Sports Enhancement

Hypnosis for 

  • Endurance Training

  • Energy Booster

  • Exercise Motivation

  • Improve Marksmanship

  • Situational Awareness

  • Martial Arts Heightened Awareness

  • Martial Arts Timing

  • Mental Imagery Sports

  • Muscle Strenght 

  • Verbal Self Defense

Improving Sports Performance through the use of Hypnosis, Mental Imagery, and Self-talk

by Dr. Alan Ruth

....When sportspeople enter their „ zone of optimal functioning‟, they tend to have their very best (peak) performances. Ungerleider (1996, p. 4) identified two possible explanations as to why mental practice improves sports performance.
These are: (a) Symbolic learning theory and (b) Psychoneuromuscular theory.
According to symbolic learning theory, imagery may be part of a coding system that actually helps sportspeople understand the movement.
The theory states that every move we make in life is first coded like a blueprint in our minds and in our nervous systems, so that if we mentally rehearse a sporting event, we are actually blueprinting each move, making the gestures symbolic and making them more familiar to our body chemistry. By doing lots of mental practice, we are setting the stage for movement to become quite automatic and easy to recall. According to Psychoneuromuscular theory, mental practice works because even when we are sitting quietly in our armchairs, we are actually producing very small muscle contractions similar to those involved in our particular sport. The theory has been tested and evidence to support it has been obtained by having sportspeople mentally rehearse images and then measuring the electrical activity (with an electromyograph) in their arms and legs. Zizzi et al; (2009) have identified a „hierarchy of training necessary to use various psychological skills (as rated by sports trainers, coaches, and psychologists).‟
The top three skills listed in the hierarchy are: (a) hypnosis, (b) imagery and visualization, and (c) modifying self-talk. The other skills included in this hierarchy are energy management, communication skills, team building, attention/concentration, goal setting, and time management.  There has been a long history of the use of hypnosis in sport. In the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, the Russian team was apparently accompanied by 11 hypnotists. Hypnosis has been used by many Champion boxers throughout the years. In 1996 Steve Collins beat Chris Eubank for the World Boxing Organisation‟s Super-middleweight title. Much of his success was attributed to the focusing of his attention created by hypnosis administered by fellow Irishman Tony Quinn. Collins was „programmed‟ to deliver two punches to Eubank‟s one. In the fight Eubank threw 300 punches, Collins threw over 600. Since the unconscious mind is really the driving force between most of our beliefs and behaviors, it makes sense that a technique that elicits change at the unconscious level can be highly effective in sport. Hypnosis is such a technique. Hypnosis can help sportspeople overcome issues of self-doubt which may be keeping them from moving to the next level of performance. It can help sportspeople hone their skills, fine-tune a technique, and have a level of self-belief and confidence which will enable them to excel beyond what they may have previously not thought possible. Hypnosis can also help sportspeople acquire the intense focus required to be at the top in their sport. Hypnosis can also help sportspeople to overcome performance anxiety or pre-competition nervousness. Another way that hypnosis can help competitive sportspeople is in dealing with pain and injuries. Learning to dissociate from the pain can help them better cope with it and perform in spite of it. Relaxation methods can also be particularly helpful when it comes to managing pain which is part and parcel of most sports. Karageorghis and Terry (2011. p. 188) have noted that a common misconception about hypnosis is that it involves a deep trance in which the person who is hypnotized is unaware of what is going on around them and that they have no control over their actions. In reality, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis and involves a state of heightened awareness. Essentially, hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness. Following a short period of relaxation, a sportsperson can give themselves positive suggestions to help enhance their performance and adopt more positive attitudes towards training and competition. They can also use mental imagery while in a state of hypnosis. Sportspeople can use self-hypnosis scripts to give themselves positive and beneficial suggestions relating to, for example, mastering a specific sport skill, attaining peak performance, and increasing self-confidence. Examples of positive suggestions that sportspeople could use in a state of self-hypnosis include: (a) I will be able to channel my arousal and tension into optimizing my performance"

 

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  • ​Endurance Training

  • Energy Booster

  • Exercise Motivation

  • Improve Marksmanship

  • Situational Awareness

  • Martial Arts Heightened Awareness

  • Martial Arts Timing

  • Mental Imagery Sports

  • Muscle Strenght 

  • Verbal Self Defense