Perfect your technique

In all physical endeavors, technique is the defining difference between amateurs and professionals. Professionals often seem to have superhuman abilities. Although “superhuman” is a convenient explanation, it is actually correct technique which accounts for such exceptional performance.

Correct technique starts in the mind. Keith Johnson, former Professor of Trumpet at University of North Texas addresses the mental aspect of technique in his book The Art of Trumpet Playing (1983). In the book, Johnson states repeatedly that the mind tells the body what to do. I think this statement applies to all physical endeavors. Because the mind tells the body what to do, hypnosis is possibly the most powerful mental tool for working on technique.

When you use hypnosis for technique, you communicate with the part of your mind that is the “doer.” This is the part that ultimately controls your technique.

For the rest of this article, I talk about correct technique, and explain how hypnosis is used to refine your technique.

What is correct technique?

Correct technique happens when you use your muscles in the most efficient way for you. Incorrect technique happens when your muscles work in opposition. When you work against yourself, playing is more difficult, you get tired faster, and you are prone to injury.

Efficient technique is correct technique

Technique for sports/music requires very fine muscle control. You only want to use the muscles required to perform the task at hand. Many players get in their own way by engaging too many muscles, or even the wrong muscles for a given task. You learn correct technique by observation and feel, not by thought and analysis. Even if you could know exactly which muscles to engage for your sport, you wouldn’t be able to perform the action in a smooth, coordinated manner. Correct technique must happen naturally.

Putting you back in touch with your natural abilities

Any deliberate attempt to “control” your technique interferes with the natural muscular coordination that must take place. Everyone has some degree of interference with their natural abilities. Through hypnosis, you can reduce this interference, allowing more of your natural ability to come through.

How to develop correct technique in 4 steps

  1. Get coaching
  2. Form a clear, mental picture of the desired outcome
  3. Imagine what might be needed to produce the desired outcome (and how that might sound, look, or feel)
  4. Practice until the new technique becomes a habit

Getting coaching is a key element to refining technique. If hiring a coach is impractical, video yourself to observe your playing from a 3rd party perspective. Make note of what you want to change, and make sure there is good reason for doing so.

Start by imagining the results your new technique will produce. Next, define your concept of the technique by imagining what it might feel like, sound like, or look like.

Practice the new technique, noting differences between your “concept” and your actual performance.

Notice how many of the above steps involve the mind. Everything from implementing your coach’s advice (or coaching yourself), to defining results, defining the means for those results, and practicing can be done in hypnosis.

When you are ready to make changes to your technique, let me help you! I put you in touch with the unlimited power of your mind to refine your technique.

Note: Much of my ideas about technique are based on The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by W. Timothy Gallwey.

by Sean Maness, CHP
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