A sports psychologist for a U.S. Olympic team once noted that 80 to 90 percent of an Olympic athlete's performance is in the mind. In the 1960's in East Germany, Olympic trainers were working with athletes using hypnosis. Today hypnotherapists work with trainers and sports psychologists at the college and professional levels as well as Olympic athletes. Using your mind to improve physical performance can be of real value to you and hypnosis is a great way of using your mind.
An issue for which clients come to see me is improving athletic performance. I have had hypnotherapy clients who are professional athletes wanting to improve their performance in everything from football to golf. Students come to see me hoping to release fears about getting hit by a ball or a tackle or improving their skills enough for a scholarship. I have worked with Olympic hopefuls in diving, swimming and gymnastics. All recognize that hypnosis can be a great tool to improve their skills in their chosen sport.
There are a number of different ways that hypnosis can improve athletic performance. Using visualization is a key part of such improvement. Back in 1984, Mary Lou Retton competed in the Olympics. She described her nighttime ritual of visualizing her routines, "I see myself hitting all my routines, doing everything perfectly. I imagine all the moves and go through them with the image in my mind." She did just that in the competition. Note that the hypnotherapist does not need to know a great deal about your sport, you will give her a description and the words that will be used in your session.