Hypnosis and Running: Part II

This is my second post on the use of hypnosis as a performance enhancing aid to your running (athletic) performance.

I’ll start this with a couple terms that have all kinds of connotations to people – most often negative. Hypnotherapists and writings on hypnotherapy use terms like “hypnotic state” or “trance”. No worries. It just means the relaxed state you are in while in a hypnosis session. You aren’t some kind of zombie. OK? Also, hypnotist is a term that conjures up stage hypnosis and “acting like a tree growing fruit”. No worries, those who use hypnosis as a tool for therapy usually call themselves hypnotherapists. They both use hypnosis as a tool.

The root “hypno” derived from the latin root word for “sleep.”
“Mesmerized” is a term coined relating to Franz Mesmer; German physician early 1734-1815; who inspired the field of hypnosis.

A key understanding is that hypnosis will not make you something you are not. If your training sucks “mind over matter” won’t make a difference! If you train on flat terrain and you’re trying to have a breakthrough on a hilly course – it won’t help. If you want to run fast but always train slow – it’s not your mind that is the problem… it’s your body; you haven’t trained to run fast. In my experience, a large portion of runners have training problems not mind problems. Understand and approach hypnosis with the appropriate expectations.

Here are some things that hypnosis can help:
Fear of competition
Fear of failure
Fear of “looking bad” in front of others (especially friends, family, coaches, teammates)
Overly nervous before competition
Lack of confidence
Panic attacks or anxiety during runs
Self-conscious about running, racing
Preoccupied with results or outcomes
Lack of competitiveness
Let-downs after being passed by other runners
Difficulty in focusing
Difficulty sticking with goals

There are many other issues that hypnosis could be a viable tool. These are just some examples It is important to also realize that hypnosis is indeed just a tool – by itself it doesn’t do much. Your hypnosis session must be tailored to your issue. Think of it this way. Commonly there is an overlap of mental game issues (i.e. let-downs when being passed may be because you lack confidence or that you fear making a bad showing). Your hypnosis session must address the specific thought patterns that have you stuck. Next time we’ll get more specific on hypnosis sessions.


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - trailrunningclub.com. I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for Running-Advice.com. I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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One Response to Hypnosis and Running: Part II

  1. Pingback: Hypnosis and Running: Part III – What a session involves « The Running World According to Dean

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