Sports Perfomance


Sports Psychology and Sports Hypnosis are difficult to separate as they both work with behaviour and the unconscious mind to varying degrees.

The key difference is that Sports Psychology aims to make small changes and improvements over a long period, whereas Sports Hypnosis achieves major changes over a far shorter time scale.

Sports Hypnosis is far more effective in getting rapid results. In fact a lot of the most effective techniques (such as visualisation) used in Sports psychology are themselves forms of hypnosis, even though many Psychologists are unaware of the fact.

Sports Hypnosis works directly with the subconscious mind, the part of the mind that controls our actions and behaviours, so changes are affected quickly. This is extremely important to sports people who need to achieve "the zone" when competing.

The Sporting Mind

There are three factors that influence our sporting ability; our fitness, our technical skills and our mental skills. Although many sports performers will spend a lot of their time on their fitness and technical skills, the mental side of the game is often neglected. And yet it is amazing how good we can be at using our minds to work against us. Even before we start an activity, we can often find a number of reasons for failure - doubt, bad weather, lack of practice, tiredness, anxiety, stress - and find ourselves living up (or 'down') to our expectations.

Essentially, we can find ourselves performing badly because we are not using our minds in a positive way. As a result, we can form limiting beliefs about ourselves which leave us expecting failure rather than success.

By changing how we use our minds when we approach a game - by enhancing self-belief, dealing with how we respond to committing errors, setting goals and maintaining a positive attitude - it is possible to make a significant impact on our performance levels.

Sport Psychology and Sports Hypnosis

There has been a long history of hypnosis in sport. Since 1956 (Melbourne Olympic games) the Russians have used hypnotic techniques extensively to improve performance and produce champions. You don't need to look too far in any sport to find great champions using these techniques. The reason most of them don't like to talk about it is because of the age-old myth that hypnosis is a magical power to make you do things. Athletes utilise many forms of scientific technology to improve their performance including equipment, training advances, nutrition and sports psychology which will usually include focusing and visualisation techniques, both of which are hypnotic techniques.

You don't have to be a champion to use hypnosis. Anyone can learn and perfect simple, self-hypnosis techniques for:

  • Mental imagery and future rehearsal of success (including effective techniques from areas like NLP)
  • Focusing on success, strategy (how to get into the success zone when you need to)
  • Overcoming mental blocks and barriers
  • Reinforcing self-belief, motivation and positive thinking

The major percentage of sports people who consult hypnotherapists tends to be those wishing to improve at golf. However, hypnosis can be equally useful with all kinds of individual and competitive sports. The greatest of champions and athletes also tend to be the ones who have learned to think successfully, they have mastered the psychology of their individual sport.

So no matter what sport you play, or what level you compete at, Sports hypnosis could help you maximise your potential.