Trigger words are an important aspect of performance for sports performers. These words can be embedded commands / suggestions, or anchors that link a particular emotion with a trigger word. The emotion needs to be created in the client's mind by reliving a past experience and enhancing those feelings at the appropriate moment, before anchoring them to the selected trigger word. This process should be repeated several times, possibly with the use of a recording to reinforce the technique.


Once the trigger word and associated emotion have been anchored, the client should practice using them during training to ensure that they are effective in competitive situations. It is crucial to repeat this process several times possibly by use of an audio recording to establish a strong link between the trigger word and the desired emotion.


I have worked with clients in a variety of sports.


One example of a trigger word that I have used successfully with clients is "focus." By anchoring this word to a feeling of intense concentration and visualization, clients have been able to stay focused and maintain their mental clarity during competition, leading to improved performance and results


An example of a trigger word that may not seem obvious in sports is "slow down." While in most sports, speed and agility are critical to success, in certain situations, such as precision shooting or archery, a slower, more deliberate approach may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome.


Therefore, it is essential to always gather information from the client and tailor the trigger word to their individual needs and goals, regardless of whether it seems counterintuitive or unconventional


Sometimes, clients may not have experienced the appropriate emotion during a critical moment. In such cases, the use of role models and visualization techniques can be helpful. The "climb onboard" visualization technique is one such method that is explained in detail in the visualization section.


Trigger words are another effective technique that can help clients focus their attention and stimulate the right emotional state to deliver their best performance. Many clients, including boxers, golfers and competitive athletes, have reported the efficacy of this technique. By associating a specific word with a desired emotion, clients can access the desired state during competition, leading to improved performance.


The Power of Trigger Moments in Sports

I have found that trigger moments can be highly effective in helping athletes achieve a shift in focus, mood, and attention. These are moments in a sports person's routine or ritual that hold great significance and can be utilized to access the right attitude and emotion needed to perform at their best.


For example, in tennis, a player may have a particular way of bouncing the ball before serving. This can become a powerful trigger moment that, when utilized correctly, can help them feel fully focused and confident in their ability to hit the ball with precision and power.


During our sessions, I work with the athlete to identify these trigger moments and create scripts that are tailored to their specific needs. By reliving a past experience and enhancing those positive feelings, we can anchor them to the chosen trigger moment. This is best repeated several times, possibly through the use of audio recordings, and then practiced by the client during training before any use in competition.


It's important to note that sometimes an athlete's routine or ritual may include negative suggestions, such as a mantra that inadvertently programs them to have problems. By running through the preparation routine with them, we can identify and address any negative programming and replace it with positive