With much of our attention focused on the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, it seems timely to talk about the role of mental health in sport. When it comes to success in sport, it’s obviously important to maintain a high level of physical fitness. However, an equally important part of this success is mental health. According to research, sports performance has just as much to do with mental capability as it does physical.
Professional athletes and sporting bodies acknowledge the impact an athlete’s mental health has on their performance in sport. In fact many professional athletes have been using therapies such as hypnosis for years to help enhance their sporting abilities. Doubts, anxiety, and unrelated thoughts can often get in the way of a player’s game. Through hypnosis an athlete can learn to relax their mind and better focus on the challenge in front of them. You often hear athletes talk about being in the ‘zone’. What they are usually referring to is the feeling of total control and focus. Think of hypnosis as a heightened state of awareness; when a person is hypnotised, they can become even more alert than normal. When hypnotised, you are fully conscious but can tune out most of the stimuli around you. It allows you to focus intently on a given subject, excluding any other thoughts.
Visualisation, in particular, has become an effective and preferred self-hypnosis technique for professional athletes. Professional golfer Tiger Woods is one of the most recognised athletes in the world, using hypnosis as part of his training from the very start of his career. He reportedly uses hypnotherapy and various visualisation techniques to practise his golf swing in his mind before performing on the course. He also uses it to help quiet his mind for improved focus during competitions.
Using imagery and visualisation, athletes are able to condition their minds and their bodies to carry out specific movements in reality just as they have performed them in their minds. The brain cannot distinguish between doing something and imagining doing something. For example, if an athlete visualises winning a competition, this can help tune their mind for success.
Hypnosis allows your mind to harness the power of positive thoughts through suggestions and uses the power of visualisation to help athletes’ mentally prepare and strength their performance.
If you would like to find out more about how hypnosis can help you with your sporting performance, contact us today and book an initial consultation with a member of our team.