Sports Psychology
 Information & Resources

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Role of Hypnosis in Sports

Hypnosis Role in Sports Psychology
       Sports psychology has been around since the 1950's, when Russian Olympic teams were employing hypnotherapist to greatly enhance their athlete's performances.  Modern day sports hypnosis is a rapidly expanding area of interest throughout the entire world.

       Hypnosis can play an important role in helping an athlete prepare themselves mentally as part of a complete package tailored to each athletes specific requirements. Methods usually are designed to:
overcome self doubt, mental rehearsal, positive visualization, encourage rapid healing from any injury, increase confidence, enhance motivation, increased concentration and focus, eliminate negativity, promote positive expectation, reduce performance anxiety, increase self belief, etc.!

       As a tool, hypnosis can help the mind focus on developing of a positive attitude and subordinating negative thoughts pertaining to performance skills. Sport performance can be enhanced as muscle/motor skills improve and incidents of poor performance do not trigger feelings of discouragement, irritation or other detrimental negative emotional reactions.

        Concentration, coordination, and application of correct technique should improve as awareness of proper form and posture becomes an auto reflex response. Athletes must learn to face the fears that blocks their quest for perfection. Fear of failure is always restrictive and is very common in sports. Some individual are apprehension that success can heighten the expectation of further improvement by parents, coaches, and fans. Fear of humiliation from not achieving expectations of others can also be very strong emotion that can resulting in a deterioration of skills.

Deep relaxation state is necessary to implant positive hypnotic suggestions.
       It is pointless to begin any task or project without a clear objective in mind. The athlete and coach must set the goals that therapist will attempt to implement. The goals to be specific and focused on the specific improvement is desired.  Goals must be short-term, achievable, and structured in a step-by-step process so that success can be achieved.

        Concentration is essential to the process, but is difficult to develop and maintain. Hypnotherapy is a very effective method of improving the subject's abilities to concentrate.

       Distractions must be eliminated be so posthypnotic cues utilized in stimulating both concentration and specific skills. Visualization, is not just a mental rehearsal, but the images can carry over to the moment of performance to produce dramatic, positive results.

        Mental Rehearsal can improve athlete performance above what is normally expected from just physical practice. Imagery is not just visual in nature; it can also include - visual, olfactory, tactile, and auditory senses. Hypnotherapy sessions can enhance the use of all the senses.

Recommended Reading:

What is Hypnosis?  Science has yet to fully explain how it actually happens. We see what a person does under hypnosis, but it isn't clear why he or she does it. 

Hypnosis -   Hypnosis — See how hypnosis works and what conditions it may help.

Sports Hypnosis Considerable mental and physical strain is experienced by players before starting a game. Sports hypnosis and mental training enables them to: • Focus better  • Overcome these problems • Feel revitalized and energized.


Hypnosis and Sport Performance

Self-Hypnosis and Auto-Suggestion

Hypno-Psychotherapy - Hypnosis and the Mind Nov. 2, 2002 ... An introduction to hypno-psychotherapy for those considering using hypnosis to enhance their mental, physical, or emotional well-being.

American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association, A professional organization.  Public Education, Treatment and Referral Services since 1992.

Hypnosis in Psychotherapy & Psychiatry. In spite of all the encouraging reports, there continues to be considerable hesitation on the part of psychotherapists to use hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy and Weight Loss

What is Self Esteem? A Definition
Hypnosis and its ability to deal with physical illness

PDF Pain Management Psychotherapy  Part Three of the book introduces the reader to the concept of the Hypno-Behavioral model and how to use it in pain management psychotherapy.


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Psychological Problems and Solutions
Alcohol Abuse
Drug Abuse
Caffeine Use
Nicotine Use
Response to Stressors
Learning to be Helpless
Depression and Elation
Eating Disorders
Learning Disorders
Stress and Anxiety
Athlete Motivation
Flow/Peak Performance
Focus & Concentration
Goals and Objectives
Goal Setting
Personal Sabotage
Self Fulfilling Prophecy


All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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