Improving Football Performance with Hypnosis - Hypnotherapy in Ely

I've written many times before about the research and evidence for improving sports performance using hypnosis and sports psychology.  In any sport, including football that I am talking about here, your mindset plays an influential role in your performance.

Using hypnosis can help you to improve your soccer performance through management of your emotional levels, effective visualisation and harnessing your self-talk constructively. You can draw upon previous successful performances, learn from role models, build your sense of self belief and capability and prime your mind for successful performance. 

Using these psychological techniques and strategies can help you with staying focused, decision making, skill development and handling challenges. When things aren't going well for you or the team, or you make a mistake, how you orchestrate your thoughts and feelings will have a massive impact on whether you bounce back or let your performance deteriorate. 

I find it fascinating watching football due to the emotions and psychology involved. Some players rise under pressure and goading from the opposition and perform at their best, while other sink under the weight of it all. Some players look like they want to be there and to play and seem to have endless energy and insight, while others are lethargic and lack belief in themselves. And when things go wrong, such as missing a penalty, losing the ball or a mistimed tackle, a player can either refocus and get back on with it, or a lack of belief or the 'red mist' ruin the rest of their game. 

Whatever your position on the pitch, you will benefit from confidence and a belief in your own ability. You can call upon psychological techniques to improve your ability to bring the ball under control, to complete successful passes and to make successful tackles.

Research suggests that hypnosis can help you to improve your soccer performance. If you want to consistently play at your best, then hypnosis for football performance may be the strategy that helps you get there and stay there. 

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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 achillies' 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 Performance In Air Rifle Shooting Competition

I work with many people to help them with aspects of sports psychology and improving their performance. It's always a joy to work with people who have such passion, drive and motivation to get better at what they do.

Frustratingly, my own running has had to take a back seat recently with a couple of persistent minor niggles keeping me away from it. Thankfully high intensity bootcamp training has continued, albeit with modifications to avoid running and jumping, or anything else that could over stress my ankle or achillies right now.

To try and counter these niggles and make me more injury-proof in future, I've started some personal training sessions to go alongside my bootcamps. I always find it amazing how you can feel relatively fit and strong doing certain familiar exercises, only to take on something new and feel like a complete novice. After a session today I don't think my body knows what has hit it! The muscle soreness tomorrow may be off the chart... Yet it's all an opportunity to learn, adapt, get fitter and stronger, and come back into running all the better for having gone through this shock to the system.

Recently I've been working with an air rifle shooter to help them to enhance their performance and boost their confidence and self-belief ready for competition. And as part of my research and session preparation, I came acress a research paper that specifically looked into the use of hypnosis on performance in air rifle shooting competitions. 

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Running Psychology: Increase Running Performance By Picking The Pink

As my own running training ramps up a bit, I've been writing much more about running psychology and how you can improve your running performance. Drawing upon successful races and training runs can help you to increase confidence and belief in your own running ability so that you can overcome past poor performances and achieve your future running goals.  

If you want to run to the best of your ability and potential, then applying elements of running psychology will certainly help you. You can take control over your self-talk, confidence, self-belief, imagination, motivation and many other aspects of your thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions. You can harness and direct your mindset towards running how you want to.

Today I'm talking about some research that goes to demonstrate just how important your psychology is towards your performance when running.  

It's incredible how much what goes on in your head can impact upon your running performance. That little voice in your head can help you push on and improve, or can niggle away and undermine you. What you imagine before and during a run can influence your motivation, confidence and arousal levels. Your confidence and belief in your running ability has a huge bearing on how well you run. And then there are all the other factors that can get in your head, from tiredness, hills, other people and more. I've known runners who smash it in training, only to be overwhelmed with anxiety and self-doubt at the starting line of a race. I've known runners who find that the negative thoughts sabotage what they are doing. And there are runners who are able to consistently perform, run well and stay up beat due to what goes on inside their heads, and who may even perform above expectations as a result.

And your mind is even more amazing than that. If you perceive something to be beneficial then it can improve your running performance, simply due to your expectation of a positive outcome (which is perhaps why so many runners and sports people have certain consistent rituals or habits that they carry out because they perceive them to be beneficial).

Here is more evidence of how your mind impacts upon your running performance... 

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Achieve Your Running Goal - Running Therapy & Psychology

As runners, we know the importance of setting goals from training and racing and of then consistently and persistently following training plans and schedules that get us there. Whether it's a goal about speed, distance, racing or some other aspects of running, having a goal keeps you focused, motivated and moving.

Recently, I've been gradually building up my long weekend runs towards an autumn ultra, and last Saturday headed out for a sixteen mile long run along the riverside here in Ely (on a beautiful sunny morning). In the past my goals have been for other races and distances and from 5k up to marathon and ultra marathon.

I've worked with many runners over the years and goals can vary from getting motivated enough to get out of the door, having the confidence to complete a first race or to run a whole 10k, getting over a psychological setback or injury, and having the mental strength to complete, to long distance racing (or running as part of an Ironman). And, of course, I've helped many runners with other issues, such as anxiety, stress, worry and depression, that have impacted upon their running and which, once resolved, mean they can enjoy running again.

And I think we know that, without a running goal of some kind, it's easy to just plod along run after run with no specific aim from each run, from each training period and with nothing in particular to aim for. I've found in the past that without a running goal, my running can plateau a bit, the temptation to cut short a challenging run gets greater, training levels become more constant, and the fire and determination from having a race to aim for just isn't present.     

When you have a goal, you also want to build your confidence, motivation and self-belief that you can complete it successfully. You want to be able to dispel any negative inner dialogue or anxiety and you want to enjoy the process so that you can perform to your running best on the day. By using your mindset, you can build upon your training and hard work so that you can perform to the best of your ability and achieve your running goals. 

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Running Hypnosis: Getting Over A Perceived Running Failure

If you've been running for any length of time then the chances are that you've had those training runs or races where everything seems to just come together and you set a personal best, you perform well, you tackle a difficult course, you've felt accomplished or where you've enjoyed running successfully in some way. Who doesn't love that positive, good feeling that comes at the end of a good run? 

As I think back upon my running history, I can recall times where I've set a PB and felt good for it, times when I've made progress and felt accomplished and snapshots from other running events and races where I've performed to my best and where I've felt good as a result. As we run and train more we learn more about the best preparation, training and strategies that work for us. We can refine, amend and improve what we do and how we do it. 

But, of course, there are also those runs that we have all encountered where there are setbacks and challenges along the way. You fail to finish, you run badly, you don't meet your own goals and expectations. I think I've had my share of these, such as not finishing an ultra, struggling through a marathon, not pushing on in a 10km, feeling unwell, niggling something or where a run or race just hasn't gone to plan for some other reason.

When we encounter these setbacks and perceived failures it can be disappointing and demoralising. Often, after a time, we can shrug them off and get back on with it, hopefully with improved wisdom and learning to apply it in our running. Yet sometimes that perceived failure can rankle and stay with you. It can damage your belief in your capability and your confidence in your running. It can lead to doubt, anxiety, and worry about a repeat or about whether you can do it.  When negative thoughts and feelings creep in based upon a previous running performance, you want to be able to learn from it and move on from it in constructive and beneficial ways. 

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Running Psychology: Strategies In The Hour Before Running

I remember when I first started entering a few local, mainly 10km races. I had little idea of what to expect and used to just mill around somewhere near the start and copy some of the warm up routines and strategies from other runners who looked like they knew what they were doing. My training consisted of about three runs a week, totaling ten miles, and I was happy just to jog along in a race, get my medal at the end and enjoy that post-race glow from the satisfaction of finishing. I can still even just about remember doing the 'Run The World' 10km in Cardiff way back in the Band Aid days!

Over the years, my pre-run routine, and especially my pre-race routine, has become a bit more refined. To my mind, getting ready to perform to your best involves not only being physically ready but also mentally in the zone. My days of listening to the Rocky theme tune on repeat before a run are long gone, mainly because it used to get me so pumped in the car on a way to a race that by the time I got there I was already tired!

Because I run in the morning these days, my pre-run strategy for a training run  involves getting up, moving about and generally getting awake and moving a bit (along with coffee) before warming up and moving out of the door. For a race, I aim to get ready, travel there and then it's about getting the right level of intensity and focus to race, along with staying relaxed enough to perform as best as I can on the day. It's all about getting mentally and physically ready so that at the start line, I'm in the zone cognitively and emotionally (I've left out the trips to the loo, checking my watch for the time and making sure it has a GPS signal, trying to get my race number on comfortably and tying and retying my laces a few times!).

Of course, all runners have their own routines and strategies in the lead up hour to a run. At any race you can see runners getting ready, some pacing about and others still and composed, some seek company and others prefer solitude, some look lost in thought and others are busy doing warm up exercises. So what sort of strategies do runners employ before training and competition? 

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Using Your Hypnotic Running Hero To Improve Your Running Performance

After a pretty cold and icy winter, it finally seems like Spring is here. I love running and training in the Spring; there's something uplifting in the air with the milder mornings, the lighter evenings, the warmth of the sunshine and just that sense of freshness and positivity that comes with it all. 

It's the time of year that I enjoy running the most. After enduring the bleakness, cold and darkness of the winter months, there's more of a spring in my step and a sense of optimism about training and racing. 

My running has been going reasonably well in recent weeks and I'm now up to a steady long run for over ten miles at the weekend, as well as a couple of shorter efforts during the week, and more recently my mind has been continuing to return to thoughts and aspirations about completing another ultra marathon. It's been a long while since I've been in a position to contemplate an ultra, after a long standing hip issue that took quite some time to identify and rectify. But now I'm well and truly invested in increasing my mileage and training over the coming months for an early Autumn ultra.

Perhaps in running, and other sports too, one of the main ways that you learn how to improve your running performance is through watching and learning from other runners, talking to other runners about their experiences and what has or hasn't gone well for them, and then applying that to your own approach, mindset, training and racing. And then, of course, learning more through your own experiences and things that work for you and things that you need to change or amend to suit your own approach and goals.   

There are also many books and blogs by runners out there. I've learnt tons from reading books about marathon training, for example, and following training plans by legends such as Hal Higdon (who's training plans have got me through over a dozen marathon races). You can also learn from watching clips on TV and the internet. There can't be many runners who haven't found the exploits of Paula Radcliffe or Mo Farah uplifting and inspiring, for example, or who haven't marvelled at the determination of the Brownlee Brothers or the speed and eloquence of other athletes who run. 

And, as I'm covering here, you can take that inspiration from your running role models and heroes and apply it to boost your own running performance. Whether it's their mindset, attitude, self-belief, persistence, determination or some other quality you admire and want to benefit from, you can use hypnosis for running to help you. 

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Running Hypnosis: Run Faster By Unleashing Your Inner Cheetah

This weekend I was out as usual for my long slow run. For one reason and another it's been a while but I'm now back over the ten mile mark and pretty pleased with that, especially given the freezing weather and strong winds we've been faced with for many weeks. Roll on spring and some warmer times and sunshine!

During my long runs I employ all sorts of psychological running strategies to help me keep going and complete my scheduled distances. I call upon everything from really associating with what I am doing, to dissociating and letting my mind wander, thinking about specific challenges, setting and imagining goals, breaking it down into each individual mile, calculating how much of my run I've completed and a whole host of other techniques depending on how I am running and what is the most useful at the time.

As long runs get longer, and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and fatigue become things, I've always found it important to be able to manage that little voice in my head that comes out and can start to plant some negative seeds in my mind if left unabated.

Throughout my running over the last twenty years or more, I don't think I've ever particularly regarded myself as a speed merchant (although I'm happy to share my sprint finish victory story and how fast I ran when chased by a chicken). My style of running and my body seem to be more suited to slower, longer stuff. That said, I've hit some faster milestones that I'm pleased with for myself, such as a sub-20 minute 5km, sub 40 minute 10k and sub 90 minute half marathon. I'm pretty pleased with those personal bests.

Running fast is a personal thing. It isn't necessarily about being faster than everyone else; it's about running harder and faster (in a safe fashion) to reach what you personally are capable of. It requires effort, persistence and the right mindset to push on (even when it gets uncomfortable). 

In this article I'm covering a sports psychology strategy involving mental imagery that has been used by a world champion. It's something I've used myself when I need a hard, fast burst, like when we run at bootcamp and there's an element of competition. There will always be plenty who can run faster than me (and plenty I can run faster than, for that matter), yet it's about doing the best with where you are and what you've got, to achieve that and run faster. As well as taking care of the physical aspects of running and training, you also need to  work on the mindset and psychological side if you want to achieve your best. 

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Increasing Muscular Strength With Hypnosis

At my bootcamp, one of the favourite lines from our coach is about how your mind will give up before your body. In the midst of the high intensity training, the discomfort you feel physically and the levels of tiredness can cause that voice in your head to encourage you to fail even though physically you may be capable of continuing.

It's the same with long distance running. As you get tired and those muscles are depleted, the mental demons can start to get louder and try to convince you that you can't do it, or don't want to. And anyone who has raced probably knows that the kind of images and self-talk that goes through your mind in the lead up, and on the starting line, can affect how you feel and how you perform.

We all know the importance of warming up before exercising to get your body ready for movement and exertion. Yet it's just as important to get your mind in the right zone too. And whilst most athletes spend a lot of time on physical training (and sometimes kit!), the mental aspect of sport can often be overlooked. There's a reason why all those sports people at the top of their game invest in their mindset and mental skills to improve their performance.

Hypnosis and other cognitive/mental imagery strategies can help you to tackle issues such as self-doubt, ​low confidence, ​anxiety, motivation or difficulty recovering from past events, frustrations and set-backs. Even better, sports hypnosis can not only remove obstacles, it can help you to enhance your performance too.

In this article, I'm covering some of the research on hypnosis and other cognitive strategies for improving muscular strength. Strength performance (e.g. maximal strength, local muscular endurance, and power) is pretty important across most sports, perhaps particularly in lifting, body building and power sports. We all use our muscles and all need muscular strength, so how can you benefit from hypnosis for increasing muscular strength?

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