Attention all golfers, did you know you all have access to a unique, awesome ability that will improve your game tremendously? What is this potentially untapped power, you ask? It’s simple. It’s the power of your own mind, more specifically your subconscious mind. And Hypnosis is the gateway to your subconscious!
You might say, “Hey wait minute. I know that golf is 90% mental. I already meditate and visualize my perfect golf game.” Meditation and visualization are completely valid methods, but if you’re only utilizing your conscious mind to perfect your game, you’re missing out on 90% of your brain power!
The conscious mind is the logical, rational, analyzing part of our brains. It gives us our willpower, our ability to reason, and to make decisions. The subconscious, on the other hand, harbors every thought, every feeling, every experience we’ve ever had. It is the storehouse for all of our memories and it does not analyze but rather it accepts everything instantly and literally, much the way a computer does when you execute a command. It also contains our emotions: the fear, worry and doubt, as well as the happiness, joy, and bliss. In order for us to perfect any skill, any task, any athletic sport, our conscious minds must resonate with our subconscious. These two parts of our brains need to be in sync and on the same page for optimal results with any desired goal. For in a battle between the conscious and the subconscious, the subconscious mind will win every time!
Hypnosis gives us the necessary tools to bypass the critical, thinking part of our brains, and work directly with the subconscious, using positive suggestions delivered by the therapist in a creative, visual way.
Most athletes undoubtedly work very hard at training their bodies. They push it; put it through the paces, and work endlessly to polish the finer points of their game. However all of this hard physical work may not be training your mind to be an athlete.
Tiger Woods, other the other hand, with his Zen-like approach, has mastered both the physical and the mental aspects of his game. Woods, quoted in the August, 2001 Golf Magazine, said “I always have an inner peace on the golf course. I’ve learned to trust the subconscious, and my instincts have never lied to me.” Jay Brunza, a clinical psychologist, was amongst the team that helped Tiger to concentrate better to improve his performance. Tiger learned conscious mental tricks to increase his concentration and also utilized Hypnosis to increase the Success of his game. If you’re a Tiger fan and you can get a hold of it, watch the old video footage of Tiger when he was playing to his best. Notice, how before each shot, he blinks twice on purpose. This is a post-hypnotic trigger, a signal for him to instantly “get into the zone”. This is a technique we call anchoring. Woods’ ability to produce peak performance by “willing himself into the zone” is unprecedented. I also had the great privilege of working with pro-golfer and author, Michael Wellington (“Birdies, Bogeys and Bipolar Disorder”) back in 2008 to improve his golf game (See Michael’s testimony below).
Yes, you know you can make great shots onto the green as well as putts for birdie, but so can just about everyone at one time or another. The difference between the amateur and the professional is the percentage of good shots made. What the professional knows and understands is that to get “into the zone” and increase the percentage of great shots, he or she must practice their mental game, and thus stay “in zone” a greater percentage of the time. Furthermore, these techniques can be utilized to improve and master any athletic sport, not just golf.
Visualization is another powerful tool to utilize on a subconscious level, through hypnosis. In fact, Harvard studies have shown that the body doesn’t know the difference between actually doing an activity and simply thinking about it! In other words, using visualization, your neurons fire in exactly the same patterns they would follow if you were actually performing the activity!
So how do you jump on this mental bandwagon and begin the journey toward your perfect golf game? Well for starters, it’s important to understand what hypnosis is and what it isn’t. Hypnosis comes from the Greek word “sleep”, however the hypnotized individual is not unconscious, asleep or any other such thing. In fact, while an individual is hypnotized he or she is more alert and aware than ever. Hypnosis, simply put, is a heightened state of awareness and concentration combined with relaxation. Hypnosis is both a natural state of mind and a process…a process in which the client and the therapist cooperate for the benefit of the client. Just as medicine combines both art and science, so does hypnotherapy.
After a session of hypnotherapy most clients express feelings of profound relaxation and peace. Hypnosis is a feeling that one must experience to fully appreciate. Hypnosis usually saves a client time as well. And we all know that time is money. People who can successfully incorporate hypnotherapy in their lives will see changes rapidly. Of course, the client also should be strongly motivated and have a strong desire to change. Hypnotherapy is useful in many others areas in addition to sports management…stress reduction, overcoming fears/phobias, insomnia, smoking cessation, weight reduction, increasing financial wealth, controlling pain, lack of motivation and confidence…just to name a few.
If you’ve ever thought that your problem is “all in your head” then hypnotherapy just might be your ideal solution, because if your mind created the problem, then your mind can also be used to solve that problem! So start visualizing that sweet spot now…WANT it to happen, EXPECT it to happen, LET it happen…and give hypnosis a try!
– Kelly has a private practice located in Kirkwood, Missouri.
In the Fall of 2008, I was looking for a way to improve my golf game by developing a stronger mental approach. I had been playing professional golf for about 4 years and I realized that my physical tools to play the game were very good, but in order to move forward as a player, I needed to find something new between my ears. And that is when I stumbled across an article in a local golf publication that talked about Tiger Woods using hypnotherapy. I figured that if hypnotherapy was good enough for the best golfer in the world, it might be something that I should look into.
That is how I came to Kelly Locker. I came in to talk with Kelly about what I was trying to accomplish and we had a good conversation about what it is that hypnotherapy really does for the mind. I have now been working with Kelly for about 10 months. Hypnotherapy helps the human mind to filter out negative thoughts and teaches you to replace those negative thought with positive words and images. This form of thinking can be beneficial not just for golfers or athletes but for everyone and anyone.
I don’t care what profession that you are in: sales, stock broker, teacher, accountant, hotel/restaurant management, etc. Hypnotherapy teaches the subconscious mind to be more positive. Another reason that I found working with Kelly Locker to be so important and satisfying is besides playing professional golf, I have bipolar disorder. And in my opinion, bipolar disorder lets negative thoughts creep into the subconscious. By using hypnotherapy, I have improved two things: my golf game and my bipolar condition. Kelly Locker is not only a certified hypnotherapist but a tremendous counselor as well. So, when I meet with Kelly, we talk for a good 45 minutes to an hour and then by listening to my thoughts she can work the proper ideas into my subconscious when she hypnotizes me.
In case you are wondering what specific effects my work with Kelly has produced, here are a few examples. Two days after my first hypnotherapy session with Kelly, I shot a 62. That is the lowest score that I have ever shot in my life. 3 weeks into working with Kelly, I had my best tournament finish as a professional. Then I took 6 months off of hypnotherapy because I was away in a warmer climate for the winter. When I returned to work with Kelly this spring after 2 sessions with her, I had a new best tournament finish as a professional. Kelly Locker has helped both my personal and professional life and she can help anyone that will let her.
Michael Wellington, Professional Golfer and Hypnotherapy Advocate