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Visualisation: the tool of champions

02:06am, 22/01/14

Enhancing performance in sportsWhether you play sports professionally, want to beat your mates on a Sunday afternoon game of 5-a-side or simply desire to develop your abilities for your own fulfillment, improved athletic performance is a common desire for those requesting hypnosis sessions. All the technical prowess and physical ability in the world are not enough to overcome a poor mindset, and this is shown in professional sports matches worldwide. Often-times we see teams finding themselves in the lead, with all the ability to go on and win the game, all of a sudden making inexplicable mistakes and capitulating to their opponents. In these cases the belief that they could win the game simply wasnít strong enough, creating a negative self-fulfilling prophecy.

Hypnosis can be used to cultivate a number of positive psychological changes, all of which will increase your performance and massively improve your chance of winning the game. Positive changes include:

- Heightened game awareness
- Winnerís belief
- Indifference to hostile crowds or opponentís gamesmanship
- Focussed and calm internal state
- Removing emotional repercussions from previous losses

Been there, done that!

Itís a lot easier to achieve something if youíve already done it before. Fortunately, your brain doesnít know the difference between a vividly imagined scenario and one that has actually occurred in reality. By visualising a sporting scenario, the same neurological pathways are activated and electrical impulses sent to your muscles as if you were actually doing it in person. Now that you know this, Iím sure it will make you a lot more cautious about imagining negative scenarios occurring in your chosen sport!

Itís no wonder that so many athletes use visualisation as part of their training routine. By programming your brain for victory, you are greatly reducing the chance of self sabotage, which results when the desire of winning doesnít align with the belief that it is possible.

The more vivid the visualisation, the better!

The best visualisation techniques involve as many of the senses as possible: seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting victory! When coming up with a visualisation, it should always be in first person perspective, and be as bright and powerful as possible. Imagine the sight of the ball ricocheting against the back of the net as you score that all important goal, the sound of the roaring crowd, the smell of the mud at your feet, the taste of the sweat in your mouth and the feeling of touching that trophy as you raise it to the sky majestically! The more sensory stimulation you can provide, the more real the experience will be in your brainís neurology. Likewise, picking up on every detail (no matter how small) during the visualisation will only help to make it more potent..

Conversely, one of the ways to overcome negative past experiences is to tone down the memory, make it grayscale and reduce the volume. By doing this you’re instructing your brain to give the memory less emotional significance, which is essential when you want to replace negative memories with positive visualisations.

If improving your performance for sports is something that youíd like to undergo hypnosis for, please get in touch.

(Photo by Karpati Gabor)

Disclaimer: with all hypnotherapy, results and the number of sessions required may vary from individual to individual.

© 2015 Don Ely, all rights reserved . last update: 23/11/17