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Sports Psychology And Golf: How To Beat Your Big Brother: A Case History

Posted by: Dr. Granat on August 20, 2014

I utilize hypnosis with golfers and with athletes from virtually every sport imaginable.
Hypnosis can be used to build confidence, manage stress, improve focus, clarify goals, better relationships, obtain insight, improve motivation as well as for pain management.
These are very important matters for the golfer-athlete.
For example, recently a golfer who came to see me because he found himself becoming quite tense when he played golf.
Some therapists or hypnotists might have simple taught this man a self-hypnotic technique which could promote increased relaxation. While there is nothing wrong with this idea, I believe it is important to learn as much as possible about the cause and the
etiology of a person’s anxiety.
While taking a history from this man, he explained to me that he is most tense when he competes against his regular playing partner who happens to be his older brother.
We discussed the nature and history of their competitiveness and their sibling rivalry.
Apparently, my client felt that he could never beat his “big brother” at golf or for that
matter at anything. To make matters worse, his brother was the senior person in the
family business.
I explained how hypnosis might be helpful to this man. He agreed to try a hypnotic
exercise. I helped him into a comfortable trance and suggested that imagine that he was
the older brother. He enjoyed being in this powerful role very much. He was able to see himself as being capable an empowered. He had difficult viewing himself in this manner, particularly where his brother was concerned, prior to the hypnotic exercise in my office.
He loved the hypnotic experience very much and he went on to beat his brother by five strokes the next time they played with one another.
He called me on Monday morning to share the big news about his victory with me.
“Doc, I did it. I finally beat him at something.”

Dr. Jay Granat is the founder of He has appeared in many major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Good Morning America. You can get his peak perfomance and mental toughness programs at He can be reached at or at 888 580-ZONE.

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