Much has been written about athletes using self-hypnosis to enhance and maximize their game, their competition, their endurance and stamina. Some sports psychologists agree that 90% of how we do in our sport is mental, and the physical follows. Many athletes get into the trap of over thinking the play, their reactions and actions, and become a victim of ” paralysis through analysis”. This kind of action gets in the way of letting our subconscious do what it can do best. We over ride the muscle memory and patterns that have been stored in the brain. Learning self-hypnosis helps us to picture the perfect swing, the perfect throw, dance step, or the perfect dive etc. The more we picture in our mind what we want to achieve, how to achieve it and see the perfect outcome, the more this behavior will become our reality. Self-hypnosis allows us to remain calm, focused and centered inside when we practice or compete. Hypnosis helps us improve our concentration, timing, and technique. It helps us to decrease outside distractions, allowing us to stay in the “zone”. I have seen amazing results in my clients using self-hypnosis. I have worked with clients in golf, baseball and softball, boxing, running, tennis, gymnastics, dance, soldiers preparing to pass their P.T. and other sports. When we rehearse our perfect moves, reactions and actions in our subconscious we are forming the future patterns for our muscles to follow when the event occurs. And of course practice makes perfect emotionally and physically. What we believe, we can achieve.
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Children are very easy to hypnotize, as they are in unintentional hypnosis until about eight years old. Then they start to develop their conscious mind and they begin to add logic and reasoning to what is happening around them. Even after the age of eight or nine they continue to go in and out of hypnosis easily until their teenage years. If the child is in a stressful situation or home life they will stay in unintentional hypnosis even longer. Before they develop their conscious mind what they hear, see or react to is true for them. They have no way to protect themselves emotionally. Many children will begin to exhibit unwanted habits and behaviors to help them deal with stress. This could include nail biting, hair pulling, nightmares, bed wetting, weight problems, low self esteem, and exaggerated fears and anxieties. Hypnosis can help with these problems and much more including attention and behavioral difficulties. Children are a joy to work with and the results can be extremely powerful for them and those around them.
Hypnosis can be used as a wonderful tool in sports performance. The first thing that comes to mind is golf and tennis because many books have been written for these sports, many times referring to “being in the zone”. So what about other sports situations. Using hypnosis for cheerleading and gymnastics in children and teens can be extremely powerful and helpful for the child. Many times the child is doing great in the sport for months or years and then has a fall or trips up and that may actually take the stuffing out of them or in some cases cause a minor injury. Depending on the stress at the time they either get back up and start over or in many cases their confidence begins to erode and fear sets in. They find themselves more and more unable to complete the activity, even though they have successfully completed the activity hundreds of times. Thoughts of fear of injury, low self confidence and self doubt begin to get stronger and more powerful even as the child continues to try and try again to complete the activity and usually ends up failing over and over again. I have worked with many children and teenagers on just this problem. Hypnosis (especially with young people) can be a very quick and powerful tool to help them get past the fear and move towards their goals once again, renewing self confidence and self esteem.