HYPNOSIS AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE IN SPORTS

By Rajkumar Bharali


1.Introduction
Games & sports are some useful ways for a healthy and peaceful life. Once upon a time games & sports were the means of fun or leisure. That time has passed and people are convinced to believe that games & sports can be performed for competition also. Different countries around the world are focusing on physical activity and sports. It is done to bring out more competition among people to achieve the ultimate goal of games & sports. Games or spots are overwhelming the athletes or the teams of certain countries. Nevertheless, it is quite difficult to win or dominate other countries through sports at a long stretch of time, but the professional sports psychologists are putting their efforts to make sporting activities a bit convenient, technical and performance oriented. The concept of hypnosis comes here. Around the world, hypnosis is a serious matter of study related to mental relaxation or psychological rehabilitation.

2.   What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a procedure wherein changes in sensations, perceptions, thoughts, feelings, or behaviors are suggested (Cox, 2007). In this procedure of hypnosis, one individual is told to have a heightened focus and concentration on a particular thought, memory or an object intensely while avoiding the sources of distractions. This process continues for a certain time limit. After performing this, the performer or the subject feels relaxed mind out of mental ailments.

3.   Stages of hypnosis
There are five phases of applying hypnosis on a subject:
  • Preparation of the subject phase, where information of the subject, establishing rapport, assessing suggestibility and clarifying misconception about hypnosis and arranging the settings for hypnosis are done (Health Communities, 2016).
  • Induction phase, where the hypnotist hypnotizes the participant or the subject. Suggestions are given to the client. Different techniques of induction are there. According to the client’s problem, technique is chosen.
  • Hypnotic phase, where there will be response from the client according to the       instructions. When the hypnotic state is applied, the client will be in neutral hypnosis. The person will be responding according to the suggestions given by the hypnotist. In this phase, the subject is asked to give response either in imagination or physically to the suggestions of the hypnotist (Cox, 2007).
  • Waking up phase, where a hypnotized person is given some instructions to     come out      of the trance. Step by step this procedure has to be followed to wake up of trance.
  • Post-hypnotic phase, where different suggestions are given to the client to be out of any problem relating to behavior, emotion, self-affirmation etc. Some positive thoughts are told to the client which would help in practical situation.
4.   Hypnosis in Sports
Hypnosis is effective in improving sports performance. Some top class sports psychologists did some researches on hypnosis. Through those researchers it is revealed that hypnosis is a good cognitive technique to improve the mental status of an athlete. A clear discussion about this is done here:
  • Hypnosis is a mental relaxation technique. It can be used as a therapy whenever athletes suffer from depression, anxiety or tension. By following hypnosis process, these mental ailments can be reduced and athletes can put more mental effort on the sport to improve the performance (The Wellness Institute, 2016).
  • Hypnosis has motivational function. It is used to modify emotions, decreases arousal and creates inner zeal to do something to enhance the sports performance.
  • Hypnosis process can give a clear cut picture of a particular event. The subject can plan out something in his/her mind whatever would be done in a certain situation to win a game.
  • Past memories can be recalled through which all the mistakes done can be rectified later on for the betterment of sports performance.
  • Hypnosis is beneficial to those athletes who engage in combat sports like boxing, wrestling, judo etc. Most of those athletes possess aggressive behavior in their normal life also which is very harmful to anyone. So, this aggression can be treated after implementing hypnosis technique by which mind can be made steady and calm which are very much needed to improve a particular skill by an athlete.
  • A prolonged athlete who is practicing the same training schedule should be given hypnosis once. This will create some positive thought impulses in mind which will refresh the mind to get ready to practice the training program with an urge to do well in the improvement of performance.
  • Hypnosis in sports can eliminate different phobias which occur in certain games. Those panic sensations are easily treated through hypnosis by guided instructions to the client.
  • During the peak training session of a particular game, hypnosis is given to the athletes to have good sleep which will relax the mind as well as the muscles to get a complete recovery. A full recovered mind and body lead to performance.
  • Hypnosis also improves athlete’s confidence and self-belief by improving the cognition. As a good athlete, these qualities are undeniable elements of better performance.
  • Hypnosis process demands immediate responses from the performer. So, if the person is able to respond quickly, it can improve the reaction time which has a vital role in enhancing sports performance.

5.   Conclusion
 A critical discussion about hypnosis and its importance in enhancing sports performance has been done. Hypnosis works with the unconscious mind. By receiving the unconscious responses, hypnosis provides athletes a secret weapon which can drastically enhance sports performance (Sports Hypnosis, 2016). For an athlete, he/she is supposed to be both mentally and physically able to adapt the environment, skill, routine and lifestyle of a sportsperson. So, hypnosis can help in the mental aspect to make this thing easier to achieve the desired goal. Still researches are going about hypnosis around the world and sports psychologists and scientists are finding new facts. Hypnosis has positive effects as well as some myths and misconceptions, but by doing study people are aware of doing hypnosis in the recommended manner to get the benefits. Human mind is always curious to discover something new. Since, hypnosis is resulting new things for the improvement of performance in sports, people are more concerned about hypnosis now a days and indeed, hypnosis is positively giving good outcomes in the field of games & sports up to a level which was beyond imagination in old time. Therefore, hypnosis is a major contribution to human civilization to prove human being as the ultimate one in the universe. 

References
  • Heath Communities (2016). Stages of Hypnotherapy. Retrieved from http://www.healthcommunities.com/hypnotherapy/lternative-medicine
  • Sports Hypnosis (2016). Sports Hypnosis How you can improve your sports performance with hypnosis. Retrieved from http://www.sportshypnosis.org
  • Richard H. Cox. Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications. New York: Mc Graw Hill, 2007.
  • The Wellness Institute (2016). Beyond Performance Anxiety; Using Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy to Improve Sports Performance. Retrieved from http://www.web.wellness-institute.org/blog/beyond-performance-anxiety.

About the author: The author, Rajkumar Bharali is serving as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Education, Don Bosco College, Goa University, Goa, India. He passed Master of Physical education in Sports Psychology from Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. His permanent residence is Ramkrishna Nagar, Jorhat, Assam. A good numbers of research articles written by him have been published in different national and international journals.


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