Athletes Who Improve Their Skills Using Hypnosis

To be a successful athlete requires a combination of ability, dedication, mental focus, and effort. Whether playing team sports or solo, professional athletes know they aren’t just playing a physical game, it’s also mental. Athletes need to take advantage of every way possible that they can out-perform their competition and that’s why hypnosis has become extremely popular among the pros.

An athlete who uses hypnosis  trains their mind to think and focus in the exact way they need it to in order to perform at their absolute best.  When athletes come to me for help, whether they are training for a marathon or preparing for try-outs or a competition, or  are in the midst of their regular season, they can expect to work on the following areas so they can reach their goals:

Mental Toughness

Often what separates the winners from the rest of the pack is sheer grit and determination. They are  ones that never give up even if they are older, smaller, or seem to have the odds stacked against them somehow. Because they think and train like a champion all of the time, not some of the time,  they become a champion.

Mental Rehearsal

Does visualizing yourself performing your sport improve performance? Studies have shown time and time again the answer to this question is an absolute yes. And professional athletes will tell you they rely on mental rehearsal to give themselves an edge over the competition, to help correct bad habits and correct form.

Belief in Yourself

Athletes have got to believe in their abilities in order to succeed. The quickest way to ruin your performance and enjoyment of a sport is to tell yourself you aren’t good enough or that you can’t do it.  And in athletes of equal talent and ability, those who believe in themselves will perform better than those who doubt themselves.


Despite all of your hard work and training, sometimes things go still go wrong. A pass is fumbled, an injury happens, a signal missed, a teammate makes an error, weather conditions turn for the worse. There are some things that are simply out of an athlete’s control. Successful athletes understand that they can’t let these setbacks distract their focus. They need to be able to rebound quickly, adjusting to the new situation, and continue to think and perform like a champion.

Zone Thinking

Hypnosis is also used to help  athletes relax and avoid thinking distracting thoughts while playing.  Yes, even athletes experience stress. Student athletes are often under pressure to make better grades and study for tests and excel at their sport so they can earn college scholarships. Adult athletes may be dealing with career, marital, family, or financial stress.  Learning how to manage their stress, relax, and get in the zone - thinking about nothing else except their sport when it’s competition time is critical to perform at their absolute best.

Many famous athletes attribute their success to hypnosis. Here are some of the athletes that have used hypnosis over the years and how it improved their skills:

Mary Lou Retton

Image courtesy of  Dame Magazine

Image courtesy of Dame Magazine

Mary Lou Retton took her hypnosis training seriously, as she wanted to bring home gold during every gymnastic meet she attended, especially at the Olympics.  Every day, she would use hypnosis to picture her routines in her head. She would use those visualizations of her routines to convince herself that she could execute them perfectly when she performed them during practice and when it mattered the most.  She basically trained her brain to teach her body that she could perform her routines perfectly and then followed through by doing it. With Mary Lou, hypnosis was a huge success, because she brought home gold when it mattered the most.

Michael Jordan

Image courtesy of  NBA

Image courtesy of NBA

Michael Jordan is probably one of the biggest star athletes that has incorporated hypnosis into his training and pre-game routines.  He would practice hypnosis before every game, so that he would experience laser-sharp focus and increased mental stamina. His team saw the success that he was experiencing and chose to incorporate hypnosis into their routines as well, which ended up giving them a better chance at beating their opponents.  

Tiger Woods

Image courtesy of  Golf Week

Image courtesy of Golf Week

Tiger Woods began experimenting with hypnosis at the age of thirteen, as he was looking for a way to calm his nerves and mind before heading out on the course to play a match.  He believes that hypnosis has helped him tremendously, as he could completely free his mind from the pressure and worries, while also allowing him to keep distractions to a minimum.  By practicing hypnosis faithfully, he could solely concentrate and focus on his game every time he played.

The 1983 Chicago White Sox Team

Image courtesy of  Flickr

Image courtesy of Flickr

The year that the Chicago White Sox won their division and headed to the playoffs, they used hypnosis to improve their mentality during practice and games.  While only one or two players could have done hypnosis, the entire team took it upon themselves to realize that they needed to utilize hypnosis together to get the results that they wanted.  

  • Wayne Gretzky

  • Ingmar Johannson 

  • Ken Norton 

  • Jack Nicklaus

  • Frank Bruno

  • Rod Carew

  • Andre Agassi

  • Kobe Bryant

  • Shaq O’Neal

  • Lee Haney

  • Mike Tyson

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Candace Avila