I get quite a few inquiries from peak performance athletes who have hit some kind of block or snag in their sport. Usually it’s a “mental” thing. They have the talent. They train hard. They have solid fundamentals and good coaching but “something” is getting in the way.
We have a word for it: “Interference”
Performance = Potential – Interference
Today I got an email from “Jay” in Georgia.
I have experienced a recent decrease in exercise (running) performance. At first I was improving quickly. Can hypnosis address this?
The answer is “Yes”.
HOWEVER, obviously there are a lot of details missing so I’ll answer the question with what I know from working with a lot of other athletes as well as CEO’s, Musicians and other peak performers.
First of all I LOVE working with athletes because unlike most other demographic groups who seek help with hypnosis, athletes UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF COACHING.
What I mean by that is this: No basket ball player expects his or her coach to go out onto the court in the middle of a game and shoot the baskets FOR him/her. The player UNDERSTANDS that it is ultimately the player’s responsibility to APPLY the coach’s suggestions and guidance in a way that gets the desired results.
You don’t often see that with people who are seeking hypnosis for smoking or weight loss. Those groups often think that somehow the hypnotist will do the quitting or exercising FOR THEM. :o)
The second thing I LOVE about working with athletes is that they are familiar with keeping score. We can’t improve what we don’t measure. So they understand the self discipline required to keep track of their performance so they can tell if they are improving or not.
The third thing I love about athletes is that they are ALREADY action takers. They are applying themselves and working on themselves all the time. That’s a key ingredient to any successful endeavor or desired outcome.
One area though where athletes stumble is that many of them haven’t been trained in peak performance thinking. One of the terms for that is “mental toughness”.
There is often just too much time spent thinking in this sport!
And in many ways, because baseball is so strategically designed, baseball attracts really smart people.
As with all forms of performance anxiety, the power of a single negative thought at the wrong time can totally mean the difference between a short stop shooting a ball directly into the first baseman’s mitt or just a bit too high for it to be “catchable”.
They even have a name for it, “Chuck Knoblauch Syndrome” or the “Yips”.
The same process though shows up in every sport. I’ve worked with figure skaters and ballet dancers who had all the talent in the world but when it came to the actual performance/competition, the mental stress of an performing in front of an audience or in a significant competition caused them to “choke”. We would call that “performance anxiety”.
How the athlete (or any peak performer) deals with and recovers from “mistakes” or “errors” is all in the realm of “mental game”.
That is one area where honest hypnosis can be of huge help. Once you understand how you are “wired” and how you “do the process of peak performance or lack of performance” then you can be in control of improving and maintaining excellence.
As far as “Jay” the runner? What I see with runners and other endurance athletes is hitting performance plateaus which they most usually attempt to PUSH through by training harder.
Unfortunately training harder often results in a decrease in performance as well as increased risk of injury.
The prescription for that is RECOVERY time and better training methods combined with a new mental approach to learn how to listen to your body.
It is also helpful to be able to discern when you’re being lazy (we all are to some degree) and when your body just needs some damn rest. And that requires an open line of communication with your Unconscious Mind.
I often find that when I give ANYTHING a couple of days rest I return refreshed and measurably more effective and productive.
Remember weekends? Remember Sundays? The Sabbath? There was a reason for the “day of rest.” We are not machines.
So this lesson applies to ALL of us who desire peak performance.
For my athletes as well as my weight loss folks, I highly recommend exploring “Slow Burn Fitness” techniques. By slowing down any typical resistance training exercise, you can get better results from less time. You also give your body a break from long boring training.
I also highly recommend focusing your mind on what you want instead of what you don’t want. Consistently. Persistently.
Typically the baseball player with the “yips” is literally imagining missing the throw and letting down the team. That’s actually a negative form of self-hypnosis. Stop it! :o)
Call it Performance Anxiety or “Interference”.
It is your mind getting in the way of your performance.
It affects all kinds of peak performers, not just athletes! Musicians, actors, artists, writers, dancers, business executives, sales people, teachers, leaders, students… the solution?
Master your mind for a change!
My online Mental Toughness Trainings are currently in the works. If you’re not on the Daily Mind Mastery list yet, grab your spot and I promise you will be among the first to know when your online athletic peak performance hypnosis course is ready for you to devour. :o)
In the meantime, since performance anxiety, not lack of talent or skill is most often at the root of sports “failure”, check out my CRUSH anxiety Now! program for 30 days of powerful mental tools and techniques to get you back to a state of calm, courageous, confidence where you can CRUSH it on the field, on stage, in the board room or the bed room.
I’ll see you on the INSIDE!