- Steven Berry
SPORT & PERFORMANCE HYPNOSIS
Updated: Apr 3
One of the topics that started to fascinate me as I begun to study sport & performance psychology was the topic of sport hypnosis. In 2004 I walked into the psychology department at the university where I attended undergraduate and graduate level training to find a free hypnosis book next to a pile of other psychology books that were being given away. I took a close look at the clinical hypnosis book and it seemed like a fascinating subject yet still very mysterious. I set the book back down. More than a decade later I ran across a few studies in regards to the undisputed scientific fact of the efficacy of sport hypnosis during my readings for a course I took on sport psychology back in 2017. Since then I have completed doctorate level coursework in sport psychology and have been a member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology since 2018. I always thought that hypnosis was mysterious and fascinating. I eventually became a trained clinical hypno-therapist via the Milton Erickson foundation and have worked with various clients utilizing sport hypnosis.
Milton Erickson, M.D. and Family Therapist is credited for the way in which clinical hypnosis would be utilized in psycho-therapy no matter for the Tx of pathology or the increase of performance for Olympic level athletes. I have included some links to videos of Milton Erickson discussing his utilization of clinical hypnosis as a therapeutic and sport hypnosis for sport psychology. Milton Erickson was even able to decrease many of his post-polio symptoms via self-hypnosis.
There are well known celebrity athletes who are known to have utilized sport hypnosis throughout their careers and at their peak: e.g. Tiger Woods, Mike Tyson, and Wayne Gretzky.
My sport hypnosis clients learn how to hypnotize themselves after a few sessions. These sessions are usually audio recorded so that the client can then play the recording back to themselves as a means of self-hypnosis. The client usually experiences reality in a changed way during session and latent strengths and resources that the client has not been able to access in their unconscious mind are then brought forth. E.g. confidence, decisiveness, control of emotional reactions, and even openness to learn and execute new ways of coordinating, positioning, and timing of body movements toward an action goal. Sport Hypnosis when paired with imaging future successful performances can be especially potent for performance increases.
Here are a few video links on hypnosis that you might find helpful:
A link to my business Instagram featuring a video on Sport Hypnosis:
Two videos featuring Milton Erickson (M.D., Family Therapist) in regards to sport hypnosis and self-hypnosis:
(Milton Erickson suffered from post-polio symptoms)
"You can Trust the Unconscious"
-Milton Erickson, M.D.