February 20, 2024 10:08 AM

Hypnotically Speaking

I always get excited when it’s time for the Olympics, and because my husband was a head football coach for 45 years, the play off games and the Super Bowl are always fun for me to watch as well. And it reminds me: many Olympic, professional, college, and even high school athletes work with hypnotherapists to perfect their performance. Watching these highly talented athletes use their mental rehearsal training before and during their event is really fun for me.

Why is hypnosis such a powerful tool for athletes? In the past I’ve mentioned how receptive the subconscious mind is to the thoughts, feelings, and pictures we give it. It will always act out and act towards our most dominant thoughts and feelings. In other words, it always moves us in the direction we give it. Add to that the fact that the subconscious mind is in charge of all the physical body systems, it’s no wonder our body is very much like a robot as it is directed by the subconscious mind.

So, how does it work? After interviewing our client and getting a clear picture of them participating in their sport, we guide our athlete into a relaxed state to quiet the conscious mind so we can give suggestion to create a mental rehearsal movie in their mind that includes all aspects or their performance. When we do this we want to know how their body moves, the feel of the ball, racket, or bat, perhaps their skates on their feet, whatever is appropriate for them and their sport. We talk to them about the strength of their body and how their body moves on the rink, field, court, track, or pool and their association with these surfaces. We also want to create a scenario that would be their best performance. This includes anything that might come up during their game or event and how they respond to it. For instance, for a quarterback in football, it is important for them to stay focused and in the game at all times, like after they gets sacked, or their receiver misses the pass, or even a bad call by the ref. These are all things that come up in a football game, and it is important to be able to adjust and stay in the game emotionally while maintaining focus. I’m sure, if you have been watching the NFL playoff games you have noticed how these highly skilled quarterbacks stayed focused and calm in all situations of the game.

Once they have their mental rehearsal program, I usually give my athletes a CD of their hypnosis session. They listen to that CD every day until it becomes second nature to them. When they perform it is an automatic response for them.

Is it any wonder Tiger Wood’s father took him to a hypnotherapist at 12 years old to help him with his game? Other athletes who have used hypnosis are Jack Nicklaus, Michael Jordan, Andre Agassi, Phil Jackson, Rod Carew, Shaquille O’Neal, Ingemar Johansson, Mike Tyson, and Kobe Bryant just to name a few.

I hope you have been enjoying the games and can begin to notice the focus of these talented athletes. Until next time have a beautiful day. You deserve it!

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