Sport Performance Hypnotherapy


Whether you are a professional sports person, a dedicated amateur or a more relaxed, ‘why not give it s shot kind of person’.  You would be of a very rare breed not to care about performance; read this page to learn more about how Hypnotherapy improves sports performance.


Why Improve Sports Performance?

There are many answers to this question, you may have several yourself if you are involved with more than one sport, or participate in differing settings.  Understanding your motivation to improve is critical to improvement.


Why do you do Sport?

I find myself self equally amused and saddened by two trends I have come across when discussing sports with non-professionals; that is non professional sports people.  Both trends revolve around the sport being a burden; think about these two examples:

  1. Business person participating due to work and getting stressed, being good at your profession doesn’t mean you are going to be good at sport.
  2. Starts out as a social activity and turns into a battle of supremacy.

In both of these examples the sport has become secondary to other goals; so what are your goals and which sport suits these.

It is worth taking a moment to think about the question of why you are doing a sport before considering performance concerns.  Perhaps our business person coming second to a client is good; they’re potentially happy and of course, you could have beaten them if you wanted to!

However, if you have invested your self-worth in this sport and consider your performance as a direct statement of this, it matters.  And the middle ground, it’s a bit of fun, a win is welcome but not essential.


So, are you getting what you want from Sport?

Think about the business person above that is entertaining a client, a win may not be essential.  Just having a bit of fun with a win being a bonus, again winning not essential.

Or are you more serious?  Perhaps the initial purpose has shifted, the Sunday morning kick about has become a matter of team pride, or another golfer in the neighbourhood has their name on the club cup!

A change in purpose is quite common, usually making a win more desirable.  Less common is being consciously aware of this change.  Making the time to pause and think about this could quickly shed a new light on your feelings.


Are others on your team?

This is critical, are you part of a team or working on your own?  In a team sport getting your team performing better is a group effort and this can take many forms.  When one team member has a shortfall, consideration should be given as to whether they need to work on this alone or with others.


It’s all about you:

Some sports work as a harsh mirror on your aptitude, these are the ones that only measure your ability (sometimes taking account of equipment), examples are:

  • Golf
  • Darts
  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Weight Lifting

This list could go, the theme is that while you can judge yourself against others their performance does not effect yours; or does it?

I was drawn to question this recently, when a colleague observed Golf as I have above.  That Golf only measures your ability and the performance of others has no effect.

This may or may not be true for you, improving your time on a cross country run is under normal circumstances a positive; does it matter to you where you finish amongst other competitors?

Knowing the answer to this is relevant as you look towards your aims.

Incidentally the colleague I mentioned above that has noticed Golf to be a direct statement of his ability soon gave it up.  In his words it, ‘didn’t suit him’.


What are you aiming for?

If you are looking to improve you need a metric to measure, and this can take many forms depending on the Sport; examples:

  • Time
  • Distance
  • Weight
  • Shots
  • Strokes

When you know your level, take a comparison with others and get realistic about what you want to achieve and why.

We all need a purpose to achieve what doesn’t come freely.  Keep in mind the purpose your sport has to you, be sure to avoid any personal violations.  For example, letting a stress reducing bit of fun become a stress inducing competition.


Know what success looks like:

There is a perhaps apocryphal story about a man that went to buy a Diamond mine, told that there were no new ones available he sought to buy an existing one.  Not an easy proposition; who sells a working Diamond mine?

This gent struck lucky finding an exhausted miner, he asked to buy his mine.  Sure I’ll sell it too you if you’re mad enough to buy; all I’ve got out of this hole is that pile of rocks.

The miner did not know what uncut or polished Diamonds look like, and as he threw another on the pile agreed to sell.

So, what does success look and feel like to you; How will it Look, Sound, Feel, Smell and Taste?  Think about this, take a moment to relax possibly close your eyes and try on the feeling.  Does it feel good, if not try on a different size or colour.  Keep going until you are certain of what you want.


What to Change:

The previous paragraph will have served two purposes, firstly to have you question where you want to go.  And secondly, although you may not have noticed you will have compared this to your current level.

We’ll rule out that you have just noticed you are too good and move to the other two options, you’re are happy with the status quo or you now have ‘stuff’ to change.

Knowing what you want to change will decide the techniques that are best used.


Sports Performance Hypnotherapy:

Using hypnotherapy to improve sport performance can take a selection of routes depending on the where the gaps are.  Here are some of the areas we may consider.

  • Motivation, sometimes it is about just getting on with it.
  • Self Discovery, reality can be harsh but occasionally we need to notice the shortfall.
  • Modelling, try out what success feels like.
  • Concentration, is your mind on the job.
  • Isolation, can you shut out the distractions.
  • Anchoring, how do you turn on the mindset.
  • Awareness, are you taking in the all the useful information.
  • Confidence, you need the ability to use your skills.
  • Acceptance, be aware of some limitations and excel elsewhere.


These are just some of the considerations that may apply to improving your level of performance; unless of course on balance you are happy as you are.