Hypnosis for Athletes

A study done by Liggett DR (Am J Clin Hypn. 2000 Oct;43(2):149-57) suggests that hypnosis for athletes substantially enhances imagery intensity and effectiveness in sports performance.

This value of imagery in sports is widely acknowledged. The contribution of hypnosis to enhancing athletes’ performance is also recognized, but the value of hypnosis in enhancing imagery has little recognition. The reason for this neglect is explored. The study used Martens’ Sport Imagery Questionnaire, which asked the participants to image 4 different situations in their own sport–practicing alone, practicing in front of others, watching a teammate, and competing. Participants reported their subjective impression of vividness on four dimensions–visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and affective. The 14 athletes participating imaged each situation in and out of hypnosis–half of the time the imagery in hypnosis came first and half after. The participants reported that the imagery under hypnosis was more intense for each dimension and more intense for each situation. Whether the imagery was done under hypnosis first or after was not significant. The findings suggest that hypnosis substantially enhances imagery intensity and effectiveness.

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