NLP, the Mind, and Sport

If you like to win in sport being able to utilise and manage your mental attitude is critical. This applies whether you compete in local activities or are a world-class participant.

The club golfer knows this from the differences between one day's play and the following day's play. So does the athlete. Or the team player.

NLP provides a very effective route to identifying what accounts for the results you get - whether these are favourable or unfavourable results.

You can use it to analyse successful performance in order to be able to further improve the skills-attitude blend or to pass it on to others. And you can assess an unsuccessful performance to determine which elements to replace and which to modify.

Mind-body communication

Every regular sports participant, whether it be an individual or team activity, knows that the body affects the mind and the mind affects the body.

If you are preoccupied with something at home or at work your game is affected. If, as you serve in your tennis game, something like a noise or unexpected movement catches your attention your serve is affected. If a member of the opposing team irritates you this can seriously affect your concentration.

NLP in sport, at its most basic, enables us to manage our mind-body so that we are in the best mental and physical state for successfully and enjoyably performing.

Mind-body strategies

Whether as participants or coaches or managers we can use NLP to 'model' or study a person's performance in order to identify how exactly they do something. We can identify how they successfully perform a particular operation in order to enable them to do this more consistently (or to teach their skill to someone else). And, of course, we can identify how precisely they unsuccessfully perform an operation in order to coach them in better ways of doing it.

And if sport is 'just' your hobby

While only the truly dedicated are likely to attend a workshop with the singular purpose of enhancing their sporting ability most of us have a sport or hobby that we would like to be better at.

Our NLP Core Skills and Practitioner Part 2 trainings provide insights and skills that you can apply in a very wide range of areas in your life simultaneously - so while you may attend in order to improve your management or team-development ability you can also apply them to improve your sailing or your bowling results!

The keen golfer or runner might, for example, use the methods to have fewer off-days, or recover quickly from setbacks or apply the NLP Strategies technique to model the success programmes of champions!

The keen rugby player might apply learnings from the outdoor team activities or the Practitioner Part 2 systemic skills to enhance his or her team's ability to pull together.


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Most articles on this site were first published in the Pegasus NLP Newsletter.

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