Athletes have used hypnosis to help improve athletic performance decades before most scientific research was published. Science is finally catching up to what Certified Hypnotists have been doing for decades.
Hypnosis helps athletes with
- Injury Rehabilitation
- Reducing Fear of Injury
- Improved Focus and Concentration
- Overcoming Performance Blocks
- Controlling Anxiety
- Increasing Self Confidence
- Improved Performance
It’s no surprise that top elite and Olympic athletes consistently seek certified hypnotherapists to help maintain the mindset needed to improve their confidence, and performance to stay on top of their game.
After a few hypnosis sessions, as my athletic clients begin to notice positive changes, I frequently hear
“I wish my coach would have taught me this.”
“Coaches are experts at what they do. You wouldn’t be where you are without your coach. Hypnotherapists are experts at helping athletes to create the thought processes needed to increase focus, confidence, and overcome blocks.
“Two very different skill sets.
You wouldn’t expect your coach to also be an expert at fixing your car!”
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Through hypnosis, teen, college, and professional athletes learn to train their minds to think and focus in new ways to maintain the optimum mindset during their sport or game. The process involves understanding how the subconscious mind works and actively “rewiring” new thinking patterns and behaviors.
Athletes learn that “repatterning” their thoughts is similar to learning their sport. Repetition and practice are key components to create automatic changes. Luckily the mind learns quite quickly and starts to make better behaviors and thought patterns which happen automatically.
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ATHLETES WHO HAVE USED HYPNOSIS
Tiger Woods (golf)
Wayne Gretzky (hockey)
Eric Heiden (Olympic speed skater)
Michael Jordan (basketball)
Alex Malysz (Olympic medal, ski jump)
Shaquille O’Neal (basketball)
Jimmy Connors (tennis)
Steve Hooker (Olympic Gold, pole vault)
Jack Nicklaus (golf)
Mary Lou Retton (Olympic Gold, gymnastics)
Backed by Science
Below are a few fascinating findings from published research that prove the power of your mind has the ability to improve strength, energy, and performance. Once you learn your sport, the next game resides in your mind. Creating the thought processes you need to excel becomes your new goal as you continue to enjoy improving while maintaining the mindset of success. The most effective way to improve your mind is through sports performance hypnosis.
Basketball: The Greatest Potential For Improvement is to Combine Mental with Physical Practice
Students from four Michigan High Schools participated in the study to determine the effect of mental practice compared with that of physical practice in the development of the 1-hand foul shot.
144 students were divided by their basketball experience: Varsity, Jr. Varsity, and Novice
- 72 students from each group practiced 25 foul shots daily for 14 days
- 72 students MENTALLY IMAGINED practicing 25 foul shots daily (no physical practice) for 14 days
AFTER 14 DAYS: THE GROUPS THAT PRACTICED 25 FOUL SHOTS DAILY
The Varsity group improved by 16%
The Jr. Varsity group improved by 24%
AFTER 14 DAYS: THE GROUPS THAT ONLY MENTALLY PRACTICED IN THEIR MIND
The Varsity group improved by 15%
The Jr. Varsity group improved by 23%
Clark, L. V. (1960). Effect of mental practice on the development of a certain motor skill. Research Quarterly of the American Association for Health, Physical Education, & Recreation, 31, 560–569.
Conclusion: Mental practice is almost as effective as physical practice. A combination of physical and mental practice may have the greatest potential for the improvement of any motor skill.
Effects of Imagery Use in Basketball Free Throw Shooting
The hypothesis for this study was that the use of imagery techniques both during game situations and in practice, both with and without outside distractions will help basketball players improve their free throw shooting.
The author reviewed information from 13 scholarly journals, such as the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology (JSEP), Journal of General Psychology (JGP), Journal of Sport Behavior (JSB), Journal of Mental Imagery (JMI), Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, the International Journal of Sport Psychology (IJSP) and three textbooks. Journal articles specifically describe the effect of the use of imagery on free throw shooting, using high school and college athletes as primary subjects.
CONCLUSION: The majority of research findings showed significant gains in their free throw shooting success. When the subjects in the studies used imagery consistently, they showed improvement in their free throw shooting.
Jamaal Edward Cannon, California State University Published Dissertation, June 2008
Throwing Accuracy Improves With Hypnosis
Research: Participants were assigned to either a hypnosis or control group.
Both groups first completed a pre-test of throwing 20 tennis balls. Prior to the second block of 20 throws, the hypnosis group received a 10-minute hypnotic intervention. The control group was asked to relax for the same length of time.
Five days later, after each group threw 20 more tennis balls, the hypnosis group showed an increase in throwing accuracy as compared to the control group which did not improve. These findings show that hypnosis can have a positive impact on motor learning.
Jalene, S., & Wulf, G. (2014). Brief Hypnotic Intervention Increases Throwing Accuracy. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching. 199–206.
Golfers Enjoy Lower Scores With Hypnosis
The participants were three male elite European Tour golfers aged 27, 35 and 36, with 5 to 10 years of professional tour playing experience. All participants had a swing coach and over their playing careers had received only technical training.
Although the golfers reported the swing training had been successful and it had helped them become professional athletes, they all felt during competitions when they had a chance to win, they struggled under pressure.
Each golfer was open to learning if hypnosis would improve their performance and play under pressure. The golfers in this study had no prior experience with hypnosis.
Each golfer experienced 5 hypnosis sessions. Each session was custom designed to help the golfer learn to create a personal trigger (an anchor) to elicit a state of enhanced self-confidence and positivity. After each hypnosis session, each played a round of golf, practicing his new mental strategy.
RESULTS: Each participant reported they had overcome old struggles and experienced increased positive and confident sensations. All three participants’ mean stroke average decreased.
Can You Strengthen Muscles by Thought Alone?
Can you imagine holding a slice of lemon right now? Take a moment and imagine you are looking at the shiny yellow flesh. Pretend you can feel the bumpy feeling of the skin of that lemon. Now, imagine you are slowly bringing it closer and closer to your mouth… when it touches your lips, QUICKLY – sink your teeth into that lemon… think of that tart, sour taste…mouth-watering…
If you were to imagine that scene in your mind for even a few minutes, the thought of that lemon would lead to the activation of the same brain areas as if you were actually biting into that sour fruit. Read on to learn what happens when you use your mind to improve your strength!
In 2004, a team of scientists at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio decided to explore the benefits of a strength program by simply imagining exercising a muscle.
A group of 30 volunteers was split into three subsets. Strength and movement were tested at the beginning and end of the study.
The first group imagined contracting and spreading one little finger. The second visualized and imagined flexing their biceps. They were instructed to make the thought as real as possible inside their heads by seeing, feeling, and experiencing the thought.
The third group was a control group.
RESULTS: At the end of 12 weeks of practice (about 15 minutes a day), the researchers found
The first group increased their finger abduction strength by 35%
The second group increased their elbow flexion strength by 13.5%
The control group showed no changes in finger or elbow strength.
CONCLUSION: The improvement in muscle strength for both groups was accompanied by significant increases in electroencephalogram-derived cortical potential, a measure previously shown to be directly related to control of voluntary muscle contractions.
(Mental training employed by this study enhances the cortical output signal, which drives the muscles to a higher activation level and increases strength.)
Vinoth K. Ranganathan, Vlodek Siemionowa,, Jing Z. Liu, Vinod Sahgal, Guang H. Yue. From Mental Power to Muscle Power–Gaining Strength By Using The Mind. Neuropsychologia Volume 42, Issue 7, 2004, Pages 944-956
Nationally Ranked Gymnasts Benefit From Hypnosis
Visualizations under hypnosis enabled nationally ranked Stanford male gymnasts to execute for the first time several complex tricks that they had been working on for over a year. The gymnasts were able to eliminate timing errors in the tricks, and increase flexibility.
Donald R. Liggett Ph.D. & Sadao Hamada
Enhancing the Visualization of Gymnasts
American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Volume 35, 1993 – Issue 3
For Athletes Who Want To Accelerate Their Recovery.
Using Hypnosis To Accelerate the Healing of Bone Fractures
12 people with broken ankles were recruited for this study. All were receiving treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
6 patients received hypnosis once a week for 12 weeks.
6 patients received no treatment.
Radiologists and physicians who treated the group did not know which patients underwent hypnosis.
RESULTS: Those who were hypnotized healed faster than those who were not. Six weeks after the fracture, those in the hypnosis group showed the equivalent of eight and a half weeks of healing.
Ginandes, Carol S; Rosenthal, Daniel I.
Using hypnosis to accelerate the healing of bone fractures: A randomized controlled pilot study
Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine; Vol. 5, Iss. 2, (Mar 1999): 67-75.
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