Using NLP in Sports

Are you are a competitor? Perhaps you’re a coach or instructor? Maybe you want something that canNLP in Sport give you the edge – something that has the power to get you enhanced results? How would it be if you could use the power of your mind to help your reach your sporting goal? Maybe you used to play at a top level, but you feel you’re not currently doing yourself justice – maybe your game is not what it used to be? Perhaps you’re a sports professional, or perhaps you play sport as a hobby – the thing you will all have in common whether professional or not, is the desire, the drive, and the passion ….

Anyone in competitive sport with tell you that your mindset has everything to do with coming first/winning or not. Sometimes the difference is millimetres or even milliseconds – perhaps it’s all in a single decision you make as a player or captain of a team. It’s well documented that the mindsets of top athletes is just as important as their physical ability, fitness, technique, talent and ability to actually ‘do’ what they do (that’s a given). The closer you get to the winning spot, the more important mindset becomes. When it comes down to it, if your ‘head isn’t in the right place’ neither will your performance be. Take Rory Mcllroy a couple of years ago he won the European Tour. The difference between Rory and the person in the 90th place was 2 shots per round – 2 shots! It’s much easier to find the 2 shots needed per round from the mindset of the golfer rather than looking at technique.

The reason why NLP can be so effective in sport, is that it gives us tools to understand the mental processes the sports person goes through in each element of their sport, identify any problems and then change the processes to give the client a better result. The big picture is that you can break down, for example the golfer’s game into sections (e.g. putting on the green) and for each section the golfer will run strategies behind each shot – a strategy is a sequence of ‘things’ that you do in your head. For example you might see something, then get a feeling, then say something to yourself and then hit the ball. On average a golfer will have something between 5 and 7 strategies running before every type of shot. If the golfer had an issue in part of their game, I might elicit some 50 strategies in order to identify similar patterns and what happens is that it becomes obvious where the strategies are different in the area of their game they are struggling with – we look for the anomaly, what’s different and then use a strategy instillation technique to change the ‘rouge’ strategy resulting in instant improvement to that element of their game.

In addition we may work with the sports person’s values and beliefs since both of these run the behaviour or physiology of the person we are working with, in addition to ensuring their thinking is aligned to the results they want. Values and Beliefs of players, teams, coaches etc are currently playing a huge part in the Rugby World Cup!

NLP is now the coaching tool of choice for professional sports people because it is a fast way of making large improvements to performance.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Rory Mcllroy, Andy Murray, Usain Bolt or anyone other sports personality you’d like to mention … when you are at the top of your game there is something different …something that sets you apart … something that get’s you the winning performance over your competition.

NLP is GREAT for giving immediate improvements to the performance of sports people

Below are 3 areas that people in sport will find helpful to start to understand …


Beliefs are powerful things – you act as if they are true. As Henry Ford said – ‘whether you believe you can, or you can’t you’re probably right’. Beliefs have a habit of being self fulfilling prophecies. With this in mind, it’s important that sports people remove any limiting beliefs because undoubtedly limiting beliefs hold you back. Empowering beliefs are the opposite – for example, an unwavering belief that ‘I am the best’, ‘I will win this’ will help you step towards a winning mindset – I don’t mean simple affirmations, I mean really believing it – with NLP we have the tools to remove limiting beliefs and install new beliefs that you will believe with total certainty. We teach all our NLP Practitioners the tools they need to be able to do this with others.

Goals and Values

Aligning your thinking behind your goal: a goal gives you focus, it gives you a purpose (it gives you your ‘why’). Most people don’t set goals, however of those that do, they generally set them consciously. However, unless the goal is supported by both the conscious and unconscious mind you may find that it becomes a goal that you can never quite reach (on our NLP Practitioner courses we share with you some amazing goal setting techniques based on a Harvard University study of highly successful people). Your Values (what motivates us at an unconscious level) may of course steer you in a different direction if they are not aligned –during our Master Practitioner course we show you how to elicit someone’s existing Values in various contexts of their life and show you how you can align them behind their goal to ensure they have the ingredients for successfully completing their goals.

Internal Conflicts

Do you ever find that sometimes you think one thing, but on the other hand sometimes you think something else? Maybe on one hand you find yourself saying: ‘part of the time I think I can win this match’, and ‘part of the time I think I can’t’. This type of internal conflict is distracting and exhausting – I know it is because I’ve had many of these internal debates myself! As a sports person you don’t want to be wasting time or energy with this – so in NLP we use a process called parts integration that stops these internal conflicts and we teach this on the NLP Practitioner Course.

These are just a few ways in which NLP can substantially help improve the performance of sports people.

Would you benefit from NLP?

Getting the winning mindset doesn’t just apply to people in sport, it applies to us all if we want to succeed whether that’s to win or see someone else succeed in whatever area of their life. NLP has been described as providing the ‘user manual for your mind’ so you can get the results you crave. It’s only by being vulnerable and being prepared to really look inside of ourselves that we can find out what’s really going on and then take steps to address things for the benefit of ourselves, our lives and our results.

If you’d like to find out more about our NLP courses, get in touch via [email protected]