Improve your sports performance with hypnosis

The use of hypnosis in sports performance is said to have started in the 1920s but was first documented in the 1950s, when it was utilised to great effect by the Russian Olympic team. Since then it has become a tool used by most top-performing athletes such as Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.

It was in 1954 that Roger Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes. Until that point, it was an accomplishment no athlete had ever thought possible. The following year over 100 people ran the mile in under four minutes. The barrier in runners’ minds had suddenly evaporated and the realms of what they now thought possible had been stretched. This Bannister Effect is evident and holds good for all areas of our lives, not just in sports.

Our subconscious mind is where we harbour automated responses and hypnosis is like a bridge between our conditioned mental responses and physiological outcomes. Studies have shown that Olympic swimmers who spend equal time in physical training as well as mental rehearsal achieved better performance than those who only practised physically. The mind is not able to tell the difference between an imagined or real event. Interestingly, and according to research, sports performance has more to do with our mental abilities than our physical abilities.

The hypnotic trance allows access to different functions of the brain. It increases the opportunity to understand unconscious motivations and permits greater access to the functions of the right side of our brain.

Every person has internal resources but accessing these inner resources and putting them to work is the advantage successful athletes have over others. The successful athletes are able to control their state of mind, which prevents them from underperforming or giving into their nerves.

During a study on racing car drivers, a series of tests were devised on a screen. The drivers had to complete these tests while increasing levels of noise were presented to them. The research concluded that what distinguished the very best drivers in the world, was an amazing ability to shut out distractions and create a laser-like focus.

Sports hypnosis can help athletes reach this level of concentration, also known as 'the zone'. It can also improve an athletes self-belief and motivation, remove negative thoughts and use relaxation to imagine success, which will very often lead to success itself.

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