by Joyce Hue, Clinical Hypnotherapist
Athletes spend hours strengthening their muscles, building upon their stamina and refining their technique for the big game. The fitter and healthier they are, the better their performance.
Mental strength is just as important as physical strength in sport. Like a muscle, the mind can be conditioned and strengthened for optimal performance. Hypnosis for sports performance is an excellent way for mental training and it can help you become an athlete who shines above the rest.
Simply put, hypnosis helps an athlete to focus better and visualize success. This process of programming the mind allows one to make a better connection between the body and the mind. In fact, these two entities are dependent on one another. If you are mentally tired, your immune system weakens and you will fall physically sick. Thus in this situation, if we can make your mind sharper and more focused, your body would become more efficient.
Athletes like Tiger Woods, Kevin McBride and the Swiss Ski team are said to be users of hypnosis for sports. Even the USA Navy SEALs uses visualization techniques.
Hypnosis is a powerful tool that can change the way you think. If you think you are not good enough, then you won't be good enough. This negative thought could stem from a childhood experience. For example: “I am too fat to run”. This thought is reinforced, as you get older until it eventually becomes a belief. This affects your performance. By using hypnosis, we will reframe your thoughts to make healthier more positive ones. You can program yourself to be more motivated, to enjoy working out or to see yourself succeed.
Hypnosis can help you to improve the actual skill itself. By visualizing and imagery processes, the therapist would guide you to see the target more accurately, feel the muscles working in your body or hear the sound of the applause as you score that goal. As Napolean Hill once mentioned, "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."
Consequently, hypnosis is a perfect tool to help you improve your sports performance. You could be a professional athlete striving to perfect your skills, or an active person who wants to maximize your body's potential. The key lies in learning how to manage your mind. This modality may work immediately for some; others will find that their levels of performance gradually improving after a few sessions. If you are playing an individual sport, hypnosis helps you to focus and concentrate better on your own athletic abilities. In a team sport, hypnosis can be a group activity that allows team members to be more energetic and unified for success.
Overall, hypnosis & visualization can help you to:
- Improve confidence and self- belief
- Induce deep relaxation and calmness
- Increase motivation and dedication
- Guide one through visualization and focus to imagine success
- Remove negative thoughts or beliefs
- Maintain composure and overcome distractions
- Boost energy levels and stamina
- Assist in recovery and pain management
- Helps healing process through visualization