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Effects of hypnosis on flow states and golf performance.

15 Aug

At the Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam University, researchers examined the effects of hypnotic intervention on flow states and golf-chipping performance of 3 participants. The intervention involved teaching the golfers relaxation, imagery, hypnotic induction, hypnotic regression, and trigger control procedures over 5 weeks and 7 trials. Analysis indicated that the 3 participants increased their mean golf-chipping performance from the trials in Baseline 1 to intervention, with 2 returning to Baseline 1 performance after the intervention phase at Baseline 2. The intensity of flow experienced by the participants during the performance trials was measured using Jackson and Marsh''s 1996 Flow State Scale. Two participants experienced higher flow during the intervention phase and much lower flow during Baselines 1 and 2. Finally, participants reported that the intervention seemed useful in keeping them confident, relaxed, and in control. These results support the hypothesis that relaxation, imagery & hypnosis can improve golf-chipping performance and increase feelings and cognitions associated with flow.

Citation: Pates J, Maynard I. Effects of hypnosis on flow states and golf performance. Perceptual & Motor Skills. 2000, Dec;91(3 Pt 2): Pages 1057-75.


Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award