Hypnosis has been used by a number of sportsmen and women over the years to improve their sporting performance. It has been well known that the various techniques used in hypnosis, including NLP and visualizations have positively affected the state of mind and performances of many an experienced player, as well as the amateurs. Though a lot of famous sporting celebrities and athletes have used hypnosis techniques in the past, it is not a very well known fact because of the stigma attached to hypnosis.
Pulp fiction and movies have added fuel to the fire in portraying hypnotherapy as a load of mumbo-jumbo, coupled with Machiavellian hypnotists who are out to control your mind. The truth couldnâ€™t be more different. Over the years researchers have discovered the true potential of hypnosis and recommend it as a one-stop remedy for any malady in life, sporting performance included. A playerâ€™s performance in a game is directly related to his/her state of mind; the more confident and calm the subconscious, the better the performance, and vice-versa. Recently ace golfer, Tiger Woods acknowledged the fact that he uses hypnosis and its various techniques to calm his mind before any game. The results of these hypnotherapy sessions are out there for all of us to see. He along with his mental coach Jay Brunza work towards making Tiger Woodsâ€™ mind controlled, relaxed and composed. Their one point agenda is to increase Tigerâ€™s concentration and focus, by succeeding in blocking distractions and disturbances. Golf as a game requires a great deal of focus, and if this focus waversâ€¦the game is lost.
Hypnosis works towards recreating images of the perfect move or the perfect stroke required of a player to win a match. The images are visualized by the player in his mind, and repeated over and over, till it has made an imprint in his subconscious. Tennis star, Jimmy Connors is said to have used hypnosis techniques to practice his winning strokes prior to the US Open Championship, which went a long way in sealing his victory at the tournament. Hypnosis also goes a long way in soothing a playerâ€™s nerves through calming audios and takes care of the performance anxiety which so many players face before a game. A great sportsperson might fail to leave a mark at a game, if he is anxious and tense. Hypnosis helps them deal with these jitters by smoothening the rough edges of their subconscious mind. Kevin McBride, the celebrated Irish heavyweight boxing champion summons his hypnotist before every game, to get into the right frame of mind. Even golfer Jack Niklaus lauded hypnotherapy and visualization techniques as the sole reason for his improved concentration, which has led him to numerous victories. He says that his game of golf is only 10% physical, and 90% mental; he further adds that he visualizes each of the holes on a course, especially the tough ones and rehearses in his mind the right stroke to master them. He even says that he whenever he plays a shot; he knows exactly the movements he is making and the outcome of each move in his mind, before he hits the shot.
It sounds incredible that hypnosis can help a player in his performance to such an extent. But it is true, and a number of sporting legends owe their pioneering performance to hypnosis. Boxer Ken Norton used hypnosis prior to his penultimate game with Mohammad Ali, where Norton ended up breaking Aliâ€™s jaw; even cyclist Lance Armstrong is said to have used visualization techniques to overcome obstacles.
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