Sam was a college basketball player who had loved basketball all his life. He played with intensity but was considered by his coach to be an ‘inconsistent player’.  He said he often felt distracted from his focus by his frustration with his coach or with the referees and their calls.

Sam was so worked up as we talked, that I knew it was a good time to introduce the EFT  “tapping”/acupressure techniques. The more intense a feeling, the more likely it is to show a visible response to the acupressure.

I introduced the tapping techniques by simply showing him how he could tap on eleven face and hand points without any words. This was modestly calming for Sam. Then I introduced the tapping dialogue and we talked and tapped about five different events where he felt unfairly treated by a coach or ref. The powerful effects of the tapping in this way were evident to both of us.

After 15 minutes of tapping, Sam and I had a totally different conversation about his frustration and anger. With a sense of calm and objectivity he noted, “I don’t know where I would find my intensity if I wasn’t angry.” I knew then, that a part of reducing his anger would be to re-frame his intensity, so it could be helpful instead of volatile. In hypnosis we were able to show his subconscious mind that he could be intense in a way that did not need anger for its fuel.

As an introduction to hypnosis,  I showed Sam the ‘arm drop’ technique to create relaxation through the body. He relaxed deeply and said that the hypnosis felt as physically relaxing as a good massage. The messages in the hypnosis recording I made for Sam included a vision of himself as calm, clear and powerful. We ‘anchored’ those words in his subconscious mind through repetition and visualization. This simple process gives the ‘automatic pilot’ a new destination to aim for. It helps the old anger dissipate while giving him good access to his inner power to play with a positive intensity instead of unpredictable volatility.

Sam used his recording while going to sleep at night and before most games. He said he could feel a big difference in his focus and self control during games and at other times as well. He and his coach were both happy with the improvements in his game and contributions to the team. He came back for two additional sessions. We continued to work on his inner calm and power. We also did a variety of mental rehearsals and skill building that he used on his own to hone specific moves and game strategies. Though Sam only came in for three sessions, he and many athletes would benefit from regular sessions to help them fine-tune their abilities and mental approach to their sport.