Over the years I have helped clients improve their performance in a variety of sports, including golf, martial arts, horse riding, tennis, hockey, football, and a whole host of others.
Now sometimes, the client has not actually come for therapy in connection with their sporting skills, they may be having trouble sleeping or they are generally stressed. Simply by helping them to reduce their anxiety about life overall, they have found that their game has improved. A useful by-product of feeling more relaxed and in control (the same is often true about weight-loss, by the way).
Other times clients are seeking specific help in connection with their sport, for example:
- Regaining confidence after a run of poor performance or a period of ill health
- Overcoming nerves during important competitions
- Mastering a particular technique
- Finding the motivation to practise
- Pushing through self-imposed limitations on performance
Whatever the reason, we begin by making sure the client is in a good head-space generally. If the client is stressed through work pressures, ill health or relationship issues, then we help the client cope better with these situations so they have a clear head to address their sporting expertise.
Then we use positive visualisation to help the client imagine what the perfect golf shot would look, sound and feel like; or imagine how confident they will be when they are on their lively horse; or picture themselves as calm and confident when they are competing at the next championship game.
We make use of the fact that when we visualise something happening, the brain responds as if that thing is actually happening.
So, by helping clients repeatedly visualise success their skill and confidence improve.