Richard Bandler and Sporting Success

Richard Bandler In His Own Words

The Best You run Masterclasses with some of the most talented and insightful agents of change in the world. A maximum of 20 delegates spend the day with the host, asking questions directly to get insights into specific questions.

In the extract from The Masterclass with Richard Bandler, Richard has just been asked by a delegate about the most useful states to use in martial arts. The delegate is looking to get across the idea that relaxation is the key to great fighters, rather than brute force.

Richard uses the discussion to elaborate further on the sporting mindset, and the preparation you need to do in your mind before any contest - which is one of a use of hypnosis and NLP.


Richard: ...Just before the fight, Mohammed Ali, Frazier, all these great fighters... you look at them coming into the ring and you’re not looking at somebody who is tense, somebody who is angry. You’re looking at somebody who is almost in a somnambulistic trance. All great athletes go into a profound altered state, tailored to what they’re gonna do. If you think about it in hypnotic terms, wouldn’t it be good to be able to control pain, for example? Hypnosis and pain control, hypnosis, time distortion. See, when you’re in a state of rage you don’t have the same instincts. When you’re driving down the road and something pops up, there’s that instance where time stands still. Everything moves in slow motion, you don’t freak out ‘till later. That instant you steer the car correctly and you save your life. Now, that moment, if you could stretch that out and go into the altered state where you have altered clarity, where everything is moving slower. If Mohammed Ali didn’t go into a state of time distortion, he wouldn’t have been throwing such fast punches because you don’t learn to throw fast punches because you move your arm quicker and quicker, you do it by changing it right here [gestures his head]. This is the one thing that is the most malleable.
You could exercise your muscles ‘till you're blue in the face and some old Tai-Chi guy will come and poke you in the eye and knock you out, who hasn’t exercised in years because he has control over time. He can move so fast because, to him, it’s moving normally. Now you drove down the road, the motorway and you’re going 70 miles an hour, you pull off into a 30 mile an hour zone, you feel like you're crawling, you feel like you’re going 2 miles an hour. It’s not because the world is moving faster or slower, it’s because you’ve mentally adjusted because you’ve got used to it. Now this, neurologically, by the way, is based on the difference between peripheral vision and fovic vision. You have three kinds of receptors in the eye. You have ones that do shade, ones that do colour and ones that do movement. In the peripheral vision, they’re mostly designed to notice movement. When you’re driving down the road and everything is going through your peripheral vision very fast but the road looks exactly the same because you’re just looking ahead of the car at the road, that stillness here and the movement there creates the state of time distortion. So when you start to drive at 25 miles an hour you don’t feel like you’re going 25.
 I’ve taught athletes and motor car drivers, football players, a lot of people to learn to create for themselves meditations where they see their sport, whatever it is and they see the crowd moving at the speed of light, like this, and their opponent incredibly still. So that the night before they do things, an hour before they do that when they’re in the locker room, they’re concentrating on mentally getting into that state so that it measurably… I’m sure if you put a brain scan on Mohammed Ali before these fights and during them, he doesn’t seem to be getting amped up. He actually becomes calmer as they go along. Part of the reason he won fights with people that were bigger, stronger and faster than him, he would figure out I’ve got to get the guy to wear himself out a bit. So he rope-a-doped them and he taunted them and told jokes to them and made fun of them and pissed them off because the angrier they got, the slower they got. The calmer he got the faster and more controlled he was.
Any athlete who doesn’t understand the importance, especially guys like soccer players, they come in and they tell me, “Well, you know, I’m in a slump,” and I’ll go, “Well, have you had slumps before?” They go, “Yeah,” and I go, “Did you come out of them before?” and they go, “Yeah,” and I go, “How long are you planning to wait before you come out?” They go, “Well, I’m not planning.” I said, “Well, that’s a bad plan to not plan to come out. It could take forever for you to just fall out. But when you came out last time, what did you do?” When you get them to recall the difference between a day they did fantastic and a day where they did bad and you run through it. It has to do with that they talk to themselves, how their perceptions are, it’s an altered state. The more they do it on purpose, the higher performance. Basketball players, that sink three point shots all the time, don’t sit at home and see themselves missing over and over again because if they have a night where they do, they do shitty the next day.
 It’s not just what you mentally rehearse, it’s how you rehearse it and how you step inside it so that you feel that you are the person that does well. ‘Cause that person’s brain wave patterns are running differently. Even someone’s beginning to have a bad round in a fight and they sit down, they sit and make that three minutes last for an hour. They should take a deep breath, they should really relax and instead of the trainer trying to talk to them really fast to tell them what they’re doing wrong, the trainer should be telling them, “Slow down, go back to the best round you’ve ever had in any fight. Remember how you felt, remember the way the world looked. Remember how crisp your vision was, how everyy time ou could see it coming" - and then tell him how to knock the other guy out. To me that little edge, especially in sports, can constitute a tremendous amount of money. In American baseball, if I can up somebody’s batting average 30 points, you’re salary goes up $4 million dollars a year. The difference between what they do practising, physically, what they’re physically capable of, doesn’t change. Their ability to use what they’re physically capable of is a direct reflection of how you’re thinking because how you think effects how you feel; therefore it effects what you can do.

Find out more about your attitude of success at Richard Bandler's famous London seminars.

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