Hypnosis and the technique known as anchoring, is ideally placed to help you to achieve your full potential in your chosen sport. It can help golfers, runners, footballers, cricketers, boxers, swimmers and rugby players to gain confidence, set goals, overcome fears, maintain composure and visualise the dream.
Sports people often describe being ‘in the zone’. Otherwise known as ‘a state of flow’ this is where all the hours of practise and preparation come together to enable you to achieve a magic moment – a winning performance.
Of all the techniques, available, Anchoring, for me, is one of the most fascinating. As a skilled Hypnotherapist, I can help you to build an ‘Anchor’, a positive state of mind, that you can fire to instantly access, at any time, in the future. Managing your mindset to your advantage at critically important times? Very handy indeed!
So, let’s visualise an example. Imagine, you are a footballer and have been awarded a penalty. if, as you are stepping up for a penalty shot, your heart began to race as adrenaline levels (also known as arousal levels), rise. Too much arousal could interrupt your state of flow which could affect your co-ordination. Instead, you choose to fire your Anchor and access your inner calmness which calms anxiety and focuses your mind. You shoot, you score….
How To Fire An Anchor
Firing an Anchor needs to be simple. You can choose a physical movement, such as pinching the thumb and forefinger together, a sound such as whistling or a visual cue.
A superb example of a visual cue was the red dot on the glove of golfer, Louis Oosthuizen. The British Open winner, who was widely predicted to collapse under the pressure of the final days’ competition. Instead, he used a simple red dot as a visual trigger to focus on his swing instead (and not the string of disappointing results in previous events….).
Anchors From History
We all have many Anchors that have been built up accidentally. Both positive and negative. Smells are particularly powerful, as is music. For example, ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ can reduce me to almost instant tears (I have no idea why), whereas ‘San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair), will instantly have the opposite effect.
The power of Anchoring, by the way, is not a recent discovery. It can trace its roots back to Pavlov’s experiments with dogs. Pavlov trained the minds of the dogs to associate the sound of a bell with food and to physically respond by salivating. With practise, the dogs salivated upon hearing only the ringing of the bell. A conditioned response to an Anchor (the noise of the bell).
A Sporting Secret Weapon
Ultimately, it’s recognised that sporting success comes because of many factors. Daily self-motivation, goal setting, endless resilience, mental clarity, the ability to handle and deflect pressure and, above all, belief. But, if you can visualise something, your mind can make it happen. Hypnosis can help to reinforce helpful behaviours and be your secret weapon for sporting success.