Question, what do all these people have in common:
Ken Norton, Ozzie Smith, Rod Carew, Jimmy Connors, Mary Lou Retton, Phil Jackson, Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Maury Wills, Don Sutton, Mark McGuire, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Andre Agassi, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Buckner, Cory Everson, Jim Eisenreich, Dorothy Hamill?
They all used hypnosis to get them, and keep them, at the top of their game.
Since the 1950’s, Olympic teams have used hypnosis in training and have brought them to the games; the Chicago White Sox hired a hypnotist in their 1983 playoff run; the Pittsburg Steelers have used a hypnotist, as have the Tampa Bay Lightning, and numerous colleges regularly use hypnosis in their sports programs.
Studies have been conducted where guided imagery was used for training compared to actually practicing a physical task. In the two best-known studies of this type, participants who only imagined learning how to play a piano had the same skill level as those who used their finger to practice on a real piano, and basketball players who only imagined shooting perfect free-throws had nearly identical improvement as the control group who practiced shooting free-throws in a gym every day.
These two studies, as well as many others, demonstrate the usefulness of hypnosis in sports performance through guided imagery and future pacing (imagining a successful outcome). The accomplishments of athletes who have used hypnosis to better their game is the main reason sports hypnosis is one of the fastest growing fields of guided imagery and mindfulness.