This is a post for anyone struggling with the yips in golf, snooker etc, for musicians with bow shakes or lip control issues. Also darts players who can’t let go of the dart and in fact any high performance skills where the messages from the brain to the body seem to have broken down for no apparent reason.
I have worked with pro golfers, world class snooker players, professional footballers and all levels of players and performers in the amateur world from tennis and bowls to darts. I use a range of unique therapeutic and practical techniques To help professionals and amateurs fine tune those subtle but important movements that make all the difference between success and failure.
So some information on my background and how use my own performing experience to help clients in many professions get their very best performance results on a daily basis
I have been working as a therapist for 25 years but my first career was as a professional orchestral violinist and that helped me gather a great deal of first hand experience of the joys and the stresses and strains of performing with top orchestras in concert halls all over the world. As musicians know, once you’ve played that note you can’t go back and, at the same time you’ve still got to keep up!
As with any skill both professionals and amateurs will experience the pressures of performance appearing just when they don’t need it. That final putt on the last green, potting the black, hitting the bulls eye etc. Unfortunately these are times when a seemingly hidden force can suddenly throw all the hours and months of perfecting our skills right out of the window.
So this led me to putting together and developing a programme that would help performers in virtually all areas use their skills and confidence to their highest standards and avoid old doubts and worries getting in the way of their technical abilities.
Over the years I have extended the range of techniques available and here are a few pointers and a short resume of how I help clients untangle what was once a pleasurable experience and smoothly executed movement that now feels almost completely uncontrollable. By putting the performer back in the driving seat emotionally and physically they can get back to enjoying the skills and pleasure they deserve from their chosen profession or hobby
I generally start with clearing old blocks and past experiences that will very likely be contributing to the issues. To do this I use light hypnosis to help the unconscious “do the work” since it tends to know a lot more about what’s going on than our conscious mind does.
Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping on acupressure points whilst verbalising the problems and releasing them) is also a very powerful way to clear issues from the past that are still connected to our nervous system. Tapping on acupressure points, where an acupuncturist would put a needle in, allows the brain and body to unravel intrusive messages from brain to muscle and rebuild a smoother, stronger and healthier connection that relates to the standard of performance we would expect.
Knowing the best way to breathe and how to control the heart rate and oxygen levels in the body is vital for to achieve best results. Being able to breathe, in a controlled and relaxed manner is vitally important and even more so when we are in a high tension situation.
Just taking a “deep breath” won’t hack it. This is likely to be counterproductive especially if we start our breathing into the upper chest and lifting the shoulders. Deeper and controlled diaphragmatic breathing which allows the diaphragm to move down on the in breath and filling the ribcage and chest with air naturally is the way to help the whole body achieve a good performance mode.
Generally in stress situations muscles are literally “fighting each other” for dominance which plays havoc with our putting or a being able to draw a snooker cue smoothly back and forward.
To get the correct muscles to operate fluidly in the right order a relaxed but heightened awareness is used visualised in hypnosis or a light trance. We spend most of our time in some sort of trance but giving the ourselves the option to choose our trance is giving ourselves command of the situation.
I have purposely made my work so that we can make complex changes with simple body and mind changes. That way most of the exercises I offer are available to practise immediately on a daily basis in our everyday life. For instance we are looking through our eyes all day, we are using our sensory perceptions all day, we are breathing all day. If we start practising the controlling of our fine tuning and awareness of our actions and the correct sequencing of our breathing then we are laying a solid base for the results we are looking for.