Tennis star Johanna Konta has come back from a slump in her performance and is looking in very good form for the 2019 Wimbledon tournament.
So what is it that has been influencing this resurgence in her form? An important part of the answer seems to be that working with her new Mind Coach, Lorenzo Beltrame, is helping get her game back on track.
Sadly her previous mind coach Juan Coto died at the end of 2016, aged just 47, and from that time Konta’s results began to gradually decline until Beltrame took up the mantle which has coincided with her latest upsurge in form.
The vast majority of sports people these days take very seriously the fact that working on the mental side of the game can make a tremendous difference to results. I work regularly with sports and performing arts clients, professional and amateur but also, a large number of my clients see me to help deal with their daily life issues of anxiety, stress, depression and confidence etc.
Interestingly I have found more and more that there really is not as much difference as one might think between the techniques and strategies we need to perform in a sporting context as the techniques and strategies we need to perform to our best in actual life situations. There are just three words that the brain is evaluating at all times that govern how comfortable we feel not, only on the big stage but in our everyday life.
Those three words are “am I safe”.
If you can turn “am I safe” into “I am safe”, whether you are on the tennis court at Wimbledon or in your everyday life the payback can be immense.
There are many empowering and fascinating ways to do this and if you would like more information about how you could make the changes in your life you deserve please feel free to contact me.
It took six putts to get the ball in the hole from just 3 feet and any golfer watching, amateur or professional would have felt like turning their eyes away as a four times Major winner and previous number one in the world had a disastrous meltdown with his putting stroke.
Well Ernie is not the only illustrious player to suffer with what in golfing terms is called “the yips” where the brain seems unable to convey to the muscles the clean and precise movement required to make the stroke. Last season Tiger Woods struggled with his chip shots which at times seemed to give the ball a mind of it’s own which did not include heading anywhere in the direction of the hole.
And golfers are not the only sports people to struggle with this problem in their careers. It can suddenly appear in the games of professional and amateur snooker, darts and cricket players. In fact any skill requiring a high level of subtle muscle, eye and brain co-ordination can become plagued by this seemingly irrational inability to carry out a movement that may have been working perfectly for years.
So what is going on here? Basically there is some sort of neurological interference with the regular messages that pass through the brain to the muscles resulting in a conflict between those messages and the movements that we have pre programmed into the muscles.
Now if you think you may be suffering from a Functional Neurological Disorder then the first step is to seek help from your medical practitioner. However this particular issue can be as much psychological as physical and I offer processes and techniques designed to help return the brain signals back to smooth natural communication. This is an area that I specialise in for musicians and sports people. In fact any situation that involves high levels of performance which could be winning a golf tournament or just writing one’s name in front of other people. Anything where pressure seems to break down the natural communications between body and brain.
To help get the body and brain back to clear communication it is not only the muscles and thinking that need to be examined but also our psychological state. The golfers yips or the violinist’s “pearlies” are often just the presenting symptoms of unconscious issues from past experiences that, unless resolved will continue to sabotage our best efforts to think clearly and act smoothly under pressure.
I work regularly in this area with professional and amateur golfers, snooker players, footballers musicians and have also presented workshops to performers and sports persons at Universities and Colleges around the country. In fact for any discipline that calls on us to perform at times out of our comfort zone and requires clear thinking, confidence and clarity of physical movement I offer a range of powerful strategies and techniques designed to take performance to the next level.
For more information just call or email me, 07970218451, email@example.com and I will be very happy to discuss this further.
I have been using EFT in my practice for many years now and it never ceases to amaze me how simple and effective this technique is. If you want a technique that you can use and take with you “in your back pocket” wherever you are and whatever circumstances you are in then EFT is the obvious choice.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) has been around now for 20 years and was developed by Gary Craig from Roger Callaghan’s Thought Field Therapy. It is termed as an energy psychology and works by tapping on certain acupressure points around the body whilst verbalising (internally or out loud) the issues you are working on.
It is a favourite technique of mine and often clients will come in with no knowledge of it and I will demonstrate to them without initially explaining it a simple round of tapping on the specific points to see what experience they get. They may look a bit perplexed as we begin the “round” tapping on the side of the hand then tapping with the fingers on 7 points around the body whilst reciting the problem out loud. The interesting thing is that even after one or two rounds which will take only a minute of two at most, their face and body will relax and when I ask them how they feel they will usually say, with a pleasantly surprised look on their face, “well, I seem to feel a bit more relaxed”.
This almost instant reduction in the discomfort of the problem is to me proof that meaningful and powerful change has already begun. We may have only just started the session and the work we will do but now my client is also learning a technique that will help empower them on a daily basis. And this will be a technique they will soon learn and be able to take with them and use without me having to be there. As I say to clients “I don’t know what you will be thinking at 5 o’clock tomorrow any more than I know what I will be thinking at 5 o’clock tomorrow” but if it is something you want to deal with then EFT can help you deal with it on the spot.
The well respected complimentary medicine and nutrition expert, osteopath and best selling author Dr Mercola has written various articles about the benefits of EFT and has a video and information about how effective it can be for relieving stress and tension headaches.
EFT can help with many issues including:
Phobia – Sickness phobia – Animals phobia – Insects phobia
Fear of water – Fear of darkness – Social phobia – Night phobia – Fear of plants – Any simple or complex Phobia
Stress – Anxiety – Tenseness – Insecurity – Nervousness – Anger – Hate – Grief – Depression – Guilt – Feeling incompetent
Fear of abandonment – Fear of the future – Fear of persons – Fear of the unknown – Fear of death
Traumatic memory: Rejection, Failure, Duress, Abandonment, Accident, Abuse, Rape, Love pain
Headache – Nervous stomach-ache – Back pain – Pain in the neck – Carpal tunnel syndrome
Pre-menstrual syndrome – Physical pain with no organic cause – Constipation – Irritable bowel – Jaw tightness
Asthma – Constricted breath – Dyspnoea – Chronic diseases – Hypertension – Hypotension – tachycardia – Arrhythmia
Sexual problems (non organic) – Myopia – Vision problems – Allergies of any kind
Dyslexia – Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) – Learning problems – Low school grades
Panic attacks – Bulimia – Cravings – Anorexia nervosa – Overeating – Specific food dislike
Drugs – Alcohol – Smoking – Addictive food – Nervous habits
Plus general improvement and happiness in one’s personal and professional life:
Self-confidence – Self-image – Better relationships – Forgiveness – Procrastination – Goal achievement – Work performance – Sport performance – Personal peace
To find out more about how Emotional Freedom Technique can help you just get in touch and I will be happy help.
Have been meaning to get back to you for ages to say thank you so much for your support with myChronic Fatigue Syndrome. As you know we met just before a very big trip abroad. The two sessions really helped lift my energy levels pretty much from zero to high enough to allow me to pack and get myself to the airport, which was looking a bit doubtful at that point in time.Your techniques supported me throughout the 3 months I was away and I would recommend your methods and support for anyone living with this condition.
The issues that immediately spring to mind when considering hypnotherapy are stopping smoking, phobias and weight loss. However there are a surprising number of other conditions that hypnosis can help resolve or at the very least assist in experiencing a better quality of life. In fact there is are few issues that hypnotherapy will not have some form of positive effect on in one way or another. Even the stress and pain of a serious physical problem can be alleviated to some degree with hypnosis. In fact I saw a cancer patient last year and we did some deep relaxation hypnosis and he could not believe how good it felt to just go in his mind to a place of wonderful quiet and relaxation after all the anxiety and troubles that he had been through. A lady with scoliosis and persistent pain since she could remember found she could now enjoy sitting with her daughter right through a television programme without having to continually get up and leave the room just to alleviate the discomfort she had been experiencing.
Other areas that hypnosis can help achieve powerful results in are eating disorders, alcoholism and gambling. These are always notoriously tricky areas for therapists of any modality to treat. However if a client is ready to make a change I have found extremely good results can be achieved using hypnosis. The difference is that hypnosis works via the unconscious creative mind. When given the right tools and information to work with, the creative mind is able to make powerful changes where the conscious mind may have failed. Virtually every smoker knows consciously that they would like to stop but the conscious mind does not always have the tools to make this change. The unconscious creative mind has a different set of tools and is reached by accessing the slower alpha and delta waves the brain generates when we enter a trance state. This part of our mind tends to drive the right side of the brain, the “artist”, whilst the left side is driven more by the “accountant”. There is obviously a lot more to it but you can understand that your accountant is invaluable when it comes to presenting your accounts at the end of the year but you would not commission your accountant to paint a Michelangelo fresco on your ceiling! It is the creative part in us that more often than not holds the key to achieving change where other attempts have failed.
Because our psychological and physical health is so intertwined there is much that can be done to help problems such as Dystonia and my personal view on this issue is that although it is a physical manifestation dystonia can be linked to past programmes that are running unconsciously and creating an internal conflict. Focal Dystonia is a form of dystonia found in musicians and this is obviously career threatening when your fingers will not obey your brain. Similarly so with “the yips” which golfers can suffer from when putting. Here again past experiences can be exerting an unconscious resistance or interference between the muscles and the messages form the brain. Tourettes has a similar effect and there have been many instances of hypnosis massively alleviating the twitches and uncontrolled impulse that result in the sufferer finding themselves unable to prevent shouting out profanities or unintelligible noises in public. Performance, public speaking, procrastination, confidence and anxiety are amongst the many areas I help my clients on a daily basis. They often come to me having tried everything else knowingat using hypnotherapy can bring very rapid results and results that last.
Below is a list of just some of the issues hypnotherapists can help with so whatever the problem locate a qualified and expert practitioner to find out how they could help.
Addictions * Alcohol abuse * Anger management Anxiety * Blushing Bruxism Chronic Fatigue Syndrome * Depression * Drug abuse * Eating disorders * Exam nerves Fear of flying Food addiction * Gambling addiction * Insomnia * Internet addiction * Irritable Bowel Syndrome Low self-confidence * Low self-esteem Obsessions and compulsions * Panic attacks * Phobias * Post-traumatic stress disorder * Public speaking Quit smoking Relationship issues Sex addiction * Sexual issues * Sleep disorders * Sports performance Stress * Stuttering * Weight-loss *
Always check with your medical practitioner if you have any of the * issues above before starting complimentary treatment. For more information just call me on 07970218451 or email me and I will be happy to help you and discuss what positive changes hypnosis could make for you and your life.
There was a fascinating interview on BBC Radio 5 Live this morning (20/07/14) with golfing legend Gary Player discussing the pressures of competing in the final round of the 2014 British Open at Hoylake. With Rory McIlroy poised with a 6 shot lead to take the crown Gary Player was asked how, in his career he dealt with the pressure of holding onto a lead on the final day against such players as Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Lee Trevino close behind in the final round. Gary talked about the major changes that he sees in the physical and mental areas of the game as everyone looks for that extra edge that makes all the difference. He was a pioneer in physical fitness for golf and was weight training at a time when most players would have thought that that level of physical fitness unnecessary. His three important markers to optimum achievement were working on physical strength, mental strength and attention to diet.
These days the rewards in sport are so great that no one can afford to leave anything to chance. Being able to control the mind and keep oneself in a state of higher awareness and intense mental clarity is the way to engage fully with every technical detail that has been painstakingly practised in training and on the practise ground. So how did Gary Player as far back as the 60’s and 70’s keep his mind focused and clear for those six hours of intense concentration when his closest rivals were breathing down his neck knowing that every shot could mean success or disaster? What was the secret method he used to keep his mind and body fully focused on the job of reaching the finishing line in first place?
So what is this optimum state and how can we achieve it? The great racing driver Ayrton Senna eloquently describes this state with an experience he had while on the way to winning the Monaco Grand Prix in 1988.
“That day I suddenly realised I was no longer driving consciously and I was in a different dimension. The circuit for me was a tunnel through which I was just going, going, going and I realised that I was well beyond my conscious understanding”
This is a wonderful description of the “out of body” heightened awareness state that any great sportsman or artist is aiming to develop as they take their skills to an ever higher level. The question is how do we access it whenever required rather than just hoping it will suddenly “turn up” at the crucial moment.
Being “In The Zone” is being in a state of trance, and hypnosis is a trance state that virtually anyone can access. All sports psychologists will talk about visualisation as a key to performance and hypnosis is the key to visualisation that gives anyone access to a greater part of their creative mind. Once that part of the mind is activated then the fluency of one’s hard won technical ability can become, as Senna describes, automatic.
Hypnosis is a fantastically powerful and accessible way to build a mental and visual repertoire of the information and mind sets required to take any skill to the highest level. Neither does hypnosis have to be a state that is only accessed with one’s eyes closed. Think of daydreaming and you have self hypnosis. Imagine being able to access the height of your skills in the best situations wherever and whenever with a mental skill that will engage your creative mind in a positive way. And with this ability being able to release simply and effectively all that information programmed into your muscles.
This heightened sate is often described by many of the top performers. Being “on a roll” or “in the zone” is a description of accessing a trance like state, and we can all do it. However knowing how to access it whenever required is a key to top performance.
So now we know that Rory Mcilroy won The Open at Hoylake with two shots to spare and this will take him even closer to the very highest level of golfing greats. All great performers have access to this state and Tiger Woods is another player said to have used hypnosis on a regular basis. Accessing hypnosis is easy but knowing how to use it to full advantage can bring amazing results.
I work with professional athletes, footballers, performing artists, snooker players and in fact with anyone who is searching to develop that next level of consciousness that allows them to access the very best of their skills day in day out.
If you would like to book an appointment, or to find out more information – please call 07970218451 or send an Email.
The golf season has begun again and I am getting calls from golfers, cricketers snooker players and even a baseball player from the USA asking me how I can help with this strange affliction,the yips, whereby the body seems to take on a mind of it’s own and throw in a sudden, freeze, twitch or snatch of the hand or arm just at the critical moment of delivery.
So what can be done to help this totally frustrating condition that can ruin the enjoyment of a pleasurable game and wreck the career of a talented professional? Although on the surface this is a muscular problem in my opinion it more often than not also has it’s roots in psychological issues that are lurking below the surface of the conscious mind.
Let me illustrate the type of unconscious issue that could be behind this. It is fascinating how our unconscious can derail our best work thinking it is helping us. I have seen clients with an unconscious guilt that they are always winning or taking money from their golfing friends. What better way for the unconscious to sabotage you than to throw a twitch into that normally super smooth putting stroke. If your unconscious programme is that “nice people don’t win” then you have a problem each time it comes to that crucial moment you putt for the match or throw your dart for the bullseye. You don’t consciously understand why you missed but your unconscious does. It mistakenly thinks it is protecting you.
Although there is a relationship, I don’t necessarily believe that the yips are the same as “performance nerves” because the body does not necessarily shake nervously but can for instance in golf violently throw the putter off line in a dramatic and distorted way. However I do believe there is a relationship to Focal Dystonia which typically performing musicians can suffer from. What is happening is that there is a blip in the brainwave pattern rather like the picture on your TV screen scrambling for just a split second. This then throws the brain’s neural connections into chaos and the moment will be lost.“I was in a positive frame of mind on Sunday at Muirfield and performed better than I ever have round the course. In foursomes format and playing with a 15 handicapper we shot a gross 84 in the morning and won our match and in the afternoon (with a 6 handicapper) shot a 79 gross (back in 1 over par) and halved the match. I didn’t miss from inside 10 feet in the morning, although missed a couple in the afternoon – can’t sink them all but much improved putting performance all round.” MG
To begin the process of recovery the old unconscious patterns need to be resolved. Since faulty neural pathways will have been installed these will need physically and mentally reorganised into healthy robust connections and of course confidence will need to be rebuilt. To do this I use a variety of techniques underpinned with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Hypnosis. The value of using these techniques lies in the fact that our conscious mind does not know how to resolve the issue however EFT and Hypnosis are brilliant vehicles for connecting with unconscious understandings and creative change. These techniques communicate with the unconscious mind and that is the part that has the key to help resolve these sorts of issues.
Just recently I helped turn round the game of a talented snooker player who’s cue was just “sticking” at the crucial moment. He had been struggling for over a year and was beginning to resent a game that he once loved. After just two sessions he could not believe the difference as he cleared the table while I just watched! Last season I helped club golfers make real improvements in their putting and chipping and professional musicians suffering with forms of Focal Dystonia, in the lips for wind players and hands and arms for string players, literally get their professional careers back on track.“Since we met I have worked away at the swing thoughts we spoke about and have banished completely my short game problem. I don’t even acknowledge that word anymore my game is great even if its not went as well as I would have liked. I don’t have the same feeling of dread I used to have on approaching short shots or chips and my enjoyment of the game has improved greatly. So thanks again Roger.” CW
I have worked with many amateurs and professionals looking for help to enhance their performance and my experience as a performer has helped me put together a unique and powerful set of tools and strategies designed to help my clients achieve the very best results from their chosen sport. If you would like more information please call 07970218451 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be very happy to chat with you.
An article appeared in The Daily Telegraph today (yips tip) (10/07/13) with a tip that could help competitors in various sports “beat the yips”.
I work on a regular basis with both amateur and professional golfers and musicians and other sports people who suffer from the yips in various forms. Almost any sport or activity that relies on fine motor control can be a target for this issue whereby certain muscles refuse to cooperate thus sabotaging the intended movement. Darts players can find their fingers refusing to let go of the dart, a golfers putter hand can be hijacked by an uncontrolled movement at a crucial putt, musicians fingers can suddenly decide not to cooperate and as I noticed at Wimbledon the tennis player’s hand and arm tossing the ball up into the air can seem to go wildly out of control. At Wimbledon and on the golf tour these are all players at the top of their game with every facility available to them to hone their techniques to the finest degree. But the yips can strike right out of the blue seemingly from nowhere.
Now some of these issues can be put down to nerves and to a degree that can be part of the problem. Lack of confidence can easily lead to the body going into fight and flight mode, taking all finely tuned and organised movements out of the part of the brain that has set the sequence into the unconscious and throwing it back into the conscious mind putting us back into what feels like “beginner” mode.
In my opinion when working on this issue an important and vital part of the process back to muscular control has to be a real cleanup of the unconscious baggage that we carry around. Just imagine your brain attempting to carry out a finely tuned muscular sequence. To be able to repeat this sequence correctly we must practise the movement until it has become to all intents and purposes automatic. Now imagine giving that command to the command centre in your brain but suddenly a contradictory command appearing simultaneously! Total disaster ensues with no conscious understanding of why the movement was hijacked. Of course our unconscious knows why and also knows what this old programme is all about but it is a programme we won’t be able to think our way out of. Like a computer with a virus, until that virus has been removed the system will never return to it’s previous smooth operational state.
EFT is a technique that has in my experience and according to a study at Sheffield Hallam University a good track record in helping amateur and professional golfers overcome the yips. When working with my clients on the yips I use EFT, Hypnosis and NLP plus various mental programming techniques that I have designed to help reprogramme the internal emotional thinking and the external physical movements. So that is where the idea of clenching the left hand to activate the right side of the brain, as the article in The Daily Telegraph suggests, makes a lot of sense because the negative messages have found their way into a space in our minds that we don’t want them to be in. By doing this we are making a positive change in our mental programming system.
Below is a review from one of my clients and I know it worked because I went out and played golf with him after just three sessions. I could see no sign of a yip and he beat me!
“I had suffered from the yips for over twenty years … I tried all possible strange grips and combinations … today I am free of the yips and shot a 72 on my par 69 course…”
Roger Foxwell is a qualified Hypnotherapist, EFT and NLP practitioner. If you would like to contact him for more information just call 07970218451 or email email@example.com or visit.www.rogerfoxwell.co.uk