Reflections on Wimbledon
It can be entertaining and exciting to watch elite athletes at work and Wimbledon is the perfect opportunity. It can also be very revealing about the power of mind and how some athletes know how to use it to boost their performance and how others really let it get in their way.
There are three essential characteristics to a hypnotic experience: internal focus, dissociation and absorption. All three characteristics are required to perform at an elite level in many activities, sports included.
Internal focus is the capacity to shift from engaging with what is going on around you to what is going on within you. Literally tuning out from the crowd, noise, distractions and tuning in to the job at hand – mind and body. World number one Novak Djokovic is a great example of this. It seems that he has developed that ‘internally focused space’ over the years and really knows how to use it to his advantage.
Dissociation is the capacity to take a step back from what is going on and take on an ‘observer’ position. The classic ‘cool, calm and collected’ players such as Roger Federer. There are those players, such as Andy Murray, who often let their frustration and emotional response to the match get in their way of performing to the best of their ability.
Absorption is the capacity to enter into ‘the zone’ and to have the skill and training to stay there for the course of the match. Roger Federer is a great example of this and surely is a component of his ongoing success.
Recently retired Olympic long distance runner Haile Gebrselassie sums this up in his quote ‘You don’t run with your legs, you run with your mind’.
What areas of your life can you employ the power of your mind to improve your performance?
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About Paula Hamilton
Paula is a fully qualified Psychotherapist & Hypnotherapist, committed to safe practice and dedicated to her clients' journey of change. Her philosophy is to partner clients in this journey by providing therapeutic skills in an environment to facilitate change. Her approach focuses on outcomes, emotional health, psychoeducation & skill building.