Achieving Your Optimal Level of Athletic Performance with Hypnosis

Although I love using hypnosis to help people with all kinds of different challenges, hypnosis for sports performance is a special area of interest for me.  I just love to see the way it helps people take their performance to the next level!  Every athlete has found themselves, at one time or another, challenged in different areas when it comes to their sport.  Whether they are overcome with powerful fears, challenged with performance anxieties, limited by injuries, or simply not living up to their full athletic potential, mental blocks can be a considerable hindrance to one’s training and athletic success.  In Western culture, there is a tendency to give little attention to the mental aspects of our training, significantly limiting our performance potential.  It is when we develop both body and mind that we are able to achieve an optimal level of performance.  We bring the whole person, both mind and body, to each and every athletic event and competition.   

Hypnosis for sports performance is gaining in popularity as a complimentary approach to athletic training.  Professional athletes, Olympians, sports teams, and individuals alike are incorporating this as a strategy and achieving incredible success with it.  Tiger Woods has been well-known for incorporating hypnosis as part of his preparation prior to big events, using it to keep him calm, focused, and to mentally rehearse performing at his best.  It is a powerful tool for athletes that gets real results quickly, often within one session.      

Hypnosis is often misunderstood by the general public.  People tend to be intimidated by it, expecting it to be a magical, mystical, or “new age” process.  There is sometimes concern that it involves “mind control.”  However, as it gains in popularity, more and more people are experiencing hypnosis.  They are developing a greater understanding of what it truly is and its benefits.  They learn that hypnosis is simply a relaxation technique, similar to guided meditation.  They come to understand that hypnosis could never be “mind control” in that the hypnotherapist can never make a hypnotic suggestion that the client is unwilling to follow. 

Hypnosis simply allows us to harness the power of the unconscious mind to address mental blocks and enhance performance. It is a natural state that many of us experience several times throughout the day.  Examples of this are those times that we “space out” during a boring meeting.  Also when we drive for miles without being consciously aware of it, noticing later that we don’t remember parts of the drive.  And because it is a natural state, everyone is capable of reaching hypnotic trance when they come in for a session.  It has the potential to work for everyone!       

So how does it work?  To understand the process of how hypnosis works, you must first understand that the mind is made up of both the unconscious and conscious.  The conscious mind is all of the things that we are currently aware of right now.  It includes the thoughts and experiences that we are currently having.  The unconscious mind's job is to take care of everything else.  It stores all of our memories, maintains our biological processes, controls our movement patterns, houses our emotions, habits, and fears, and so much more.  When we are looking for changes in our athletic performance, it is helpful to consciously focus on what we want to see happen.  However, the real change occurs in the subconscious mind.  We also have what is called the critical factor in the brain which can serve as a sort of "body guard" to the unconscious mind.  The conscious mind is desiring change but for one reason or another, the critical factor is blocking change within the unconscious mind.  Hypnosis allows us to bypass the critical factor and create real change within the unconscious mind.  It helps us to access our own internal resources and make direct suggestions for change. 

There are many ways in which hypnosis can be used to help the athlete to be successful:

* In the state of hypnosis, the athlete can be guided to visualize themselves achieving success or mastery in areas that have been previously challenging for them.  This mental rehearsal allows for significant improvement outside of the hypnosis session. 

* Direct suggestions for reduced anxiety and improved stress management can also be helpful to the athlete, reducing the likelihood that this will impact future performances.  We often bring our fears into our training and these can serve as a significant block to our athletic achievement.  Hypnosis can address the fears that aren't conducive to our success

  * It can be used to reduce distractibility for the athlete, helping them to focus on their performance. 

* Injuries and pain are common amongst athletes and can significantly impact performance.  While it is important to have pain addressed by a physician, hypnosis can also be used to help reduce the athlete's experience of pain.  Hypnosis assists with the general recovery process as well as faster healing from injuries or surgery.

* Ultimately, hypnosis allows for connection of the mind and body, allowing the athlete to use resources from both simultaneously to achieve maximum performance potential. 

If you are interested in enhancing your training with hypnosis, seek a certified hypnotherapist in your area.  He or she will assess your needs to determine how you might best be helped with hypnotic techniques.  Want to schedule a session with me?  Hypnosis sessions via Skype and/or customized mp3 hypnosis session recordings to use at home are available for those who do not live close enough to visit my office.     


Christy Forsyth is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and a Licensed Mental Health Therapist, practicing since 2004.  She and her business partner, Nichole Eaton, co-founded Clarity in 2014, which offers a wide array of services to help connect clients with the best possible version of themselves.  For more information about scheduling a hypnosis session, please contact Christy at 607-438-2939.  She can also be contacted via email at  For more information, please visit Clarity's website at