Even though sports are mostly thought of as physical competitions, with participants making use of speed, coordination and strength to win; any athlete will tell you that there is a huge mental component involved in any game or competition. It takes much more than just strong muscles or a gift for running fast to win. To excel in sports, athletes must be mentally sharp as well as physically fit.
Mental focus and confidence are essential factors for success in any sport. The real challenge for most players is developing the ability to focus at the required level on demand, and maintaining their confidence and motivation over time. Events such as losses in competition, and especially injuries, can cause lapses in both, making it difficult to recover and perform at previous levels.
Hypnosis can be used to help athletes improve their mental performance, which in turn leads to better physical performance.
There are three key areas where hypnosis has proven to be especially effective for training athletes:
• Narrowing Focus – Allowing a player to “get in the zone”
• Changing Limiting Beliefs – Removing mental blocks which hurt performance
• Rehearsing For Success – Practicing mentally and visualizing success
The combination of hypnosis and visualization can have a powerful effect on performance in sports, as well as other areas of life. In a well-known experiment conducted by Australian psychologist Alan Richardson, three basketball teams were tested on their ability make free throws. One team was told to practice their free throws on a basketball court. The second team was told to do nothing, and the third was told to practice by visualizing making free throws in their mind, but not to play for real.
At the end of the test period, the control group who did not practice showed no improvement, the group that practiced on the court showed a 24% improvement, while the group that practiced solely through visualization showed a 23% improvement. Results were nearly identical for those who had practiced on the court and those who just practiced in their minds. Players who exercised their minds actually saw their performance levels rise without any extra physical work.
A study at the University of Utah, using a test group of 43 people, determined that hypnosis has a definite and positive effect on a person’s ability to perform tasks while under stress, which is, of course, a big part of any athlete’s life. Test subjects who underwent hypnosis treatments showed a marked decrease in heart rate and overall anxiety level while performing fine motor tasks under stress.
If you are an athlete looking for new ways to improve your performance, hypnosis can provide you with the means to get through your own mental blocks and unlock better physical performance. By taking advantage of the benefits of hypnosis and visualization, you’ll be able to improve your own results and find new levels of success in sports, as well as other areas of your life. Keeping the mind fit is just as important as keeping the body in shape.
About the Author: Dr. Steve G. JONES, Ed.D. is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist who has been practicing hypnotherapy since the 1980’s. He is the author of 25 books on such topics as hypnosis, the law of attraction and weight loss. Dr. Steve has also created over 9,000 hypnosis audio recordings and 22 different online certification programs, which are sold in over 140 countries. Dr. Steve G. Jones works extensively with Hollywood actors, writers, directors, and producers, helping them achieve their very best. He has been featured on Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker as both a hypnotherapist and a millionaire and has been interviewed on CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS. Learn More…