Hypnosis. Hypnotism. Surely these things have nothing to do with snowboarding? For 99% of snowboarders that’s probably true, maybe even 99.9%. But is that because it’s irrelevant to the majority, or because people just haven’t considered it?
What is hypnosis?
The following is taken from the wikipedia entry for hypnosis: Hypnosis is “a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination.”
Is there an application for snowboarding: confidence/fear?
I originally considered hypnosis being applied to snowboarding a few years ago, when a friend was training in the field of hypnotherapy. After talking about how it can put people into a state of suggestibility, I wondered if that could be used to give a snowboarder more confidence?
When snowboarders progress, taking on bigger features and greater risks, confidence and nerve can become one of the difficult things to overcome; sometimes the most difficult. Likewise, a bad fall or injury can create a lack of confidence; fear can set in.
Lots of different factors contribute to a person’s confidence – could hypnosis be one of those that had a positive effect?
Enhancing visualisation techniques?
More recently I’ve considered the use of visualisation as an aid: Does Visualisation Have a Place in (Your) Snowboarding?
Mental preparation, or “training”. Visualising tricks before you do them. Allowing your mind to program in the movements, to improve. Studies have shown that visualisation alone can have a positive effect on physical performance…
If you place faith in the benefit of visualisation techniques – hypnosis may be something that makes (a little) sense. A trance state in which a person is relaxed, open to suggestions, with heightened imagination.
The premise here, for snowboarders, is that hypnosis will make your visualisations more powerful, more effective. It can help you take another step with your mental training.
Who would do that?
Forget for a moment that you might not believe these techniques could “work” – just assume they do. Who would go to the bother of doing that?
This isn’t something that you can do on the hill, at the top of a run. Sure, you might visualise a trick up there, but the groundwork for using hypnosis to improve your shredding needs to be done at home, or somewhere else.
Mental preparation, that’s going to take some practice to get good at. Getting into a hypnotic state can be done solo, but you might need someone or something to help you. You need to be relaxed and comfortable. There’s definitely some effort involved in pursuing this.
Does this restrict its suitability to those who are “serious” snowboarders – serious enough to use a variety of techniques to improve? To consider a mental training programme? Maybe pro snowboarders or competition riders?
Have your say
If there is some credibility to this, then is it any different to going to the gym to improve your stamina for snowboarding. Or using a balance rail in the garden, or a trampoline? Preparation, off the hill; non-snowboarding activities to improve your riding?
Or is this shit just too far out there? Hypnotism’s a joke or act that you see on the TV! Who would spend time practicing at inducing themselves into a trance state because thinking about it might help them with some tricks?