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Improving Sports Performance With Self Hypnosis

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 22 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Hypnosis Self Hypnosis Sport Sports

A large number of top sportsmen and woman use self-hypnosis, which is sometimes known as visualisation or guided imagery, to improve their performance and sporting techniques. The speeding up and healing of injuries can also be improved by focused awareness and deep relaxation techniques that form a part of the self-hypnosis process.

Why Is Heightened Awareness Used?

Many key sportsmen/women use visualisation before taking part in an event. They do this to create the feeling of the performance experience, which enables them to visualise the desired outcome of the event. This mental rehearsal offers a powerful impression of their potential performance and prepares the individual for active participation.

How To Use Self-Hypnosis

The easiest way to begin the self-hypnosis process is by using a guided method, like a CD or MP3. The recorded script will gently guide you through the relaxation process, and will use the direct language method to achieve focused awareness. By focusing on the command of specific words you will be able to open your mind to suggestion, which is the key to improving physical and mental performance.

How To Focus

Once you are seated in a comfortable position you can start to focus on deepen, and slowing down your breathing. With your eyes close, create a vivid mental picture of a desired outcome or past performance. Imagine the lights, sounds, feelings, smells etc in the image, and take in as much detail as possible of the event you hold in your mind’s eye. If your concentration dips continuing to maintain control of your breathing will help you to re-focus. Also remember to finish your focused awareness session with a positive image.

Why It Works

Self-hypnosis can help fulfil potential, build self-confidence, relax your mind so that you can focus on outcome and improve performance. This kind of heightened awareness of your physical and mental potential can provide you with an edge over your competitors. To achieve the best results mind and body must work in tandem, and self-hypnosis allows the body to relax whilst the subconscious mind goes about replacing negativity with positive images.

Once your mind has visualised a positive outcome your newly improved focus will begin to work alongside your automatic responses in a better, more flowing way and your determination will increase along with the confidence in your ability. This is what increases performance levels and standards.

The more control a sportsman/woman has over their imagination the greater the outcome they can achieve.

How It Works

Whenever you imagine yourself performing in sports Electromyographical (EMG) activity in the musculature increases and demonstrates the same amount of physical exertion required to perform at the level you are visualising. Mentally picturing activity alerts and primes the muscles ready for actual performance.

When learning any new sports skill, performance may be heightened by simply replacing verbal explanations with visual imagery. This form of learning speeds up the learning process and encourages the mastery of techniques.

Where rehabilitation is concerned self-hypnosis enables a combination of relaxation and imagery to accelerate the healing process after injury or surgery.

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