Medical Hypnosis for Sports Performance

Medical Hypnosis

Do you or your child struggle with sports performance anxiety? Or need to boost toward peak performance?

If so, I imagine you might be feeling frustrated, disappointed, and perhaps a bit discouraged. And I feel sad to hear about this.  On the other hand, I feel hopeful as medical hypnosis is used all the time to help individuals with these issues.

Learning a skill, not just taking a pill, is very empowering because it shows people that they have the ability to overcome life’s daily challenges. Typically, dramatic improvement is seen after only 1 to 3 sessions.

Did you know that virtually all professional athletes and Olympians use visualization to enhance their performance?

Using my advanced training in medical hypnosis, I’ve had the privilege of working with patients of all ages (children, adolescents, and adults), and all athletic skill levels (recreational, team sports, Olympic level and professional athletes, and “weekend warriors”).

People have sought my help to improve in just about any sport you can imagine, including soccer, tennis, golf, football, baseball, track and field, swimming, shot put, and even the equestrian sport of show jumping.

What’s exciting to me is that, when people see me for help with their particular sport, they will learn skills that they will be able to use in the future in ways they’re not even aware of.  So, you will be providing your child, or yourself, with an amazing opportunity.

What is Medical Hypnosis?


Well, first of all, it’s NOT what you see in movies, cartoons, or stage hypnosis shows.  There is no such thing as mind control!  I can’t control your mind any more than you could control mine!

With medical hypnosis, patients choose a specific therapeutic goal, for example, “I want to play more confidently,” or, “I want to play more aggressively,” and then we help them to create an empowering experience, in their mind, that allows them to realize they can do things that they previously were not aware that they could do.

They are led through a series of guided imagery/visualization exercises that leave them feeling safe, relaxed, and alert.  Once this open-to-change state is reached, they are encouraged to create individualized strategies and build skills to better control their challenges and become even more confident.

And, like any other skill that needs to be learned and practiced, such as learning to kick a soccer ball, or hit a tennis ball, or play the piano:

The more you practice, the better you get at it.

The more you practice, the easier it gets.

And the more you practice, the faster you get at it.

Medical hypnosis is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. Office visits, hypnotherapy, and homework assignments – during which patients practice and fine-tune the skills and strategies they have learned – are tailored and individualized for the age, developmental level, and condition of the patient.

In addition to medical hypnosis, my patients are also taught cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) strategies, as CBT has been shown to be the best treatment for people with anxiety.

How Does Medical Hypnosis Work?


As you know, muscle memory refers to something that we’ve done over and over again so many times that our muscles “remember how to do it” automatically, without even thinking about it.  And we were always taught that muscle memory works “from the bottom up.”

As it turns out, when athletes visualize themselves doing their sport, the same areas in the brain are working as if they’re actually doing their sport!  So, if you put a skier in a functional MRI machine, and instruct them to “go skiing,” the same areas in their brains are working as if they’re actually skiing!” ­So, they are literally creating new pathways in their brains every time they do their visualization exercise.  This is called “neuroplasticity.” Brain cells (neurons) that wire together, fire together. The brain literally changes itself.



When you begin to achieve your full potential, I must caution you that there are 2 side effects from this treatment:

  1.     Increased self-esteem
  2.     Increased self-confidence

So, if you are motivated, and willing to work hard, it would be a joy to work with you.

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Read Also: What is Sports Medicine?

Are you an athlete looking to improve your performance on the field or court? Call us at The Village Doctor on (650) 851-4747 or contact us to learn more about how medical hypnosis can benefit you and your athletic performance.

Jeff Lazarus, MD, February 2, 2023