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Who’s your favourite athlete?

Can you see them clearly in your mind’s eye? Can you imagine what it would feel like being them? Can you imagine doing the training they do, eating the food they eat and ultimately performing as well as them in competition?

I once worked with a young kickboxer who, like many of my other athletes before, was struggling to exhibit his skills to his best effort in competition. He was one of the stars in the gym. Highly skilled, very fit and seemingly very confident. This couldn’t have been more different in competition.

The nerves seemed to get the better of him in the arena. There’s a name for people like this, “gym fighters”. They’re great in the gym, beating everyone up, but put them under the lights and pressure of competition and, well, they crumble.

Unfortunately, this young man seemed to fall into that category. Fortunately, he and his support network were desperate to change that.

Now, contrary to popular belief, hypnosis isn’t all, “look at the pocket watch swinging, you’re feeling veeeerrrrryyyyy sleeeepyyyyy” etc. Hypnosis can be experienced wide awake and doing an activity, which is what we set about doing in this case.

Given my long background in martial arts training and competition, I decided to hold pads for my client in this session. He was wearing his competition gear, we ensured we had enough room to practice some techniques, then just before we started smashing the pads up, I asked him to think about and imagine his favourite fighter.

He instantly thought of the guy in question. Then I asked him to imagine being him, almost as if his mind was transferring into his favourite fighters body. Oh, how quick the change was.

From a timid young fighter, he almost immediately became an absolute beast. He was even executing his favourite fighters striking combinations, just as he did in elite competition! Yes, the change can happen that fast.

To fully embed these changes in his subconscious mind, I asked him to practice a visualisation technique before every training session and competition.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and he absolutely dominated everyone else in his category in a regional tournament. He was then heading into the Nationals as a completely new athlete. Job done.

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