Hypnosis For Advanced Sports Performance

Jul 29, 2021 | Sports Improvement | 0 comments


Hypnosis For Advanced Sports Performance

The Olympics and Paralympics have been and gone and the football season is now in full swing once again.  In this article, I’m covering a brief, research-based technique that can help with improving sports performance. It can be applied to most sports to help you with your mindset and goal achievement.

I’ve still been busy with my high intensity bootcamps, although my achilies’ niggle continues to prevent me from getting back into running properly. However, every cloud has a silver lining and so I’ve had more time to work on strength and to take part in some pretty intense and gruelling personal training sessions (the suffering has got to be worth it, right?!). The goal is to be much stronger and more resilient by the time my running resumes and, in the meantime, to make the most of the extra time and energy to train hard and train well.

So without further ado, lets take a look at the benefits and support for hypnosis for sports performance, and how you can use this to boost your mindset and find that extra level of attainment and performance towards your sporting goals.


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Hypnosis For Sports Performance

Research has demonstrated that hypnosis can be a very effective tool for helping you to enhance and improve your sports performance.

Hypnosis has been shown to be effective for improving performance in a variety of sports, with the strongest support for enhancement of basketball, golf, soccer and badminton skills.’ There is also evidence that hypnosis may be useful for enhancing performance in cricket and weight-lifting, as well as precision sports like archery and throwing accuracy (Milling & Randazzo, 2016).

There’s more on this research here: Hypnosis For Sports Performance – Research and Evidence and there are several articles here on this website where I look at additional research that shows the value and benefit of using hypnosis to advance your performance.

Hypnosis for sports can also help you to build confidence and self-belief, reduce anxiety and develop focus in your sport.

And recently I covered the research that showed how hypnosis can help performance in air rifle shooting competitions (Mattle, Birrer & Elfering, 2020). You can learn more about that here: Hypnosis For Performance In Air Rifle Shooting Competition

If you want to boost your performance then you may also want to take a look at some of these articles, and you can adjust them to reflect your own particular sport that you wish to increase your performance in:

Increase your running motivation: Rediscover and Find Your Running Motivation

Enhance running speed with this psychological approach: Run Faster By Unleashing Your Inner Cheetah

Improve your running performance and run better: Using Your Hypnotic Hero To Improve Running Performance

Refine your pre-run strategies and routines, building upon the research in this article: Strategies In The Hour Before Running

Reduce running anxiety: Reducing Running Anxiety To Help Your Running Performance: Reduce Running Anxiety

Use this research supported method to increase your running performance: Running Psychology: Increase Running Performance By Picking The Pink

Help to achieve your running goals: Achieve Your Running Goal – Running Therapy & Psychology

Move on from any perceived past running failures: Running Hypnosis: Getting Over A Perceived Running Failure

Using hypnosis to become stronger: Increasing Muscular Strength With Hypnosis


Hypnosis and Sports Performance 

In the paper by Mattle, Birrer & Elfering (2020), they used a hypnotic technique that can be adapted and used to help mentally improve your sports performance.

In this investigation they were conducting the hypnosis intervention prior to a competition. They began by asking participants what goal they could achieve, assuming the competition ran optimally for them, before moving on to having them imagine that goal in their imagination.

Having induced hypnosis, they had the participant move forward in time in their imagination to the end of the competition, where they had reached their goal after their optimal competition and to notice where in their body they felt the feeling of having achieved their goal. From this point, having successfully achieved their goal, they looked back over their competition to notice what they did to make it turn out so well, for example, maybe they shot calm and focused or concentrated on the target (naturally this may be different for your particular sport).

The shooters were then instructed to again feel how it feels when all has gone well and to make that feeling stronger and clearer and to store it in their memory.

With the things they had done to achieve optimal performance in mind, they then imagined being at the start of the competition and going through it again whilst focusing on the specific things they had identified (the things they had identified doing that lead to achieving their goal). They were instructed to then go through the situation to the end and to feel again how good it feels to have reached their goal.

As mentioned in my previous article, this technique led to improved performance for many of the shooters who then took part in the competition.

This kind of technique can also be easily adapted to help your performance in your own particular sport.

Firstly, have a think of the goal you wish to achieve, assuming your event/training session/competition goes optimally for you. Then you induce self-hypnosis, use mindfulness or take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and use your senses to focus your attention inwards towards your thinking.

Having done so, imagine drifting to the end of the event/session/competition, where you’ve reached your goal. You performed well, things went well for you and you have achieved your goal. Notice the feeling of having successfully achieved your goal and then look back on the event that you’ve just successfully performed well in and completed, and notice what you did to make it happen so well. Really notice what you did that meant things turned out so well for you and that you performed well and achieved your goal.

With these things in mind, drift back to the start of the event/session/competition/situation and then run through it in your  mind (mental rehearsal). Run through this optimal performance and particularly focus on the things that you are doing that mean you are performing so well (the things you have already identified). Go through it all the way to the end of the event and feel the good feelings again.

When I use this kind of process with my clients, I will often incorporate elements from other previous successful performances to build confidence, self belief and a sense of how they are capable of performing well and achieving their goals. You can make the imagery more vivid, notice the sounds around you and intensify the good feelings of success.

Do make use of this simple, yet effective process and enjoy the benefits in terms of your sports performance.

To your sporting success,

Dan Regan

Face-to-face hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket

Online Skype and Zoom Hypnotherapy


Sports psychology and hypnosis for sports:  Find out how I can help with a Complimentary Hypnotherapy Strategy Session. Learn more here: Appointments

Find out what dozens of other people have said after their hypnotherapy sessions with Dan: Hypnotherapy Testimonials

And check out these powerful hypnosis downloads that can start helping you right away with anxiety, confidence and more: Hypnosis Downloads



Mattle, S., Birrer, D. and Elfering, A., 2020. Feasibility of hypnosis on performance in air rifle shooting competition. International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis68(4), pp.521-529.

Milling, L.S. and Randazzo, E.S., 2016. Enhancing sports performance with hypnosis: An ode for Tiger Woods. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice3(1), p.45.



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