There has been a long history of hypnosis in sport, often used under different names such as mental or autogenic training. According to Les Cunningham in his well known book “Hypnosport”, during the 1978/79 tour of Australia, England cricket captain Mike Brearley consulted a medical hypnotherapist. In the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, the Russian team took no less than 11 hypnotists. You don’t need to look too far in any sport to find great champions using hypnotic techniques to improve performance. The reason most of them don’t like to talk about it is because of the age-old myth that hypnosis is a magical power to make you do things. Athletes use all kinds of scientific technology to improve their performance including equipment, training advances, nutrition and even applied sports psychology which will usually include focusing and visualisation techniques for improvement.
You don’t have to be a champion to use hypnosis. Anyone can learn and perfect simple, self-hypnosis techniques for:
The greatest of champions and athletes also tend to be the ones who have learned to think successfully, they have mastered the psychology of their individual sport.
The super-middleweight, who last fought in 2007, says he has used hypnotherapy to prepare himself for bouts for the last 10 years with great success. Mr Catley, who lives with his wife Kelli and four children in Frampton Cotterell, said:
“I make no secret of the fact I used hypnotherapy throughout my boxing career. Although people make a joke out of it, psychology in sport is becoming more recognised and people are seeing its benefits. It’s phenomenal how it benefited me.”