Tactics for football, netball, golf, basketball, and all sports that you can imagine don’t always just come down to training and a clever game plan. Psychological elements have become increasingly important and these can include the use of hypnosis, NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and the choice of colours for football kits, netball kits, basketball kits, golf clothing and so on.
Hypnosis has been used by professional athletes and Olympic teams for many years now, to give them a mental advantage over their opponents. If you take part in sport you will be familiar with those annoying moments that happen when some distracting thought, self-doubt, lack of certainty or some bad habit cuts through your performance, for what may be a tiny moment in time. Yet this tiny moment in time has just lost you the flow of concentrated play, and in retrospect, this tiny moment in time is what changed the outcome of the game. And you lost.
This is where hypnosis can help. Sports hypnosis gives players and athletes the ability to perform automatically with the best techniques. Hypnosis opens the subconscious mind to accept and achieve perfection. Playing any sport competitively requires an eighty per cent mental focus and agility. Hypnosis can trigger this state of being. One example of a famous sports personality who uses sports hypnosis is Tiger Woods.
Although many people have strange ideas about hypnosis, due to stage hypnosis, hypnosis is nothing more than a relaxed state of consciousness. A therapist can create an environment in the subconscious mind where stress and relaxation cannot live together.
This then enables a player/athlete to be unaware of distracting thoughts and results in a fluid, automatic sports performance. This can and is also used by amateur players who wish to play their sport as well as possible, for enjoyment and of course the pleasure of a top performance.
Through hypnosis a therapist can access and guide the outcome to a response, so that an athlete reacts without compensation, hesitation and with the proper techniques. Think about that feeling that comes when driving, kind of on auto-pilot, when your reactions seem like second nature and it seems to be effortless. This is how it feels like to be hypnotised. There is nothing weird about it, in fact it is natural and healthy state. It is in this state that you can achieve success in your sport, or for that matter, any given area, with less effort.
For sports people, whether professional or amateur, the therapist can weed out any bad habits or counter-productive thought patterns or responses and will work with you to replace these at a subconscious level with better strategies, that will come to you automatically when you play the sport after the required amount of hypnosis sessions.
If you are reading this and are wondering how many sessions you will need, there is no rule of thumb. Each person is different and the great thing about sports hypnosis is that you will know yourself when you feel that great natural confidence and automatic ability to play to your best ability.
Let’s take a quick look at the difference between the subconscious and the conscious mind. The conscious mind is where we store logic, reasoning, analysis and decision making. In the subconscious we house identifications, associations and learned responses.
Examples of the subconscious mind at work are when we are walking. We do not have to make a decision to place one foot after the other foot. So with sports hypnosis we are working with ensuring that the habits in the subconscious mind are positive and will enable a top sports performance. Hypnosis is often used in conjunction with guided imagery and visualization. Depending on the sport and player/athlete, this can be customised to include the most relevant and meaningful images. A good therapist will walk you through very detailed guided imagery, which could include descriptions of the stadium, football kits, netball kits, combined with the feeling of excitement as you score that goal or whatever your sports aim is.