European College of Hypnotherapy

European College of Hypnotherapy, UK
UK Tel: 01784 433421    •    International Tel: 0044 1784 433421

Sports performance hypnotherapy

Sports performance hypnotherapy

There is much evidence that hypnosis can improve sports performance. How well people do in competitions depends of course on their physical and mental state – both of which hypnosis can affect greatly by way of the well-established and powerful mind/body connection.

Just psychologically, an average runner would find that they could move amazingly fast if being chased by a bull – the adrenaline surge working more effectively than any banned drug! And, the actions, say, of a golfer playing on top form may nevertheless be influenced negatively if they happen to be agitated by an audience. Hypnosis can either increase or decrease the brain’s state of arousal to an appropriate level for the current event.

We often underestimate our real potential, and another approach is to use hypnosis to enable the sportsperson to break through any self-imposed psychological barriers. One hypnotherapist progressed a shot-putter’s throw considerably by gradually extending his own psychological ‘limit’- which had been inhibiting the physical performance.

Yet another method is to establish in the unconscious mind of the individual a sort of ‘template’ of a good performance – all the exact finely-tuned muscle movements, as well as the correct mental and physiological  state – then to refine and improve it selectively even more over time, as feedback is obtained.

In sports situations, where having just that edge over others is so important, we can imagine that an athlete who is not psychologically prepared for a race may waste a lot of crucial energy in hyperventilation, panicky thoughts, and palpitations before the event – so reducing the muscular resources and mental-concentration available for the contest.

As further evidence for the ‘mind over matter’ factor, one American researcher found some time ago that placebo enhancement pills worked as well as actual stimulant drugs for athletes!

Clearly, for a winning performance, many aspects of the competitor need to be operating at the absolute optimal level, but different sports have vastly different physical and mental requirements: in the case of sprinters, a short burst of maximum muscle performance and mental arousal; for archers, a focusing on physical and mental calmness and smoothness, combined with enhanced visual attention; for marathon runners, a sense of resolute determination and physical drive.

Cues are often used to trigger the hypnotically prepared mind-state. For instance, as soon as the golfer holds the club, or immediately the runner gets to the starting blocks. These act as convenient ‘switching on’ points.

Are you a competitive sports-person? Apart from the physical training and advice you are having, perhaps you could benefit further from the marshalling of your conscious and unconscious resources, through hypnosis!


We offer treatment for sports performance enhancement  in Egham, Surrey, London, etc.