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Hypnosis and Sports Performance – Six Studies Reveal How Well It Works

Topic: Hypnosis for Sports Performance

Hypnosis is known to have many uses, including weight loss, anxiety, pain management, and concentration. Hypnosis for sports performance is another area you should consider.

We’ve compiled a summary of various research studies related to hypnosis for sports performance below. All of these were done by reputable organizations, including universities and legitimate hypnosis research associations. We’ve also supplied links to the studies themselves.

Here are six studies on hypnosis and sports performance. Enjoy!

1) Staffordshire University

…conducted a study in 2006 on the effect of hypnosis on a cricket leg-spin bowler’s performance. The researchers used hypnosis and self-hypnosis as the first step in the study, followed by focusing on specific techniques used throughout the game. The final step in the research process was to watch videos of the techniques performed correctly. The findings reported major positive changes in the performance of the players, and with continued use of techniques they had continued success.

Using Hypnosis, Technique Refinement, and Self-Modeling to Enhance Self-Efficacy: A Case Study in Cricket: The Sport Psychologist: Vol 20, No 1. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/abs/10.1123/tsp.20.1.94

2) In 2005: Washington State University

…conducted a study measuring the effects of hypnosis on the performance of basketball players. The researchers took a group of basketball players and taught half of them muscle relaxation techniques, and the other half hypnosis. The findings report significant progress in performance from the hypnosis group, specifically with dribbling, defensive techniques, and shooting for three points.

(n.d.). Retrieved from https://research.wsulibs.wsu.edu:8443/xmlui/bitstream/handle/2376/401/b_vasquez_090805.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

3) The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

…published an article in 2003 about a mountaineer who had sustained several injuries during her hikes through large mountain chains, which compelled her to learn self-hypnosis as a way of dealing with not only the pain in those situations, but getting out of them. After finding success, she learned to channel her self-hypnosis toward bettering her performance in future hikes with great success.

The Hypnotic Belay in Alpine Mountaineering: The Use of Self-Hypnosis for the Resolution of Sports Injuries and for Performance Enhancement: American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis: Vol 46, No 1. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.2003.10403564?src=recsys

4) The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

…conducted a study in 2000 on the effects of hypnosis on a sports player’s performance by prompting the player to imagine specific techniques, and concentrate on the imagery while under hypnosis. They used hypnosis as a way to enhance the imagery in the player’s imagination for half of the research process, and the other half just imagined the techniques as they normally would without hypnosis. The findings suggest that the use of hypnosis while studying mental imagery of techniques while playing strongly influences the player’s ability to incorporate the techniques into their real sport’s performance.

Enhancing imagery through hypnosis: a performance aid for athletes. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11022364

5) In 1993 the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

…conducted a study taking male gymnasts from the Stanford University gymnastics team who had been working on extremely difficult tasks for over a year, that they had not successfully performed yet. The men were administered hypnosis as a way to study imagery of performing the tasks correctly and successfully and were able to tighten up their performance and fix the issues they were having. After hypnosis, they were finally able to successfully perform the tasks they had been working on the year prior.

Enhancing the visualization of gymnasts. – PubMed – NCBI. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8434565

6) The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis

…surveyed 59 parachutists on their experience during the process of freefalling, what they did in preparation, and how they felt afterward. Many parachutists experience an unconscious trance as they are falling triggered by the stress, which is known to cause accidents and harm to the person freefalling. After being taught self-hypnosis and consciously seeking a state of trance during free-fall, it was found that the parachuters had success maintaining a sense of calm and clearheaded-ness during the fall and afterward.

Stress and Trance in Freefall Parachuting: A Pilot Study: American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis: Vol 33, No 4. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00029157.1991.10402939

Research is positive that hypnosis for sports performance is a viable option for people who are interested and capable of undergoing the process. Will it work for you? There’s only one way to find out!

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