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 email@example.com and I will be very happy to chat with you.
I find it fascinating that although my clients book in for so many different issues, in many cases it often does not take long to discover that a large part of the problem comes down to confidence. Some people are very confident at work but not so out in the everyday world and others confident in social situations but not so at work. It may be authority figures, people who talk loudly or just everyone in general who seems to know more, have more to say, be better at things or just seem to have more confidence than we do.
Since we are all in situations every single day where we are communicating with other people, whether at work, socially or just in passing it can feel as if there is no let up to this problem. All these situations just seem to exacerbate those uncomfortable feelings and the emotional and social discomfort it breeds.
The big question is where does the problem come from and how can we fix the issue? Many issues are born in childhood and when we are young it can take only a word or a look for us to read into even a light hearted comment some slight that can still be stuck in our unconscious decades later. This is why it is so important to clear those old messages before we build our new programme of confidence in ourselves. It may seem like a huge task but I have found that with the right techniques one can help clear even those issues we don’t consciously know about in less than one session. Once that is clear then the way is open to move forward and build a new foundation of self belief and confidence. To help make these changes I use a mix of hypnosis, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), NLP and importantly some simple but very powerful techniques to help my clients make real changes to how they feel right there and then in any situation as it is happening.
Why is this is an area in which I am passionate about about helping people with? Two BIG reasons for me are a) I have experienced it myself and b) I have spent years researching and developing a series of strategies and techniques that will help my clients literally power up their own self belief and confidence in any situation.
Lack of confidence can be with us for years but with the best help and techniques you could, in just a matter of weeks if not days be gaining confidence in ways you previously never imagined. In fact one of my techniques will show you how you can literally “step into” the confident person you know you deserve to be. So if you feel it really is time to step into and be the person you know is really you, confidently and comfortably do give me a call (07970218451) or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to discuss how I can help you.
It has been accapted for a while now through research by best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell that to achieve mastery in a subject or discipline 10,000 hours of study or practise is the magic number that will help bring the requisite rewards. However a recent study as outlined in Time has come up with new research that doubts whether this is the whole picture. Of course even if we take the 10,000 hours as read then there are obviously factors such as physical and practical suitability and genetics that would be taken onto account.
However further research by Zach Hambrick and colleagues at Michigan State University have found that the10,000 hour rule really only applied to between 30% and 34% of musicians and chess masters that they studied. In fact they found that two thirds of the difference was unrelated to practice with massive differences in the time it would take one person to reach an elevated level in their field as against another in the same area of expertise.
So, as most professional musicians, golfers or anyone developing high level skills will know the whole issue is extremely complex as the researchers testified.
As someone who has trained to a high professional level in music (violin) with copious amounts of practise I have always taken a great interest in what is the difference that makes the difference in successfully achieving goals? Since I work helping professional golfers, sports persons and musicians get closer to discovering their own personal formula that will help bring out their best potential it is fascinating to actually be using my insider knowledge to help develop my own skill sets and pass that information on to my clients.
Some of the key strategies include:
• An intense desire to achieve a successful outcome
• A discipline ethic that will carry one through even when things are tough
• An ability to convert that work ethic into a pleasure so that it no longer becomes work but something you just can’t stop doing
• A linking of the creative mind with the analytical that produces a synthesis of artistic and technical skills.
Now there is much more to this but knowing how to take our skills to the next creative level is a skill in itself. However once we can tap into this whole process it can hugely accelerate our progress and maybe we won’t need 10,00 hours after all? Or maybe we will use much more than 10,000 hours because nobody can stop us since we enjoy developing our skill so much.
If you are ready to move to the next level I can help you. Using Hypnosis, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) plus a fascinating range of techniques that my own knowledge in this area has helped me develop you really could find yourself in another level of expertise and pleasure in your chosen skillset.
For more informaaion just call me on 07970218451 or email email@example.com or visit www.rogerfoxwell.co.uk