What is Sports Hypnosis?
There are a lot of myths out there about hypnosis in general, and thus also about sport hypnosis. So to start we want to look at what sport hypnosis is not and then define what it is.
1. Will I feel hypnotized?
No you will not feel hypnotized, which can be confusing due to what people see within stage shows, where people are made to do many funny things. If you asked them they would say they didn’t feel hypnotized because they heard everything that was being said. There is a myth out there that while hypnotized you won’t hear anything. The reality is you will hear everything, but from time to time you may drift off and not be paying full attention to what is said, but this happens all the time anyway and is completely normal.
2. Will I still be in control?
Yes you will still be in control, when you are doing hypnosis for sports you will still be in full control, the hypnotist will not be able to make you do anything you truly do not want to do. You will only accept suggestions that you want to accept.
What is sports hypnosis?
Now that we have demystified hypnosis lets take a look at what sports hypnosis is all about and why it works so well. The reason sports hypnosis works so well is because the body responds to commands from the mind much like a robot responds to commands from the programmer. You are in charge, you tell your body what to do.
Here is an example:
When you read a book, do you generate emotions inside your body? What is an emotion? An emotion is a biochemical change. Now, would you ever say that the words on the page created the biochemical change? No, what did create the biochemical change was your interpretation of the words. You interpreted the words in such a way that it created a thought. That thought became so realistic your body created a biochemical shift inside your body as if you were actually in the story line.
So the purpose of sports hypnosis is to create images and thoughts in the mind that are so realistic that they create a biochemical change in the body, that then makes the body feel like it is actually there.
The traits you need mentally, emotionally and physically for success you already possess within. With the assistance of sports hypnosis you can gain access to these abilities and experience the reality of your potential. You are capable of being the athlete you wish to be!
What are the Benefits of Sports Hypnosis?
One of sports hypnosis’s main benefits over some other forms of Psychology is its ability in accessing unconscious behaviors rapidly. It’s often easy for an athlete to be aware of their ‘problem’ but solving it is another matter when they retain unconscious motivations to keep it alive.
Some of the ways Hypnosis can help are:
- 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
- Revisit a previous good performance and set up anchors to trigger that resourceful state again when required.
- Good nutrition instillation
- Increase strength: Weight lifting increase bench press by 30% through hypnosis.
What is the History Behind Sports Hypnosis?
There has been a long history of hypnosis for sports, often used under different names such as mental or autogenic training. In the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, the Russian team took no less than 11 hypnotists. You don’t need to look too far in any sport to find great champions using hypnotic techniques to improve performance, such as Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan. 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 use all kinds of scientific technology to improve their performance including equipment, training advances, nutrition and even applied sports psychology, which will usually include focusing and visualization techniques for improvement.