NLP in Sport - the Mind Body Connection for results

Dr. Purushothaman
January 16, 2014

South Africa, fighting for a gold Medal and about to lift a rather large amount of weight. When I pulled that bar I miraculously blew 3 discs in back which was in fact the beginning of a complete revelation.
Coming form a competitive background and having had a wise old Yoda type coach I had learnt a number of techniques which vastly enhanced my competitive capabilities and had sent me soaring past anything I had ever expected to do. The strange thing is that until I studied NLP, everyone thought I was loony and I was considered "off the wall" in my sports rehabilitation practice.
Little did I realize that over those years I was learning the mind body connection.
In NLP we learn about the connection but I would like to show you to immense cavern of possibilities this actually presents us with.
As you know, we have our trusty neuro transmitters who are the runners and message carriers to the various parts of the body which we wish to use on a conscious and unconscious level. For the conscious, all the decisions we make to perform any tasks and on A funny thing happened to me in 1996. I was on a platform at World championships in an unconscious level, all the necessary functions our body needs to continually perform for us to live and that we are very rarely ever aware of.
So, if we could tap into our unconscious that controls the automatic functions like heart rate and blood flow, breathing etc we could in fact optimize our bodies and therefore create better results on an everyday basis. The only real barriers that we have are those enforced on us by our perception of our reality and what we believe to be our limitations.
Like a man who would believe he could not long jump over 17 meters or another man who believed that his back pain would never go away.
I remember sitting on the floor of the warm up room at my first European Powerlifting Championships in Italy. Shaking and feeling sick I was terrified. Mr. Yoda Coach came over and told me stand up, close my eyes, breath deeply and see in my mind through my own eyes the complete lift I was about to perform. Except this time, play it from the start, as I breathe in feel the strength streaming into all the tissues of my body and do the lift so strong that I amaze myself and act it out if I have to.
This was the first time I tapped into my unconscious controls and the first into visualization techniques, oh, and I won my first European Championships.
I now have the pleasure of teaching others how to use their unconscious to change physical processes like speeding up metabolism, increasing heart rate to produce adrenaline and then step into what is commonly called "the Zone" - that hallowed place of ultimate focus and many other ways to assist us in our normal or competitive lives.
Another technique I didn't realize I was doing was the pain control. This is where I relate to the back injury I had in 1996 and then developed a rather rudimentary process for my sports rehabilitation clients until I became an NLP practitioner and hypnotherapist and completely understood what I was doing and perfected it.
The pain that occurred with that back injury was so bad I couldn't sleep for weeks. Eventually one night I used the visualization technique my old coach had taught me but this time I pictured my vertebrae, the popped discs in-between them and the tissue damage plus all the inflammation around it. The picture was crystal clear.
Then I saw the picture of how I wanted it to look, imagined the inflammation draining away through the tissues, the split discs hardening, all the tissues that had been damaged healing and the pain fading. The image was so clear I can still see it to this day. Then I fell asleep for the first time in weeks. In the morning the pain was reduced and I actually more motion.
This technique I started to use with sports therapy clients and I was getting results. Finally when I qualified as an NLP practitioner I used what we call "sub modality shifts" to do this which is a far more effective technique, another technique called a fast phobia model to reduce trauma from the affected area and also from the incident when it occurred and then finally the visualization techniques within a hypnosis session to get the body to physically change what it was doing and to heal faster.
From these results then it was possible to implement new strategies into producing better results for athletes by optimizing the bodies performance and also altering the way the athlete perceived the training and event they were about the compete in.
Each step of the actual event is carefully broken down and the automatic thought processes that occurs at each step is then changed or optimized to produced a better result or a better part of the chain to produce an optimum result.
For instance - a boxer who will always drop his left guard after or during a certain shot or move we can then break down the sequence and perform a strategy technique to change the bodies reaction so he no longer does that.
A powerlifter, who at competition, always feels that the bar is very heavy when he takes it out of the racks and is about to perform his lift we can take that process apart up the point when he is about to take the bar and change the though process so that he feels so strong the bar feels light.
The runner who perceives he has chronic lactic acid buildup that always hits him at the 10 mile mark we can use hypnosis to alter the mechanisms of the lactic acid so they dissipate through the tissue and don't build up.
The bodybuilder who has been dieting for competition for so long that his metabolism has slowed down and he can't lose any more body fat. He can use hypnosis and sub modality shifts to get him to unconsciously speed up his metabolism and burn the fat again faster.
The amazing possibilities of our bodies capabilities are endless and the further we progress in our understanding of the connection between mind and body the better results we will get and relieve so many problems we perceive we have.


Read Related Recent Articles