Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Purpose vs Pleasure - Do you actually enjoy your sport?

This month my blog is all about the topic of enjoyment of sport... mainly due to the fact that so many of the clients who come to see me for help with improving their sporting performance all admit that they have 'lost the love' of whatever sport it is they play!

Does this sound familiar to you?
Many people can tell me what it was about golf, football, swimming, tennis, martial arts etc that they were drawn to when they first began to play / took up their sport. However over the years, the pressure of wanting to get better, improve and beat personal bests can sometimes end up overshadowing the very thing that attracted them to that sport in the first place. I call this the "purpose vs pleasure" effect, which basically means that for some people, their sport becomes ALL about a specific purpose (running faster, jumping higher, lowering handicap etc)

One example of this was a golfer who came to see me for help as he felt every round of golf was full of making mistakes and then "beating himself up over it". He spoke all about the endless lessons to improve his swing and the hours spent on the range or green practising his technique; to no avail. It was only when I asked him to tell me what it was he loved about golf that he was suddenly silent! This question alone made him realise his passion in life had become something he didn't really look forward to anymore as he knew each visit to the course would leave him feeling frustrated and depressed. When we began to speak about what it was that attracted him to the game in the first place, he was able to reconnect with these positive thoughts and feelings and, in a short time, was able to rekindle his enjoyment of each round - regardless of how he played. The extra bonus of course is that when he began to enjoy it again, he actually played much better!

I must of course stress at this point... there is NOTHING wrong with having a purpose in sport (whether you are an amateur or professional) and for a lot of people, they need a goal, motivator or purpose to get them out onto the field or pitch. The problems arise when this becomes the ONLY reason why someone does a sport. Like my golfing client, the purpose of reducing his handicap became so all encompassing that he forgot about the reasons why he started to play in the first place.

So if you are struggling with motivation or feel it has become "all work and no play", remind yourself about what it is about your sport that you actually love. You never know in the process you might actually let some of the pressure off which will actually help you perform better!

If you are interested in finding out more about how hypnosis could help YOU, please get in touch with Christy for a FREE telephone consultation on 01252 334377 or email: