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  • Writer's picturejayne shaw hypnotherapy

The power of visualisation

I was watching clips of the Amir Khan and Terence Crawford fight and it brought to mind a guest speaker during my Hypnotherapy training at CPHT Manchester. Former WBO super middleweight holder Glenn Catley. His story was an inspiration and after his talk all I can say is that I felt stronger. He was kindly sharing his boxing experience and how he had used hypnotherapy. Glenn was once sparring partner for Steve Collins (past WBO middle and super middleweight title holder) and he noticed during sparring sessions that Steve was quicker, sharper and stronger after having hypnotherapy. Glenn recalled how later in his career he had sought out a hypnotherapist and was fortunate enough to find David Newton…now those of us who know the name or have been fortunate enough to have met him (I haven’t met David, though it is near the top of my bucket list!) will know that David is one of the most experienced hypnotherapists in the UK and director and senior practitioner of CPHT. So, Glenn was indeed fortunate. Glenn described how during his hypnotherapy sessions visualisation techniques had been used and how his confidence had increased, he also talked about having a clear goal and vision. I remember asking Glenn at the end of his presentation whether he knew he would win the WBO super middleweight title in Germany against Markus Beyer. Glenn said he knew he would win even before even getting in the ring because he had beaten Markus hundreds of times during hypnotherapy sessions with David. Glenn gave us concrete evidence supporting our theory that the brain doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination. The power of visualisation during hypnotherapy can be further seen in empirical evidence. For example, Dr Blaslotto from Chicago University carried out an experiment involving basket ball payers as participants. There were three conditions. In the first condition participants were asked to practice free throws for 1 hour each day for 30 days. In the second, participants were asked to only visualise free throws for 1 hour each day for 30 days. The third condition was a control, with participants being told neither to play or visualise free throws. After the 30 days they were tested for any improvement in performance. What did they find you ask? Well, in condition 1, actual free throwing for 1 hour resulted in a 24% improvement, however in condition 2, visualisation only, showed a 23% improvement! Visualisation enhances sporting performance! How powerful therefore would both practice and visualisation be? Now I’m not saying that Khan didn’t have a goal or vision, however it is very telling that his comment afterwards of rather being knocked out than quit, give a negative visualisation for the brain (remembering the brain can’t tell the difference between reality and imagination), it would have served him better to have a positive visualisation of ‘I will win’, and he will if he both practises and visualises.

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