How Hypnotherapy For Sports Performance Can Change Your Game 

17 Aug 2022

Success in sports isn’t purely physical. Mental strength is just as important and it can often be the difference between fulfilling your true potential and being frustrated with your performance level. 

Many pro sportspeople have used hypnotherapy to take their performance to another level and it can be just as effective for amateurs. Training your mind to the same extent that you train your body can help you perform better and gain more enjoyment from your chosen sport, even if you only do it for fun and pride. 

If you play any sport, you can use hypnotherapy in this way but in this blog, I’m going to focus on golf and running as these are 2 areas that I have used mental rehearsal for with great success. 

Why Performance Issues Happen

Performance issues are often emotional in nature, which is actually good news as it means we can address them and resolve them. 

Lack of confidence is a common factor in performance issues. You may struggle to believe that you’re good enough to perform at a certain level or you may lose confidence after an injury, for example. 

On a similar note, anxiety can result in performance issues too. It can quickly lead to negative thinking, second-guessing yourself, fear of failure, perfectionism, and struggling to focus. 

Lack of confidence and anxiety can become chronic but it’s something that we can turn around through hypnotherapy (as you’ll see later in the blog). 

Hypnotherapy For Sports Performance

Hypnotherapy brings the unconscious mind to the forefront and encourages relaxation. This can be powerful for:

  • Increasing confidence in your ability and if you have experienced an injury 
  • Building and maintaining a stronger focus
  • Increasing motivation and keeping it high
  • Staying composed under pressure
  • Being in the zone
  • Overcoming negative thoughts and removing mental blocks
  • Setting and achieving goals 
  • Improving specific skills such as putting or chipping

Hypnotherapy can provide you with tools and techniques to overcome problems that are holding you back so you can perform at a higher level. By bringing your subconscious mind to the forefront, we can encourage new ways of thinking and behaving and replace the patterns that aren’t currently enhancing your performance. 

Rehearsing situations in your mind is another way that hypnotherapy can improve sports performance. The brain can’t tell the difference between visualising and performing. Seeing yourself making putts or chips that you’ve never previously had success with can have the same impact as doing it for real. Likewise, you can visualise yourself running on one of your favourite routes (or a brand new one you haven’t had the confidence to try).  

It creates new neural pathways in the brain and the more you do it, the stronger they get. And because these neural pathways are exactly the same as the ones you build as you perform the action in real life, it’s just like going out on the green or the road and training repeatedly. 

Small adjustments can make a big difference to your golf game. Improving your swing, drives, putts, or chips even a little will help you become a better golfer. Making small continuous gains in your performance feels realistic to achieve and brings momentum you can continue to build on. And it can all start from hypnotherapy! 

Having a strong focus is a huge advantage too. Your focus can be trained, just like any other skill. Hypnotherapy can allow the subconscious mind to focus on a specific scenario. 

A Client Case Study 

I started working with this client after anxiety and depression led him to stop playing golf, the sport he loved. The mental health conditions meant that my client had little confidence in himself and his abilities. After a couple of rounds of golf that didn’t go too well my client abandoned the game for a number of years, despite it being his happy place. He sought other treatments, and they helped a little but hadn’t enabled him to get back to “his normal”. 

He recognised that going in another direction and re-programming his brain would be a good move. Together we worked to empty his stress bucket by using talking therapy and trance. This helped him focus on the things in his world that were good and once he was enjoying his day to day life again, we started using visualisation techniques alongside the understanding of how the brain works to get him back to the sport he loved.

Here’s how it helped: 

“I searched the web and found Havisham Hypnotherapy. Following some initial discussions, I started some sessions. Fast forward a few months, I am no longer taking tablets, my mental health feels better than it has for some time and I’ve started to play the sport I’ve missed for some time. I know I have to keep working at things, but Caron has given me the confidence and positive mindset that I can keep improving and getting better. I cannot thank her enough.”

A Client Case Study – Me

I was never a runner. A few years ago I ran but I didn’t enjoy it. It was always a struggle to get going and I huffed and puffed my way through the run – probably only 3 – 5k. In my mind my focus was the end of the run, I didn’t focus on anything around me, my thoughts were negative and I counted every lamp post back home as I couldn’t wait for it to be over. Bursitis in my hips stopped my running at that time and I was almost glad of the injury! 

Fast forward 3-4 years, I am now post-menopausal and needed to find an activity to keep my body fit and healthy after coming off HRT. I do strength and conditioning every week but needed some cardio activity. A friend suggest doing race for life and I decided that if I was going to run again I wanted to enjoy it. 

So, I decided I needed a mindset change and this is where my Hypnotherapy experience supported my goal. Visualisation and mental rehearsal have become integral in my training. Now when I run, I focus on breathing correctly, I smile, I keep my head up, I enjoy the scenery. When we do an organised run, I focus on getting one step in front of the other and visualise running through the finish tape with a big smile on my face. I’m pleased to say I love running now.

Are You Ready To Use Hypnotherapy To Improve Your Sports Performance?

If you would like to talk more about how we can improve your sports performance through the power of hypnotherapy, you can book a free discovery call with me. 

I would love to help you make the most of your talent, whether you do sport for fun or have professional ambitions. Hypnotherapy for sports performance can help you to overcome challenges that are holding you back in your game and be the best golfer or runner you can be. 

Caron Iley

Clinical Hypnotherapist & Solution-Focused Practitioner

Havisham Hypnotherapy

T: 07580 041394



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