Pates, J., Maynard, I., & Westbury, T. (2001). An investigation into the effects of hypnosis on basketball performance. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 13, 84-102.

The effects of hypnosis on set- and jump-shooting performance among male college basketball players (N = 3) was investigated. A single-subject experimental design was combined with a procedure that monitored the internal experience of Ss. Hypnosis was trained in four stages (relaxation, hypnotic induction, hypnotic regression, and trigger control). Post-training, Ss played an audio tape of the training method. Intervention was initiated after training and only "triggers" were used. Confirmation that triggers were not used during reversal was obtained.

All Ss increased set- and jump-shooting during intervention. Each S reported sensations associated with peak performance were elevated during intervention. Performances declined during the reversal stage of the experiment.

Implication. Hypnosis is a procedure that could be considered for increasing skill performance. The nature of its effects is not known, because there are various conflicting theories about hypnosis. Being a powerful form of suggestion, it is one form of suggestion that can be used to enhance the positive predictions and conditions of performance.

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