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Intro: Playing Golf with a positive mental attitude may seem obvious, mental preparation is often neglected and reaching a zone where you feel you cannot lose is not as mystical as some people may think.

Interview with Lesley Goddard about Sports Psychology

The use of Sports Psychology to maximise potential is perhaps unfamiliar to many, Consultant Sports Psychologist Lesley Goddard confirms that all elite competitors have excellent psychological skills, which will include basic imagery and self-hypnosis.

The majority of top class performers agree that winning is 90% mental obviously in the beginning the percentage is somewhat lower as in all sports there is always a learning curve. The length and shape of this curve differs with the individual but exists in one form or another.

"The primary concern of a Sports Psychologist is to assist competitors to obtain the psychological skills that facilitate enhanced performance." Lesley explained adding that: "Sports Psychology is there for you to take your own level one step further by the use of mental skills in the areas of self-confidence and motivation, positive imagery, goal setting, concentration, stress management and awareness."

Lesley states that it is the conscious mind that initially teaches the subconscious by the process of repetition. Problems inevitably arise when for some reason the conscious mind overrides the subconscious; thinking consciously about activities that have become automatic is remarkably disruptive.

"When you have played a good round, one of those rounds where your driving, chipping and putting skills were all exceptional, you may have experienced the zone of optimum performance, a state that all elite competitors strive to attain."

This is where your performance is motivated by your subconscious, a superb feeling (if not somewhat awesome) to experience for the first time. Applied Sports Psychology can assist you to access this mental state when you need it most.

Sports Psychology is often viewed as the last resort only to be turned to when things are going wrong, referrals from coaches (in all sports) when a competitor has an on going problem were common place. It is only in the last decade that this has changed, with Sports Psychologists now working full time with top class competitors and National teams in mental skills training.

"When a client approaches me with a problem, it is often the case that they will have developed a block to part of the subconscious mind by repeated failure. Time after time they persevere with destructive self- remedies usually advised by well meaning colleagues." This can be the most frustrating condition that a Sports Psychologist has to deal with, however Lesley has made great inroads into this problem by utilising light hypnosis to access the subconscious, thereby getting to the root of the problem quicker and easier.

Lesley has a varied client base from the world of Golf, Tennis, Athletics, Lawn Bowls, Swimming, Clay Target Shooting, and even the Equestrian world. She is also currently working with selected clients using sports hypnotherapy to enhance motivation and focus, obviously specific details remain confidential, however the results have been more than impressive.

There is no doubt that establishing a feeling of well being, control and confidence is the key to good performance and Lesley stresses that a good basic psychological approach to all areas of preparation and competition is the key to a solid competitive base.

No stranger to the pressures of top class competition herself Lesley has represented Great Britain since 1994 and has many national and international titles to her credit.

Qualified in both Applied Sports Psychology and Hypnotherapy; Lesley is a member of the National Coaching Foundation, National Council of Hypnotherapy, and Association of Professional Instructors as well as being Coaching Director of a very successful junior sport-training program.

Contact Information

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