phil Jackson, who has coached some of the greatest players in basketball, started using hypnosis and mental imagery with the Chicago Bulls in the ’90s, and now uses it with the LA Lakers. With his guidance, the Bulls won 6 NBA Championships and the Lakers, 3 in a row. He has coached Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal.
- Tennis champion Jimmy Connors used hypnosis prior to winning the US Open Championship.
- Andre Agassi has used hypnosis to win consecutive gold masters.
- Boxer Kevin McBride who beat Tyson said that he did it with the use of hypnosis.
- Ken Norton defeated Muhammed Ali by using hypnosis. Not long after, Muhammed Ali started using it himself.
- After consulting a hypnotist in 1984, Mary Lou Retton became the first American woman to win a gold medal in gymnastics at the Olympics.
- The Soviet Union Olympic team of 1956 had a team of hypnotists travel with them. That year, they won the most medals of any nation.
- Hypnosis worked so well for Rod Carew that it gave him the best season of his entire career. He won the MVP award.
- Bill Buckner of the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers also used hypnosis to play his best.
- The entire White Sox team of 1983 used hypnosis. They made it to the playoffs.
- The Dallas Cowboys
Track and Field
- In 1964, after being pushed by another runner, Billy Mills made his way forward and won gold in the 10,000 meters at the Olympics. He credits his self-hypnosis visualization techniques for the win.
- NHL Hockey players Kevin Weekes and center Brad Richards have both used hypnosis to be calm and focused.
- Every wrestler that I have ever met uses imagery to mold their body into a piece of art.
Hypnosis can also help you in:
- Ironman Triathlon
- Martial Arts
- Extreme Sports