There are lots of ways to try to improve your sports performance, from supplements, rigid training and dieting regimes, to specialist trainers, to fancy outfits or equipment. Sports psychology is a booming business, partly because elite athletes are coming so close in terms of performance achievement that their thoughts and feelings are now the X-factor that brings victory.
One very effective way to improve performance is to tap into your own resources using hypnosis. Hypnosis can help you focus on whatever aspect of your sport needs improving, and to achieve that inner vision of what you wish to accomplish.
Hypnosis and visualisation
The practice of visualizing became popular in the 1970‘s, with tennis players among the first to train themselves using this method to gain absolute confidence in their own actions, block out distractions, and ‘see’ their winning strokes. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term ‘flow’ to describe this kind of feeling in 1975.
Visualization can help training, too, by helping to transform complex motor activity into automatic movement. For more than a century, physiologists have known that imagining movements can elicit reactions from muscles. When we see a soccer player strike a ball towards the goal, our own muscles may contract, imperceptibly if not noticeably. With repetition, this ideo-motor effect can make the real motions easier to perform. Stephen M. Kosslyn, at Harvard University, discovered that imagining a movement activates the same motor regions of the cerebral cortex that light up during actual movement.
There are many theories about whether it is better to break the required movements down into segments or to focus on the result. Take Tiger Woods, for example, says it’s easier for him to sink putts when he imagines the rattle of the ball in the cup.
Automating one’s movements frees the brain to focus on other aspects of an athletic challenge. Consider the so-called ‘training champions’ who perform flawlessly during workouts but go to pieces in the field.
Hypnotherapy boosts confidence and focus
Confidence is the antidote for excelling in sports. This was demonstrated in a 1977 sports psychology study, when it was found that the most successful athletes suffered just as much anxiety and doubt as their colleagues, but had better self-talk.
The need for self-encouragement is highest in sports where winning is determined by subjective judging, such as in gymnastics or figure skating. There is no clear order of finish like that of a cycling race or a 100 metre sprint.
Success in team sports is measured by softer criteria, too. Individuals may play well but the team may still lose. The team needs a strong sense of collective identity. A soccer team, for example, must consist not of 11 individuals, but of 11 friends.
Hypnosis can improve your confidence and make the flow of required movement automatic for you, leaving you free to concentrate on tactics or strategies, and to focus on the challenge at hand rather than worrying about technique.
Clear vision of your goals
Whether you are involved in a solitary sport like golf, weight training or running, or a team sport like footy or netball, all it takes is a willingness to relax and to know exactly what you want to improve to effectively use hypnosis to enhance your performance
Hypnosis is a great way to turn players into a cohesive team, all working to win as a unit, instead of as individual players with a couple of stars. Each player seems to develop a sort of intuition about what his teammates are likely to do next and positions himself to maximize the opportunities for scoring the next goal. It is great to see players come together in this way, to form a team in the true meaning of the word.
Solitary sports benefit in a slightly different way, as you don’t have to worry about what your teammates are doing. For golfers, by having a clear idea of the exact shot you want to take, holding the club in just the right way and taking the winning swing at the ball, you can be confident that the ball will fall exactly where you want it to.
If cycling or running is your chosen field, then improved endurance, speed and form are within easy reach using hypnosis. Weight trainers out there can also see better performance with hypnosis. Lifting heavier weights is only a part of it; you can also achieve quicker recovery times, better utilization of your supplements, and faster bulking up.
Better health = better performance
Whatever your sport, the other things that support your endeavors are good, restful sleep, maximizing your nutrition, and maintaining a supple, fit body, and a positive, stress-free state of mind. These are all incorporated into your hypnosis sessions. If losing weight is a part of your fitness regime, then it’s easy to add slimming down and toning up as a part of your individual programme, without feeling deprived or starved.
Hypnosis is also very good for keeping you motivated, especially on those days when you would rather be doing anything but training. Going to the gym or for a walk or run just becomes a normal part of your day, effortlessly integrating training with your normal activities so that, before you know it, your fitness has improved simply because you have made it a regular routine.
So, if you want that winning edge, want to beat the competition, or simply want people to look at you and say “WOW, YOU LOOK FANTASTIC, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING?”, try hypnosis. It’s painless, it’s quick, and it works.
CHANGE YOUR MIND
CHANGE YOUR LIFE
By Jan Duncan
Subiaco – Linda Milburn – (08) 9388 6322 or 0409 079 435
Mundaring – Jan Duncan – 0423 936 933