Sports Enhancement using Hypnosis
Hypnosis has a long history in sports performance enhancement, especially self-hypnosis.
Hypnosis in sports is enjoying a more positive image.
The Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP, n, d.), which is the recognized body for the science of applied sport psychology, now lists hypnosis as one of the nine modalities it endorses for enhancing performance in athletes.
Since the 1970′s sport psychologists have been teaching a variety of visualization exercises to athletes to enhance performance.
Many of these visualization exercises, especially mental rehearsal, are performed in a relaxed state and quite often the athletes experience hypnotic trance states by accident or on purpose.
In this state of self-hypnosis, the routines and behaviors are strongly imprinted upon the subconscious so that when it comes time to perform, athletes can more easily move into flow, recreate a flawless routine, or exhibit remarkable creativity in their performances.
- Visualization is a staple of sports mental skills training packages.
- Following is a list of five types of imagery (visualization) utilized to enhance performance:
- Motivational general imagery for self-confidence.
- Cognitive specific imagery for rehearsal of skills.
- Kinesthetic imagery for movement awareness.
- Arousal imagery for levels of cognitive anxiety.
- Mastery imagery that combines cognitive specific imagery with motivational general imagery to enable the practitioner to take control of the kinesthetic visualization.
Regardless of the type of visualization, the addition of hypnosis can improve its effectiveness.
*Individual results vary.