Hypnosis is a powerful teaching tool that can propel athletes to the next level of sports performance. At Hawaii Hypnosis Center we use advanced hypnotic techniques to develop athletes in multiple areas. We teach athletes how to be confident, increase their focus, break bad habits, conquer slumps, develop muscle relaxation, and improve their visualization techniques. We’ve used these techniques to help athletes from age 12 to 67 and in more than two dozen different sports.
Golfer Jack Nichlaus won 18 majors in his career and is considered one of the best to ever play the game. He said that he never hit a shot – not even in practice – that he didn’t first visualize in his mind. Hypnosis teaches athletes the powerful ways in which to view their actions and outcomes and get the results they intend instead of the results they fear.
As an athlete, you know that your mind can stay acutely active during your sport. You know that your mind is going to have thoughts each and every time you step to the plate, address the ball, take a penalty kick, catch a wave or run a race. Hypnosis teaches you to control those thoughts. You can allow your mind to focus on the other athletes, your past performances, all the coaching you’ve received and the dozens of potential outcomes OR you can learn how your mind can focus on success – each and every time. That’s right, you can CHOOSE what your mind focuses on… so why not learn the techniques to make it something positive, something useful and helpful?
Beyond visualization and focus, hypnosis teaches athletes the power of muscle relaxation. We’re not talking the kind of relaxation when you’re chillin’ in a hammock on a lazy summer day. We’re talking the kind of relaxation that allows your muscles to work for you, steadily, rhythmically, and with less fatigue. When you become stressed or worried, you carry that stress in your muscles – they involuntarily tighten up. Muscle tension is a protection mechanism triggered by your subconscious. Your subconscious believes it is helping you be ready for action by doing things that aren’t actually helping in your sports performance. The top athletes in the world have learned to overcome the effects of adrenaline and muscle tension and redirect that power to performance. Hypnosis can teach you how to relax away muscle tension so that you’re no longer fighting with your muscles. Instead of inconsistency and fatigue, you’ll begin to achieve consistent and prolonged peak performance.
Hypnosis also helps athletes identify limiting and defeating self-talk. We’ve all had a bad experience, an overbearing coach or a critical parent moment. Unfortunately, those things can stick with us, quietly lurking in our mind and only popping up when our performance is on the line. You’ve tried to ignore the negative stuff but it seems to be chirping away in your subconscious. Hypnosis helps neutralize past events and turns your subconscious into the most powerful cheering section you’ve ever had in your life. Imagine stepping up to the ball, the line, the starting block, knowing that you cannot fail.
Hypnosis isn’t voodoo and it isn’t magic. It’s the laser focus of your mind and it WILL make you better at everything you do.
Hawaii Hypnosis Center offers a FREE phone consultation so you can learn more about how hypnosis can improve your sports performance and all the other areas of your life. Give us a call today at 808-221-7353.
Sports of the Mind
Yogi Berra, the famous New York Yankees player and manager, once said, “Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical.” While his math was intentionally, and humorously, wrong, he made a key point—the mental side of sports is often more important than the physical side.
As a sports performance specialist, I’ve worked with professional athletes that struggle with confidence, become angry after a loss, or have trouble bouncing back from an injury. Sports challenges like these can be even more significant for the majority of us that are only involved in sports for health, recreation and enjoyment. According to a recent Golf Magazine survey, the average golfer spends 71 minutes a week practicing, plays 46 rounds a year, and spends $2,776 a year on equipment and training. What’s interesting is that very few of these golfers spend any time or money on improving their mental performance.
Ask any golfer what he/she does when standing over the ball, and you’ll quickly hear the number one problem most casual sports participants face. My clients all tell me similar stories: “I go through my mental routine … remembering what my swing coach said, making that adjustment to my wrist position that my cousin recommended. I scan the hole to make sure I’m not lined up with the water, and then I say a quick prayer that I don’t slice the tee shot out of bounds like last time.” This mental rundown of things to do and possible failures is the same for most people standing at the free throw line, batting in the company softball game, or bowling with friends in a Thursday night league. Frankly, we’re overthinking our sports.
If you think about the times that you did really well in an event, you’re more likely to find the times when you got into a “flow,” a rhythm or “The Zone.” Understanding these hallowed zones, rhythms and flows can be really useful for everyone from the casual golfer to the professional field goal kicker. The first thing to understand about that state of flow is it doesn’t come from a good performance, rather it results in a good performance. Too often, we look back on a game and think that we hit a clutch shot and then found the zone. Sports performance research shows the opposite is likely true—we settled into a zone and our shots became more accurate because of it. If this is true, then the most important thing to improve your game is to find your mental flow. In this regard, mental training becomes more important than physical training.
It’s also important to understand what that mental flow actually is. Being “in the zone” is an alpha brainwave state similar to daydreaming, meditation and hypnosis. Most athletes will tell you that their zone is a place where they don’t have to think about their sport, rather they just play. No thought, just flow. That alpha brainwave state is the minimization of conscious thought and the maximization of subconscious flow.
The conscious mind can only handle about nine things at a time, so it can quickly be overwhelmed. The subconscious mind, on the other hand, handles millions of things at once. It’s the part of your mind that takes care of heartbeat, blinking, breathing and digestion. It makes sense that an athlete would be better served by the part of the mind that adjusts dozens of muscles at a time, accounts for thousands of possible opponent moves, or gauges the necessary swing speed. But when we are ready to serve, shoot or putt, and we think about what we have to do or what we don’t want to happen, we are engaging our limited conscious mind.
As a hypnotist, my job is to help my sports performance clients stop using their conscious mind and start using their subconscious mind. “You’ll never think your way into better athletics,” I’ve told more than one client. When it comes to sports, from my perspective, thinking is the problem.
One of my favorite athletes of all time, martial artist Bruce Lee, said: “A good martial artist does not become tense but ready. Not thinking yet not dreaming, ready for whatever may come … . When there is an opportunity, I do not hit, it hits all by itself.”
What Lee was referencing was that alpha state—the famous zone that all athletes seek. What we do as hypnotists is help people train their mind to find it—not through thought but through focus. Because when you can find that spot between thought and dreaming that Lee references, you can sink long putts consistently, hit a curveball, serve an ace, surf the swell, or do anything else you want to do in life.