After his previous book on SPORTS HYPNOSIS, which was written as a guide to other trained hypnotherapists and sports counselors working with athletes to improve their game, some of his golfer clients, the group with whom I have used these techniques the most by far, some of his clients asked if there was a book they could use to practice on their own in addition to the self-hypnosis he taught them to do in his office and instructed them to practice at home. is book is the culmination of those requests. To take the requests a step further, this book was written in a fashion that the golfer never has to work directly with a hypnotist, since most cities do not even have a hypnotherapist who works in the field of sports hypnosis.
The human mind is a powerful phenomenon. Interestingly, nobody knows exactly what it is. We know the brain is an organ, but what we call mind cannot be extracted after death, as an organ can. The mind is an abstract concept. We do know, however, that the mind is so powerful that people can think of themselves as successful or think of themselves as failures, and often, their behavior will follow suit, just as they might think of themselves as sick and get sick, versus thinking of themselves as well.
In the introduction, he says that if you want to achieve goals, you must create a positive mindset made of beliefs that support the truth you desire in your future. He mentions in chapter 1 that all golfers and other athletes (although many believe golf to be the most cerebral game) are asked the following:
1. What percentage of success in golf is mental?
2. What percentage of your practice time do you spend on the mental aspects of your performance and competition?
Again, the answers to the first question are usually anywhere from 50 to 90 percent, and the answer to the section question is often, astoundingly, zero.
As he states, self-hypnosis training will not necessarily improve the mechanics of your performance; that is for your golf coach to help you fine-tune. However, the mental techniques in the preceding chapters can certainly help you get your “head on straight,” as he has heard many golfers state. How many times have you heard people say that a golfer had a great swing but had “head problems”?
All of the suggestions in this book are to help you get your “head on straight” rather than letting it get in your way.
The hope is that this book has allowed you to adapt some of his suggested techniques to improve your golf game. In addition, these techniques perhaps will improve your life in general as you learn to become calmer and more relaxed. For some of you, a session or two with a sports psychologist might provide additional value. While there are not a ton of sports psychologists available, the field is growing. A number of psychology departments in universities now have specific training in sports psychology, making more individuals with such training available in practice. The American Psychological Association has a membership division (Division 47: Sports and Exercise Psychology), and the Association for Applied Sports Psychology has more than 1,500 members, as he mentions in the introduction.
The number of professionals trained in sports hypnosis is even smaller, but we do exist. For information about possible referrals, you might check for referral sources through the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Let the site know what you are seeking, and see if there is anyone in your area. If you are a professional making money in the sport, you probably wouldn’t mind traveling or paying a professional to travel to you. Further, in this day of telemedicine, a remote session is another possible approach (although I personally like to have at least one face-to-face session before doing sessions by Skype or some other media form).
Good luck! Enjoy the game, and remember to smile.