Sports hypnosis involves the application of hypnosis directed towards improving sports performance and achievement. In the past, sport was seen as very much a physical matter, and nearly all training was based on developing the skills and strength needed for performance. More recently, while still recognizing these as essential, experts have increasingly emphasized the need for cultivating the right state of mind, because without it little can be achieved.
From endurance sports such as distance running, triathlon or bodybuilding, to competitive games such as soccer, golf or tennis, to less physical but equally challenging games such as chess or poker, self hypnosis can help you to achieve new levels of sporting success.
Our sports hypnosis audio programs can help you to:
- Create a positive frame of mind.
- Eliminate any destructive tensions.
- Increase your ability to deal with setbacks.
- Improve your precision, efficiency and timing.
- Develop a laser-like focus and avoid distractions.
- Model excellence and think like great sports people do.
- Gain the confidence to perform to the best of your ability.
If you’ve ever felt that your most dogged and persistent opponent is yourself, then our sports hypnosis CD's and MP3 downloads can help you with this too. They are designed to overcome the mental blocks that all too often get in the way of your game, as well as building positive expectations and helping you to develop habits of performance excellence at a deep, subconscious level.
Self hypnosis is a way of deliberately creating an open and receptive state of mind and using it for a specific purpose, in this case, improving your sporting performance. This hypnotic state of mind, or trance, is something which you will almost certainly have experienced whilst playing sport anyway. The hypnotic state is really just a narrowing of your focus of attention. If you’ve ever become completely absorbed in a football match or round of golf, to the extent that you stop noticing everything else going on around you, then you will have been in a form of trance. This can happen in any sort of game or sport, which makes sport uniquely suited to the application of hypnosis.
Self hypnosis can help to improve your sporting performance in a number of ways. First of all, by entering a relaxed but attentive state of awareness, you open up your subconscious mind to positive suggestions for improvement. These can be used to build up expectations for success. Human beings have a powerful drive towards fulfilling their expectations, good or bad, so expecting your game to improve makes it far more likely that it actually will improve. This is especially true if the expectation is embedded at a deep, subconscious level.
Unfortunately, the opposite is also true in sport. Expecting things to go badly means that you increase the probability of them doing so, which in turn reinforces your negative expectations. This can quickly become a vicious circle. Self hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help to break this vicious circle by dealing directly with the part of the mind that keeps it in place, to update it with new information and to create more beneficial patterns of expected behavior.
Finally, and most importantly, self hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help to improve your sporting performance through vivid mental rehearsal. Research has consistently shown that mentally rehearsing successful sporting outcomes, whether that’s taking a perfect golf swing or returning your opponent’s tennis serve or scoring a penalty, leads to demonstrable improvements in the actual game.
The psychological aspects of physical sports performance have been extensively studied since at least the 1920s, and these days sports psychology is big business. Self hypnosis is a practical sports psychology tool, and one that is accessible to just about everyone who wants to improve their performance.
Experiments consistently show the power of the psychological approach. Australian psychologist Alan Richardson, for instance, conducted an experiment with three groups of basketball players. One group did nothing, the second group spent 20 minutes a day practising free throws, and the third group spent 20 minutes a day imagining shooting perfect free throws. Unsurprisingly, the group who did nothing at all showed no improvement in their shooting ability, but the group who did nothing but imaginary practice showed almost identical improvement to the group who practised physically - 23% and 24% respectively. Achieving virtually the same level of improvement through nothing more than imagination shows just how powerful the mind can be when it comes to sports performance.
Of course, combining mental and physical rehearsal might well have produced even more spectacular improvements!
Whilst self hypnosis can help you to make dramatic improvements in your game, there are, of course, very real limitations that you need to be aware of. If you’re in your late 40s, for example, no amount of hypnotherapy will help you to win a 100m Olympic gold against a field full of athletes in their 20s! We all have physical and environmental considerations that set limits on our possible achievements – but this is true in every field of human endeavor.
Having said that, those limits might be further away than you might think. Sports hypnosis can be a very effective way of helping you to discover and fulfill your sporting potential.
Yes. The following sessions can be successfully used for almost any sport:
These recordings work well individually, but also complement each other. They are suitable no matter what sport you’re involved in, from solo athletics to team games and everything in-between.
As noted above, mental rehearsal is certainly very effective, not least because it’s possible to mentally rehearse success every single time – which may not be the case with actual, physical practice! However, it is not enough on its own. In reality, no top class sportsperson ever got to their position just through mental rehearsal and creative visualization alone.
Sports coaching and training are essential for developing the physique, muscle memory and technique for success in your chosen sport. Sports hypnosis is really a form of extra practice, that can make real world coaching and training even more effective.
Although chess, poker and other “mind sports” may appear more sedentary than athletics or team games, they can be just as challenging – and as any chess or poker player will tell you, just as physically exhausting! Self hypnosis can be used to develop mental stamina, build positive expectations and mentally rehearse success in exactly the same way as for other sports, as well as addressing the particular challenges of these games. Please see our “Perfect Poker” and “Chess Success” self hypnosis CDs / MP3 downloads for further details.
This is a very common experience across all sports and is linked to the idea of negative expectations discussed above. A poor sporting performance can establish an subconscious pattern in which you anticipate performing poorly in future games. As we have seen, this makes poor sporting performance far more likely to happen, reinforcing the pattern and creating a vicious circle.
Sports hypnosis can help you to get back on form by breaking this pattern, removing the negative emotion and helping you to focus on more positive outcomes. When your sports performance starts to improve, this will create an equally powerful subconscious pattern for success.
Again, this is a very common experience across all sports and is really a type of performance anxiety. When you play your game for fun, there are no pressures and no real consequences for poor sporting performance. In these circumstances, you are likely to just focus on the game itself and to enjoy it for its own sake. There is no tension or emotional stress to interfere with the free flow of the game.
However, in competitive sport situations, there is pressure and there are consequences for poor performance. Suddenly, instead of just focusing on your game, you’re focusing on the outcome. This creates tension, and your performance can suffer as a result. In psychological terms, you have dropped out of the flow state.
The techniques we use in our sports hypnosis CD's and MP3 downloads are designed to overcome this mental block, helping you to focus solely on the process and flow of the game through mental rehearsal and positive suggestion. By removing unhelpful emotions and tension, you can begin to thrive in competitive situations.
Everyone who listens to our sports hypnosis CD's and MP3 downloads will be at different stages in their chosen sport, and will have different goals and requirements. As such, it is impossible to say just how many times you will have to listen to on our of sports hypnosis recordings before you see a difference.
However, all of our hypnotherapy programs are designed to produce observable changes that will be meaningful to you as an individual sportsperson, whenever you notice them. Also, the great advantage of a self hypnosis download or CD is that you can listen to it as often as you like, reinforcing the positive benefits through repetition.
Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state of mind and a way of making sports psychological techniques even more effective, by making the subconscious mind more receptive. Hypnosis is not magic, however, and we cannot guarantee that it will work for 100% of people 100% of the time.
That said, the principles and hypnotherapy techniques we use are all tried and tested in real world practice, and we believe that regular listening to our sports hypnosis audio programs can help you to make noticeable improvements in your sporting performance.