Sports Performance Enhancement Using Energy Psychology
Performance = Potential minus interference (taken from Tim Galloway’s Inner Game series).
There are two main aspects to any sport. The outer game (specific physical skills) and the inner game (the mental sets to use your skills to the maximum ability).
Any competitive athlete knows that the mental aspect of the game becomes increasingly important as you become more and more proficient. Whether it is golf, baseball, basketball or tennis, once you have trained your body to do the skills associated with your sport, the real trick to excelling is to reliably step into a high performance state of mind.
For athletes who are learning a sport, the inner game can be crucial in how quickly you can learn and master news skills.
What is Energy Psychology (EP)? EP allows people to do one of three things: 1) enter or maintain a high performance state 2) reduce or eliminate negative emotional reactions such as anxiety, anger or self-criticism, 3) reduce or eliminate mental blocks to performance.
The term “energy” refers to the energy system of the body that flows through the meridian systems described in acupuncture or Qigong. EP follows the Eastern tradition and asserts that your mental state is controlled by the flow of energy in your system far more than by your nervous system. Being “in the zone” is more a matter of free flowing and balanced energy rather than a condition of your nerves. Research has shown that the meridian system transfers information up to 10 times faster than your nerves.
Getting the Extra Edge
1) Balancing the body: The energy system of the body can easily become disrupted resulting in a subtle lack of integration between the left and right sides of the body. While this effect is very mild, it can be enough to just throw your game off a bit. EP provides specific, quick (under 5 minutes) easy to do practices that correct this problem.
2) Energetically Locking in Positive States: Several months ago college pitcher Jorge Reyes was caught on television using EP by tapping on meridian acupressure points. Jorge a freshman at Oregon State ended up becoming the MVP in the college world series. Reyes was was stabilizing a high performance mental state by thinking “I am pitching great” while tapping on meridian points. There are a nuber of approaches that allow an athlete to tap a sequence of 4-11 acupoints to lock in a positive mental and energetic state.
3a) Neutralizing "In-Game" Interferences: EP can quickly unlock negative trains of thought that interfere with performance. Everyone has different negative trains of thought that interfere with performance. Think about what happens to you. All you need to do is just get into that thought pattern and you can feel your energy shifting in a negative direction. So it is important to identify what your particular interferences are. Once that is done, an athlete is taught how to rebalance his or her energy by tapping or rubbing on energy points while focusing on specific mental patterns.. For instance, I worked with a golfer named Tony who stated “ I cannot focus once I make a bad shot – I just fall to pieces”. He was taught to tap a series of points while saying “Even though I missed that shot, I am calm and focused”. When he would miss a shot, instead of falling to pieces, he would use the EP procedure reduce the interference and play up to his potential.
3b) Neutralizing "Getting Psyched Out": If your self-esteem is based on your performance, you are always at risk. When we make a mistake, it is our negative reactions to the mistake that causes more trouble than the mistake itself. We get psyched out. If your self esteem is independent of your performance you can recover from almost any mishap. Most EP approaches include the concept of energetically activating self-acceptance in the face of a problem. You can use EP after a "bad" game or shot or competition to prevent or reduce getting psyched out.
4) Neutralizing "Out of Game" Interferences. We have one body and one brain. If we are not sleeping well or if we are worried about our relationships or our school grades, it can often influence our performance. Even if you put those things out of your mind, it does not mean that they are not subtly affecting you. Over 70 years ago noted Russian neuropsychologist Alexander Luria demonstrated that when subjects were unconsciously upset and in conflict, it created measurable negative effects on their motor functioning and performance. EP can be used to rapidly neutralize energy disruptions from the upsets in your life without going into 5 years of deep analysis about your parents or whatever.
5) Neutralizing Limiting Beliefs: When anyone keeps running up against a barrier at a specific level of performance (especially when they apperar to have the ability to do better) it is usually do to an unconscious limiting belief. perhaps one of the great sports examples of this was the "4-minute mile" Everyone believed that the 4-minute mile could not be broken. So it was never broken. It is highly improbable that a person can go against his or her own beliefs. Actually the "4 minute mile" was never broken. It was the 240 second mile that was broken. This "reframing" is one way to overcome barriers of belief. It turns out that many times barriers are due to one of four different classes of unconscious beliefs. These classes are: possibility (this was the issue with the 4-minute mile) identity, deservedness and safety. EP approaches can be used to identify and neutralize these interferences to performance.
6) Neutralizing Dysfunctional Motor Patterns: Many times athletes develop motor patterns such as swings, stances or throws. These patterns are deeply engrained and resist change despite the athletes desire to change the pattern. The muscular patterns contain parallel energetic patterns. EP approaches can be used to both destabilize the old pattern followed by installing the new pattern
Anyone from young athletes to collegiate players, to weekend warriors to professional athletes can improve their performance using Energy Psychology approaches.
In addition to Energy Psychology athletes can be taught advanced techniques from NLP, Imagery and Hypnosis.
Coaching can be done in person or over the phone. It can be done with individuals or entire teams.