You might not reach Roger Federer’s sublime standard but you can dramatically improve your game. Research has shown that regular detailed visualisation of the exact moves you want to make will increase the likelihood of this happening in reality. Add hypnosis in to the mix and you can go a long way!
Psychological coaching for top players can mean the difference between winning and losing
Nearly all top class players of any sport have psychological coaching as well as physical training these days. Some of this will focus on the type of visualisation I mentioned above and some of it, in fact a great deal of it, will focus on managing emotions. This will certainly include managing nerves but also managing temper and frustration when things don’t go your way. You can learn to use the angry feelings in a powerful yet positive way. We’ve all noticed how some players are more able to keep their cool on the big points and also tolerate frustration and disappointment when a call goes against them or they feel something is unfair. This alone can be the difference between winning and losing a match!
Focus on the moment
The ability to ‘regroup’ or in layman’s terms ‘pull yourself together’ after a lost game or a bad point or shot or tackle, whatever it may be, is absolutely vital to getting back on track. The ability to focus on the moment is essential. The ability to put aside any negative past or feared negative future and stay positive and focused on what is required at each particular moment is crucial.
A hypnotherapist who works with sports people can help enormously with all of these things and help give you the edge over your opponents. Hypnotherapy can help you increase and maintain your self-belief and confidence when playing an individual champion or a team with more experience and a greater reputation … It can also keep you upbeat when the crowd is completely on the side of your opponent(s) and cheering when you make a mistake!
Use simple visualisation to improve your game!
Seeing a professional hypnotherapist is of course ideal but here’s something you can practise on your own.
People often tell you that in golf for example you need to visualise yourself winning and seeing that final putt knocking the ball into the hole. Well, ok there is a time and a place for doing that but the most important thing of all is to focus on what you need to do AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT.
- Go through with a trainer the exact moves that you need to make at any particular moment, the minute changes in how you throw the ball or angle the racquet or move your head or place your weight so you are completely sure precisely what needs to be done and how it needs to be carried out.
- Sit down and make yourself comfortable and let your eyes close. Imagine that you are looking at a movie screen and on it is you playing the lead role. See every tiny detail of you practising a particular shot from start to finish. Provide a commentary talking yourself through every single minute detail, looking from every angle, and making sure you get it right.
- Having done that, imagine stepping into the moment itself and actually being inside that movie … be the lead actor … going through every move as you do it, feeling every nerve and muscle movement, noticing your breathing, your weight, your balance and anything that you know is relevant. Notice how you feel in every part of your body as you get that right. Add in your calm, confident feelings and positive self-belief.
- Repeat points 2 and 3 over and over and over yet again in your mind’s eye, improving it each time you run through. Now you are ready for point 5.
- Practise the shot / the game for real and make any adjustments for your future mental film.
- Repeat the whole sequence often and then notice and enjoy the improvement in your performance!