Read these 19 Sports Hypnosis Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Hypnosis tips and hundreds of other topics.
Australian psychologist Alan Richardson tested three basketball teams on their ability to make free throws. He told the first group to spend twenty minutes a day practicing free throws. The second group was not to practice at all. The third group spent twenty minutes a day visualizing that they were shooting perfect baskets, but never stepped on a court. Of course, the group that did nothing showed no improvement. The first group improved 24% but through the power of imagery alone, the third group improved an astonishing 23% almost as much as the group that physically practiced.
The runner's high is a state of well being or euphoria felt by endurance athletes after working out for a certain time, which varies by individual and occasion. The source of the runner's high is thought to be the release of endorphins. Sports hypnosis can also induce a feeling of well being similar to the runner's high, but through different mechanisms. If you've never really felt the runner's high, you may be able to achieve and enjoy a sports hypnosis high.
Remember, even if you are in a team sport, you can only work on your own skills and self motivation. Do not try to hypnotize your opponent or teammate to influence their play. Use hypnosis or hypnosis tapes to improve yourself, and the whole team will benefit through your improved performance.
Try this exercise to get a basic idea of how hypnotherapy works in sports performance. This is a motionless exercise. Stand with your legs apart and your knees slightly bent as if you were sitting up straight on an imaginary chair. Place your arms in front of you as if you were embracing a tree. Hold for 60 seconds. Tough, right? Try the exercise again, only this time while watching TV. You may notice that it is easier. This is because you have distracted yourself form the discomfort -- and that is essentially how hypnosis works to increase an athlete's performance level as well!
Sports hypnosis can be used in treating injuries or disabilities. The athlete visualizes his/her injury healing, or imagines him-/herself succeeding where before s/he may have failed. In the case of a an experienced alpine mountaineer who had sustained several traumatic climbing injuries, she healed herself using hypnotic ego-strengthening, mental rehearsal, "Inner Strength" as well as active-alert trance states. Later, she returned to the Cascade Mountains where she had been injured three years earlier and reached the summit of Mount Shuksan.
Try this technique to sharpen your visualization and sports hypnosis skills:
Sit quietly on the floor and focus your eyes on a candle, a rock, or any object you choose. You will eventually slip into a hypnotic state, which you can come out of whenever you want. This will help you learn to concentrate and open your mind to helpful suggestions, as well as to focus on your game.
Sports hypnosis can really help your golf game. Use some practice time to visualize yourself performing a perfect golf swing. Then, when you are on the course, as you look at the fairway, visualize your drive just the way you want it to go. Take your practice swings, step up to the tee, see that perfect drive in your mind's eye, then hit it.
Hypnosis can help all kinds of sports performance. Bowling is one sport where it probably isn't used too much, but to which it lends itself very well. Advanced bowlers are expert at analyzing the lanes, but even novices learn the correct technique, though it takes a while to master it. Once you are confident you know the technique, visualize yourself using that technique before you deliver the ball. Concentrate and let your mind help you guide the ball.
Because of the association of hypnosis with relaxation, it might seem that sports hypnosis would only be effective during mental preparation and not during actual exercise or sports activity. However, researchers have induced hypnosis while subjects were exercising vigorously.
Hypnosis and performance sports is no new combination. Hypnosis is widely used among sports teams and individual athletes in order to improve performance. Hypnosis works in two fundamental ways. First, athletes can concentrate on one area of their game they wish to improve (i.e., hitting a home run). Alternatively they can empower themselves in a more general way by envisioning successful outcomes of their performance (i.e. wining the game/competition).
Hypnosis can help you gain confidence by helping you achieve the self motivation necessary to improve your skills, identifying and overcoming mental blocks, and learning mental techniques to draw upon. If lack of confidence is holding you back in your sports performance, consider getting hypnosis tapes or CDs specific to sports.
Sports hypnosis can help you improve your results when you run your next race. Some runners actually visualize how they will run the entire course. If you don't want to survey and memorize the course, plan your strategy--how fast you will start, how you will handle hills, etc.--and refer that to your subconscious mind. Just before the race, visualize your performance. Then relax and enjoy the race. You will automatically implement your strategy without worrying about it.
There are many aspects of sports performance that can only be mastered through repetition. Examples are the golf swing, basketball free throw, and baseball swing. You can enhance your skills more by using both physical and mental practice. Once you have the technique down so it is comfortable for you and approved by your coach, implement sports hypnosis visualization of the movement to go along with your physical practice.
Try this sports hypnosis trick during a race. It works for running or biking, and you may be able to find ways to use it in other sports as well.
During a long race or workout, especially one with hills, every time you see a certain color (your choice), visualize yourself being pulled along by energy from the object. If you have trained well, much of the fatigue you feel is mental. This way, you release some of that fatigue by imagining you have some help from an energy field, cued by the yellow of a fire hydrant or somebody's red sweater. Another technique some people have used successfully is to visualize themselves being pulled uphill by an invisible rope, so they feel they are using less energy.
Endurance athletes can be out there doing their sport for a long time. For shorter time periods, there's no problem keeping your mind busy, but when you're out for hours, it's harder. One approach, used by many elite athletes, is association, where you tune in to what your body is doing. Sports hypnosis can help you develop this ability to concentrate. Another approach is dissociation, where you let your mind wander or even enter a semi-meditative state, which is similar to a hypnotic trance.