There are many factors that influence sporting abilities; genetic inheritance, fitness levels, technical skills and our mental abilities. Although many sports performers will spend a lot of their time on their fitness and technical skills, the mental side of the game is often neglected even at a world class or Olympic level of performance.

Most sportspeople have experienced times when they are ‘in the zone’, where they are performing at their physical and mental best in what some describe as a state of “Flow”. If you ask someone who is at the top of their game how they achieve flow many will say things like “I don’t know it JUST happens”. What this means is that it is an unconscious process and it is outside of their normal conscious awareness.

In modern sports the ability to access these flow states and optimise mental skills can mean the difference between winning and just competing! Of course there is nothing wrong with competing but the “money” is on those who produce consistent results. In sports there are many ways that NLP can be used to optimise genetic, fitness and technical abilities. NLP is often the difference that makes the difference.

A judo competitor who has mentally rehearsed her moves in her mind in what we call “trance time” and who knows how to use NLP’s anchoring to access states of lightning speed and explosive power just when they are needed has an advantage.
A golfer who knows how to hallucinate and accentuate the rises and falls in the greens so they can better predict the run of the ball can cut a few strokes off their scorecard.

NLP enables us to study all of these mental strategies it enables us to describe and transfer models of human excellence. It focuses on the discovery and coding of those models or patterns of human behaviour, which distinguish excellent performers (or role models) from average performance in any human endeavour.

NLP allows people to learn and adopt the strategies, techniques and physiology used by our sporting role models to achieve excellence often in a fraction of the time.

By using NLP techniques in sports we literally teach people to be able to go into ‘flow states’ to consciously enter states of peak sports performance as and when needed. You can use NLP to maintain the motivation to train so as to take your skill sets to the next level, you can learn to “get over” mistakes and to learn from errors rather than dwell upon them and you can learn to have the confidence to compete to the best of your ability.

Whether you are an aspiring Tiger Woods, Paula Radcliffe, Lewis Hamilton, David Beckham or someone who plays sports simply for fun NLP is used by people even if they do it consciously or unconsciously. It will either be used against you or you can learn to use it for you and when you learn to use NLP with purpose you can really begin to play your sports at a new level.