Enhanced Sports Performance – Getting In The Zone

What is getting into the zone?

For any sportsman or sportswoman, getting into the zone is the process of being totally focussed and firmly in the present in terms of mind and body experiences. This allows you to perform to the best of your abilities without being disturbed or distracted. In the zone you can react to situations and events in a way that is almost ‘automatic’ without worrying about your performance or allowing any anxiety or worry to get in the way.

How I help athletes get into the zone

Hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis can be a very effective way of getting in the zone because it teaches the mind and body to relax and experience thoughts, feelings and sensations in each present moment. Through breathing techniques and visualization/experiential exercises we explore sports performance in a heightened state of deep relaxation. This allows us to mentally rehearse ourselves performing to the best of our abilities while ‘in the zone’ and from this mental and physical point we work on triggering getting in the zone automatically during sports performance.

We work together to remove any blocks you may have about getting in the zone, such as fear of performance or injury, perfectionism or trying too hard, so that you don’t try too hard to force yourself into the zone – it just happens naturally.

Over the years I have helped many athletes get into the zone for optimal sports performance including runners, footballers, cricketers, rugby players, darts players, cyclists, motocross racers, tennis players and can offer a wealth of experience in helping you reach your sporting goals.

All sports performance sessions include audio downloads to help you practice getting in the zone at home.


Mark Spalek

Clinical Hypnotherapy, NLP, Brief Solution Focussed Therapy
Dip Hyp, Dip NLP, GHR (Reg), MSc, BSc, PGCE

Why Imagery And Hypnosis Work Well To Enhance Sports Performance

One of the challenges of being a hypnotherapist is to use hypnotherapy to help athletes overcome any anxiety or negative emotions and feelings they may have regarding their performance and to foster positive thoughts feelings and emotions surrounding their sporting activities instead.

Imagery with hypnosis is a technique I regularly employ to help sportsmen and sportswomen boost their sports performance. Imagery is used by athletes to imagine themselves performing a specific activity in a specific situation. For example, a footballer may imagine taking a penalty in the last minute of a football match, a gymnast of performing a complex set of floor exercises. With imagery the athlete is able to boost their confidence and self esteem by imagining themselves performing their specific activity in just the way that they want to perform it, utilising all of their senses (sight, smell, hearing and feeling).

Hypnosis is a powerful aid to the process of sports imagery as it makes this process more powerful and vivid.

So for example, in a situation when an athlete comes to me with a problem regarding performance anxiety due to an injury, we can work together to take the athlete back to when the injury was sustained and we can then lift any negative emotions and feelings surrounding this event. We can then get the athlete to imagine performing to the best of their ability in a high pressure situation, instilling confidence and getting rid of any anxiety that they may have.  This can all be achieved through powerful mental rehearsal techniques under hypnosis.

I really enjoy working with athletes in this way, building up their confidence to perform to the best of their abilities.

Good luck to Leicester City!



Hypnotherapy And Improving Your Golf

Working with professional and amateur golfers over the years, I have built up a rich picture of the types of challenges facing golfers during a game of golf.

I have learned that the most important distance in golf is the five inches between our ears: the mental part.

One of the most important challenges facing any golfer is the ability to let go of a bad shot and focus on the next one instead. This is the standout characteristic of the best golfers in the world – golfers such as Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are able to forget a poor shot and focus all their energy on getting their mind right for the next challenge. They have won 32 professional majors between them to prove this.

In terms of getting over a poor shot there are four things that I focus upon during hypnotherapy sessions for improving golf at my Leicester based practice:

1. Getting the client to imagine themselves taking a step back and releasing any negative thoughts emotions and feelings they have about the poor shot. Mentally rehearsing this process helps to prime the mind to do this routine on the actual golf course itself.

2. Mentally rehearsing practicing the shot with the club. If you watch golf on TV you will see professional golfers take a step back and swing their club a couple of times in order to ‘fix’ the poor shot they have just taken.

3. Imagining walking up to the ball and focussing solely on the next shot.

4. Arriving at the ball and entering ‘the zone’, a place of total concentration and focus. The previous shot has been forgotten.

No matter whether you are a professional or amateur, anyone can learn the above four techniques, improving their golf performance on the course.

Mark Spalek GHR (reg), Dip. Hyp, Dip. NLP, GQHP, MSc, BSc, PGCE

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