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Brain training for Mental Focus in Sport

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

Whether you're a professional sportsperson, a gym junkie, amateur team player, or a weekend hacker round the golf course you'll know that practice, determination and skill go along way. But did you know that sport is 10% physical and 90% mental. Whatever your level and whatever your sport or physical exercise, mental condition is important.

Sports people devote huge quantities of time and effort to maintain and improve physical prowess. But how much time do they devote to MENTAL attitude?

Sport is about being strong in the face of adversity.

During the last few months how challenging has it been to be motivated to train at home or even to the same level as you had been before Covid19 lockdown. What have you been missing about not be able to go to the gym or not be able to knock around with your mates for a game of footy or tennis. Was it a physical challenge? or was it a mental challenge?

Having the right mindset is important - your mind controls your body.

What are sports coaches doing during in this lockdown world (2020)?

They are turning to visualisation techniques to develop mental strength and a positive outlook i.e. the psychology of sport to guide their athletes through these unprecedented times, so they come out stronger on the other side. This is not a new phenomenon but now more relevant than ever

"The power of imagined practice is reproduces the neurological routes that would occur if we performed the situation in reality" ( Fisher, 1986; cited by Jimenez, 2007).

In sport MARGINS matter

A split second can mean the difference between being on the podium or not.

In sport margins matter and using Hypnosis to train the mind can open the doors to those margins.

Just imagine honing in on:

  • Confidence

  • Motivation

  • Focus

  • Competition preparation

  • Mental Toughness

  • Performance

  • Rehearsal techniques

Kevin McBride (Irish retired boxer) is best known for defeating Mike Tyson in 2005. He used hypnosis to unlock his talent at just the right moment.

Here are just a few of the others who have used hypnosis throughout their careers.

Jason Day, Tiger Woods, Ian Woosman, Jack Nicklaus - golf

Mike Tyson, Nigel Benn, Frank Bruno - Boxing

Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neill and Kobe Bryant - Basketball

Novak Djokovic, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi - Tennis

Lance Armstrong - Cycling

Plus many more - martial arts, pole vaulting, skiing, track and fields, Olympic athletes, equestrian, football, the list of sports is limitless.

Focus the mind and body in the present

It's only when your mind and body are focused on the now, that is, in the present, that you can perform your best. How often have you missed that goal, fluffed a shot, not got over the hurdle because your mind was in the future of "What if....... I can't........" you were anxious about the outcome. When your mind is quiet and calm, instead of thinking what you have to do, you instinctively just do it. You trust your skills and abilities.

Performance Anxiety

One reason you may struggle with quieting your mind is due to performance anxiety, that is, the pressure of performing and trying to do your best. This is related to some of the main categories in sports psychology:

  • Arousal regulation - How excited you get. If you're too relaxed you can get sluggish and you won't be trying as hard as you might. If you're too excited, you get stressed and make mistakes.

  • Goal setting - set reasonable and achievable goals. Having that goal to be the world champion or even just get out of reserves and make the first team may be exciting, and be awesome to aim for, but that needs to be chunked down into smaller short-term goals. As you achieve these smaller goals confidence builds, self-belief increases as you move on to the next short-term goal.

  • Visualisation - creating mental pictures. This is not just the visual image but the full sensory experience of what you need to do. This can be used as a mental rehearsal, to recall a success and also to predict an outcome attitude.

Novak Djokovic one of the most focused tennis players in history says

" Visualisation is part of my routine"

  • Pre-performance ritual - an action before every performance. Have you noticed goal kickers in rugby or before a penalty in soccer their specific routine? This specific sequence of actions get you fired up, focused, calm mind and ready to perform with just the right level of excitement.

Johnny Wilkinson (England Rugby Fly-Half ) signature stance before a goal kick.

"My stance has come from a physical and mental development where I've tried to learn relaxation techniques."

  • Self-talk - How are you thinking? If you want to be able to perform at your peak positive thinking is key. Negative thinking will slow you down, cloud your judgement and make you second guess yourself.

If you want to improve your mental attitude and perform better whatever your chosen sport. Contact me at or 0408009073.

Think like a winner and you are a winner

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