Athletes know that the “mental game” is just as important as the physical game. In an article by Australian performance specialist Steve Wells, he describes his work with Catherine Cox, a member of the Australian Netball Team. (Netball is a fast-moving derivative of basketball). Catherine shares her experience (and doubts initially that EFT is what helped her go from 55% shooting percentage to 80% after her first EFT session) as she and Steve use EFT to help her come out of an anxiety-induced performance slump.
I’ve seen with my own kids and other kids on their teams that slumps are self-reinforcing. We get down on ourselves and then everything we do wrong reinforces that image. Catherine had a game where she shot 55% (low for her position in Netball) , and this brought her issues right to the forefront. I agree with Steve that it is best in sessions to do a lot more tapping than talking. The talking helps to target, but that tapping is what flushes the issues out in the open to be addressed. Tapping also supports the system. As we tap, we feel strength and support. That gives us the courage necessary to feel and then release the emotions that are causing the disruption.
Catherine describes her first session as “horrible”:
It was all about confronting my fears head on and saying them out loud! Something I had yet to do! It was bad enough thinking about them! I remember crying so much and struggling to breathe thinking to myself this Steve man is in way over his head! Surely he’s not had to deal with something this bad before.
Athletes are usually taught to be mentally tough, to not show fear. But what happens when an athletes FEELS fear? It takes energy to put on a brave face. Lots of energy! What happens when we address these issues off the playing field with EFT is that all that energy that used to be spent in the tug-of-war of feeling fear and suppressing it… gets refocused into high performance. Boom! In the game following her first EFT session, she scores 80% from the field.
What’s fascinating (from a practitioner perspective) is that according to her coach, Catherine was not convinced EFT had helped at the time, yet from a purely statistical standpoint the slump had been broken. This happens all the time to all practitioners. I think it is because when the disruptions are removed, we simply “feel like ourselves again.” We no longer have an attachment to whatever pain was addressed, and so don’t even remember what it felt like in many cases.
Sure, EFT is weird looking and so simple that it “can’t make this kind of permanent difference.” I assure you it does. The body of evidence builds every day.
For performance sports, whether on the professional, pro-amateur, or weekend-fun level, EFT can be applied to both overcoming a slump like Catherine’s and to taking good performance to the next level… where love fo the game combined with emotional freedom and mental clarity produce outstanding results.