During the 1984 Olympics, Time Magazine covered a story on 16-year-old Mary Lou Retton. Mary Lou stated that every night before she went to sleep leading up to her performance at the Olympics, she would visualise “hitting all her routines and doing everything perfectly”. She would keep this visualisation going and “keep imagining all the moves” and go through them with the image in her mind.
In any sport the athlete will train incredibly hard to achieve their goal, pushing their body to their limit and putting in long hours to boot. This in itself is obvious.
However, in an article published by www.verywellfit.com/attitude-and-sports-performance-3974677 it states that all this physical training can really only take the athlete so far. ‘If you’re an athlete or simply enjoy competitive sports, developing a positive attitude can help give you an edge’. There are of course times when you may feel frustrated, maybe from an injury or simply life gets in the way sometimes and throws us off kilter, when we least expect it. The latter can be out of our control at times but the main thing is that you take a bit of time out from a negative mindset. There are many ways to feel more positive when you are feeling down – thinking of a loved one or maybe a place you have visited that has made you feel happy; this is not an exhaustive list and you should use whatever is best for you!
The above-named article goes on to say ‘ongoing research in sports psychology continues to find that practicing self-talk can greatly improve athletic performance. Sports psychologists often explain this link by pointing to the idea that thoughts create beliefs that ultimately drive actions’.
Now, if we go back to Mary Lou Retton, this is exactly what she was doing; creating thoughts and positive visualisation which led to her goal of becoming a gold medallist at the age of 16! Her manager, when interviewed after her win, described Mary Lou as the most positive person he knows.
During a hypnotherapy session, post-hypnotic suggestions are used along with working with the client to get them to visualise their goal. Visualisation is intrinsic to achieving goals because the subconscious mind will be convinced that the desired outcome is indeed possible.
This is where hypnosis comes in – the hypnotherapist will work with the individual to overcome any issues that they have in order for them to achieve their goals. Although this seems a simplistic approach, think positively and things will happen. However, sometimes individuals will meet with obstacles; these could include (although not an exhaustive list): fear of failure, fear of being humiliated, fear of competing in competitions etc. But guess what? Hypnotherapy can help with this too. If something is halting your success, if there are obstacles in your way of achieving your goal then hypnosis will help you overcome them. There really is no issue too big or too small – the hypnotherapist will help you with whatever is hindering your progress.