Hypnotism for Adam Nelson

Athlete Tries Hypnotism in Quest for Olympic Gold
by Tom Goldman

All Things Considered, May 27, 2008 ·

U.S. shot-putter Adam Nelson, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, is willing to try anything — legal — to win gold at this summer’s games in Beijing.

Even the occasional “deep and profound sensory comprehensive subconscious power experience.” At least, that’s how sports hypnotherapist Pete Siegel described a session he had with Nelson earlier this month in Southern California.

Siegel hypnotized Nelson as the 6-foot, 265-pound athlete stretched out on a bed at the Westin hotel in Long Beach on the day before his first big competition of the outdoor season. The session got more and more intense, with Siegel leading Nelson through a powerful, imaginary throw.

“You’re in your set position,” Siegel told Nelson. “I’ll count from three down to one, tap your forehead. You’ll begin your move and when you fully extend, explosive express thrust, release the shot out of your hand, you’ll exclaim your key word once. All right, get ready. You’re in your set position … three, two, one, now!”

After nearly 40 minutes, Siegel pulled Nelson out of hypnosis. Nelson was quiet, but he said he felt great.

Siegel, an “Energizer Bunny” of optimism with a thick, bodybuilder’s physique, was amped up.

“This year, I’m going to put my ass on the line and tell you he’s going to win the gold medal,” Siegel said. “Why? Because all the experience he’s been through. All the training he’s done. And now he knows himself at a level to where he can access the full degree of power that he knows he possesses.”

Battling Disruptions

Nelson believes in Siegel’s program of deep, sensory visualization. But on that weekend of the Adidas Track Classic, Nelson laughed when Siegel made his gold-medal prediction. Not because he doesn’t believe it, but because he knows there’s a long way to go.

Nelson said he was throwing at about 80 percent of his abilities because of recent disruptions: His wife left town for a summer internship; he changed his throwing technique; and, more immediately, the cross-country trip to California took a toll on his raging metabolism, thanks to a skimpy diet of airline peanuts.

“I mean, I think I probably lost seven pounds on the trip out here,” he said. “I felt really skinny.”

By the day of the track meet, Nelson had reclaimed his weight, thanks to six full meals the day before. He had breakfast before the meet with two fellow shot-putters, Dan Taylor and Christian Cantwell. They were friendly and talkative, but that will change as they get closer to the Olympic trials at the end of June, where only three shot-putters will qualify for Beijing.

“The next five weeks, with what’s on the line, will challenge any friendship because it’s really them or me,” Nelson said. “And in that situation, it’s really hard to always be a good friend.”

A Second-Place Finish

Nelson trailed Cantwell through the six rounds of the Adidas competition. On his last throw, Nelson went through his usual, hopped-up pre-throw routine. Then, he walked out into the grassy area where the shot landed (called the sector), ripped off his top shirt, flung it to the side and stormed back to the circle to throw with a big scream.

The throw was his best of the competition: 69 feet, 4 inches. But he finished second to Cantwell — and he wasn’t too happy about it.

“I’m really quite grumpy right now,” he said as he walked to the bus that would take him back to his hotel. “I think the lesson here is I really need to refine my schedule and develop my routine. Because … right now, I’m just not feeling very sharp or crisp.”

Still, as the ever-positive Siegel pointed out, 69 feet, 4 inches is pretty good when you’re at 80 percent effectiveness. He predicts Nelson will throw more than 71 feet at a meet this weekend in New York — on the way to that ultimate power experience in China.

Related NPR Stories

changing technique at this time:
20% chance of amazing success
80% chance of dismal failure

Psycho…techniques are great for enhance sport performance, but the question is about what’s happening in the brain?
I’ve experience with neurogenic tremors or autonomic discharge techniques for release nervous energy (trauma) from CNS and reset (fight or flight/freeze response) sympathetic over-drive.
A my friend use this bodywork approach on Italian Olympic/National Athletes.
I know another Prof. that work for an Italian Serie A Soccer Team that reset CNS in this way.
I’m not a big fan of Mental Training/Hypnosis/Autogenic Training approach, because they are only a little piece of a great picture…called Reptilian Brain.
If I’ve time, i’ll try to do a little video on this special work.

Is this really a change in technique or another form of visualization, which is often done in very technical events? You’ll see HJers do this before almost every jump.

There is a video on NPR somewhere about him changing his technique. He’s trying to keep his foot much lower in his spin which is a significant deviation from his technique in the past.

got you. Not sure about changing things now either!

agree to some extent but his reasoning is interesting

[i]To the untrained eye, it’s difficult to see what Nelson does so differently from other shot-putters as he builds momentum with a spin and then flings the shot up and out. But what’s unorthodox is his left leg. It has always lagged behind in the spin, swinging high and wide, so Nelson ends up basically pushing off with his right foot.

Most elite shot-putters stay low in their spin, whip their left leg around in the air and back down to the ground quickly, then push off with both feet as they throw. A couple of weeks ago, Nelson and his coach, Kerry Lane, decided he should try it that way.

As they joked at a recent practice in Charlottesville, Va., they wanted to prove that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

“It seemed like a good time. It was sort of a now-or-never kind of thing, because the Olympic trials are only a month and a half away,” Nelson says.

Learning New Tricks

[b]Nelson, 32, says some nagging doubts prompted the change.

“I’ve been, you know, never really pleased with my results, regardless of what they are — constantly want more,” he says, "and I’ve never really changed my technique. So then it dawned on me that maybe I’m not doing things the right way with my throwing and so I kind of had this sort of epiphany — I’m like, ‘Well, I’m going to just change my technique.’ "
Even though he says it’s a small change, he’s working against two decades of muscle memory, with the Olympic trials — and, he hopes, the Olympic Games — looming.

“It makes it fun. It makes it exciting,” Nelson says. "And in all honesty, I believe on any given day, no matter how I throw or what I do to get to the front of the circle, when the shot leaves my hand, it’s going to go far enough to win. … Whether or not it’s true, it doesn’t matter. It’s what I believe."

This weekend will bring the first test of whether change is good for Nelson. A meet in Southern California will pit him against some of his biggest shot-put rivals. [/i]

Must be the thing lately


[i]Technique changes boost Faumuina
By ROBERT LOWE - NZPA | Thursday, 17 April 2008

Former world discus champion Beatrice Faumuina says the improvement in her results shows that changes to her throwing technique are bearing fruit.

Faumuina, 33, was yesterday named in an eight-strong New Zealand athletics team for the Beijing Olympics.

She admitted to relief when she learned that she would be heading off to her fourth Olympics in August.

“It’s just a huge relief that I can say I’m going to Beijing,” she said.

“It was a lovely feeling to receive the phone call.”

Faumuina became New Zealand’s first track and field world title holder in 1997, the year she produced her personal best throw of 68.52m, and followed that up with Commonwealth Games gold in 1998 and 2002.

But she finished back in fourth spot in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and failed to qualify at the world championships in Osaka last August.

Faumuina has since been working under a new coaching team headed by Ross Dallow.

Having managed only 55.75m at the worlds, she threw 61.73m at the nationals in Auckland last month – a distance that would have placed her sixth at Osaka – and she was confident there was better to come.

“To do these major changes and have the results I’ve had in three months is something exciting, especially for the future.”

Faumuina said she and Dallow had looked at refining her technique to make it more efficient.

“There were a lot of things embedded that did not create the big long throws,” she said.

“We had to be realistic and it’s hard sometimes when you have to do the pros and cons of what’s worked and what hasn’t. Things that I may have used 10 years ago definitely don’t work now.”

She was now able to analyse her action on video and identify areas she needed to improve.

“Things like, even off the back of the circle, when walking in, making sure the weight is over your left leg as opposed to swaying from left to right,” she said.

“It changes your technique quite a bit, especially delivery of the throw.”

Beijing will be a new experience for Faumuina, who has never been to China, and she was buzzing at the prospect.

“The thing I’m excited about is that it’s territory that’s unfamiliar to me,” she said.

“I’m not the only one. We just want to get over there and be part of what embodies the Olympic.”

Faumuina expected the heavier air from the humidity to make long throws more difficult in Beijing.

But despite all the talk of pollution and high temperatures, she had no real concerns about the conditions she was likely to face.

She would rather compete in the heat than the cold, and the main thing was that she would be in Beijing and “wearing black”.

Faumuina had her personal targets for Beijing, but she was keeping them to herself for the present.

She was also planning to continue beyond the Olympics, saying her competitive spirit remained strong and she had age on her side.

She noted that German Franka Dietzsch was 39 when she won her third world title last year.[/i]

I would love to see this!

If a my client want help me, I can do a video of Neurologic Reset on next monday.

This is a first part of a small video on CNS reset (on a professional goalkeeper) www.armandovinci.com/01082008009.mp4
sometimes the session are 2 hours long, and you can do this kind of work every 10-20 days.
In this case the evoked involuntary (but under control) tremors are not so strong because this work is done after training and I don’t like to go much deep.
Autonomic discharge is really useful but only after some manual work for restore proper CNS/ANS integration.

Beijing result

X X X = NM = :o

He changed his throwing technique too…changeeeee isssssss baddddddd

he got hurt just two or three days before the comp with an intercostal injury

ask the yankees if change is good. :slight_smile:

anyone know how he got hurt?

this is a quote from his wife i saw on throws board
afternoon at practice Adam pulled his intercostal muscle during a throw. He is in severe pain when he breathes, and he has a very limited range of motion. He’s been in treatment every day. This was monday.

However, once again the glide rules over the spin at the olympics. Under such pressure it seems to hold up.