We use our legs to run, don’t we? As a result, surely we just need to run and keep on running, as Forrest Gump would say. Isn’t this the case?
Though these days marathon running is my sport, I have played football to a moderately high standard and various other sports throughout my life and I think just about everyone who has ever participated in any kind of sport can remember when our state of mind interfered with a good performance.
Of course, it is not just sports performance either, many men encounter anxiety with sexual situations which affects their ability, for others similar anxiety may have affected performance in an exam or test of some kind. In sports, it might occur in an important competition, we all saw how Rory McIlroy lost his healthy lead in Augusta before recovering mentally and showing some amazing resilience to go on and win the US Masters golf major in tremendous style a few months later. We have seen how tennis players struggle with those important points in big championships and how our football teams get affected by the crowd when they play away from home.
For us marathon runners, it might affect our performance in races as well as in our important preparation. So of course, we use more than just our legs.
I think everyone knows these days that our state of mind affects how we perform, yet it seems quite common for individuals to not understand how to get in control of their own mentality and mind, especially when it comes to sports performance.
In the coming weeks I shall be writing a lot about hypnosis and hypnotherapy for enhancing sporting prowess and in particular running ability while I am researching and finalising the new audio programme that I am going to release later this year. (Using hypnosis for running a marathon audio programme)
Within the research I have been conducting already, it is amazing to read accounts of athletes and sports people as to the reasons behind the wide variation in their sporting performance and results. Very, very few (top elite people) actually perform with major consistency.
Injuries and health issues aside, the vast majority of the accounts suggest that most athletes and sports people believe their own differences in performance are due to parallel variations in their state of mind. Many athletes I encounter through my work and through running events I attend, tend to suggest that it is 50/50 physical and mental when it comes to their sporting performance and though this is only subjective evidence based on my limited encountering of sports people, I would say that it is a very low percentage 3-10% max) of training time that is spent on the psychological skills and mental abilities required for peak performance.
It is a rare occurrence to encounter an athlete or sports person who spends a great deal of time and effort on their psychological skills and mental side of training. Let’s make this clear – the psychological side of training is just as important as anything else when it comes to sporting performance. The athletes at the very top of their game are the ones who know this more than the rest and that is why they are there.
In coming weeks, and throughout the programme that I am putting together, I am going to touch upon (go into real depth in the audio programme of course) a wide variety of techniques, skills, applications and methods all designed at enhancing performance.
We are going to look at how to get into what many athletes call getting into ‘the zone’ when you are performing at your best. it is something that people tend to think just happens magically but we can all learn how to replicate it and train ourselves to achieve it more readily and frequently.
I am going to look at how to make the most of your training sessions and keep motivated to train effectively; us runners can sometimes find it a lonely and demotivating business to follow long training schedules, especially in the dark winter months. We are going to learn how to focus and let go of distractions as well as a variety of other mental skills.
Certainly I have found that there is a great amount of evidence to support the idea that your mental training and psychological approach to your sport plays an important role in peak performance, but also in how you recover from training sessions and even overcome injuries.
All of this said, and despite me referring to research literature, there is not a massive amount of research that refer to the use of hypnosis and hypnotherapy – which is one of my own motivations for the programme for marathon running I am putting together. Certainly among the running fraternity, there are very few that actually consider hypnosis as a means of real help, at least in my experience so far… I plan on changing all that.
So I am going to illustrate how hypnosis and hypnotherapy can and do make a massive difference whether it is for developing focus, enhancing confidence and belief, letting go of distraction, being mindful, learning to relax effectively and developing the mindset of a better performer. Hypnosis makes a massive difference and I can’t wait to share this stuff with you in coming weeks.
And just to get a couple of things straight here… I am no sports coach. I do not train runners in relation to their physical running technique. I do not tell them what schedule to follow for their event (though often point out where to find that). My job is to help develop the right mindset and psychological skills to make a massive difference and that is what I intend to do.
Today I wanted to set out my stall and let you know that there’ll be quite a bit of this kind of thing in coming weeks… I hope you enjoy it.