Preperformance routines refer to the actions and behaviors athletes use to prepare for a game or performance. This includes pregame routines, warm up routines, and actions an athlete will regularly do, mentally and physically, before they execute the performance. Frequently, these will incorporate other commonly used techniques, such as imagery or self-talk. Examples would be visualizations done by skiers, dribbling by basketball players at the foul line, and preshot routines golfers or baseball players use prior to a shot or pitch. These routines help to develop consistency and predictability for the player. This allows the muscles and mind to develop better motor control.
This might be a pretty good time to pause and call bullshit, particularly since, during the demonstration in the library, that's exactly what I was thinking myself. Hall himself tried a little of both techniques, telling us that we were ready to stop smoking, that this was something we wanted, but also told us horror stories about smoking. Not of cancer, which can be easy to ignore until it's too late, but of his trips to tobacco farms, where he'd seen all manner of disgusting things—rats and tree frogs and pesticides and pigeon shit falling into a tobacco shredder and so on. You're smoking tree frogs and pesticide, he said. To be honest, that didn't sound much worse than what I always sort of assumed I was smoking.
My misgivings about executive coaching are not a clarion call for psychotherapy or psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis, in particular, does not—and never will—suit everybody. Nor is it up to corporate leaders to ensure that all employees deal with their personal demons. My goal, as someone with a doctorate in psychology who also serves as an executive coach, is to heighten awareness of the difference between a “problem executive” who can be trained to function effectively and an “executive with a problem” who can best be helped by psychotherapy.
I'm excited to share what I've learned from amazing leaders, from other inspiring coaches, by applying solid social science, and by making plenty of mistakes. We coaches, too, need a daily dose of Seneca. We can always keep getting better at helping leaders get better. And leaders who want to do even better can make the world even better. So, whether you're coaching leaders formally or informally, or if you want to apply to yourself what's proven to work for senior leaders everywhere, join me in my LinkedIn learning course on executive coaching.
I have no prior experience with hypnosis. I went into this with no expectations, but I did have the willingness to quit smoking. I have tried nicoderm patches, nicoderm gum, Chantix, Wellbutrin, cold turkey, weaning off, etc...for the last two years. The most I ever got were 28 agonizing days. The cravings never went away. Then I met with Rita Black and here I am 6 weeks later to share how amazed I am with the success of our 1 meeting! I walked out of Rita's office a non-smoker in every way. Rita explained to me how to manage the "cravings" if and when they come. I have totally regained my power against smoking. I highly recommend this life saving service (not to mention, financial savings).
Both sport psychology (focusing on the dynamic interplay between psychological factors and athletic performance) and sport and exercise psychology (focusing on using psychological insight to increase exercise and activity levels) are essential components in empowering performance. Whether that be for professional athletes or the general population, an understanding of how the mind works can have a huge impact.
“You seem like exactly the type of person hypnosis would not work on,” a friend told me when I mentioned I was going to try it, implying I'm too skeptical and set in my ways to be open to something like this. Still, there I was, ready to see what would happen. Hall's voice worked a strange alchemy on me in the library, and I drifted off into what seemed like a state of intense relaxation. I could've fallen asleep easily. I didn't even pull out my phone and refresh Twitter for a whole half hour.
What’s especially compelling about investments in executive coaching is the fact that, when executed properly, there’s an associated ripple effect. A 2013 study by Anthony Grant found that executives who received coaching experienced effects that transferred over into the executives' family life, including heightened work–life balance and improved relationships with family members. It has also been my clients’ experience that for every executive coached, hundreds of others are positively affected, including their manager, their peers, their direct reports, and those employees’ direct reports as well. This extends to hundreds of people, and even more if one counts customers.
Based on this definition, sports psychologists can participate in various activities, mostly focused on working to understand what motivates athletes and how athletes can improve their performance. These activities can range from counseling athletes who might have anxiety issues that hamper their performance to instructing athletes (individually or in groups) on methods of mental conditioning (e.g., visualization, concentration and relaxation) to helping athletes deal with injuries. To put all of this in another way, a sport psychologist is working from the perspective that success in sports relies on both the body and mind. To add one other important point, sports psychologists are often found working with elite athletes—Olympians and professionals. However, sports psychologists can be found working with athletes at all levels as well as with coaches and sports administrators.
When stopping smoking, it is best to get nicotine out of your body as soon as possible. Reducing smoking gradually is not easier than stopping at once. It only drags it out and causes you to focus on the habit even more. It is best to stop completely when you are feeling motivated to do it. Get it over with, and let hypnosis help you adjust quickly to feeling like a nonsmoker.
Professional coaching uses a range of communication skills (such as targeted restatements, listening, questioning, clarifying etc.) to help clients shift their perspectives and thereby discover different approaches to achieve their goals. These skills can be used in almost all types of coaching. In this sense, coaching is a form of "meta-profession" that can apply to supporting clients in any human endeavor, ranging from their concerns in health, personal, professional, sport, social, family, political, spiritual dimensions, etc. There may be some overlap between certain types of coaching activities.
Although there are different techniques, clinical hypnotherapy is generally performed in a calm, therapeutic environment. The therapist will guide you into a relaxed, focused state and ask you to think about experiences and situations in positive ways that can help you change the way you think and behave. Unlike some dramatic portrayals of hypnosis in movies, books, or on stage, you will not be unconscious, asleep, or in any way out of control of yourself. You will hear the therapist’s suggestions, but it is up to you to decide whether or not to act on them.