Determines What You want -Action
Determines What you Geting
Major League Baseball player turns to Scottsdale
hypnotherapist to unlock the power of his mind!
Athletes visit Scottsdale hypnotherapist for brain training!
Bob Young, azcentral sports columnist10:13 p.m. MST April 15, 2014
The way Mets outfielder Eric Young Jr. sees it, he trains his body for the rigors of a 162-game baseball season.
So why not his mind?
"Baseball is a very mental game and one of the few sports you're playing every day," he said. "So the biggest
challenge is trying to keep your mind strong through that process."
That's why Young, who makes his off-season home in the Valley, sought out Pattie Freeman, a mental sports
trainer and hypnotherapist in Scottsdale.
Young, who is in town with his club to face the Diamondbacks, began sessions during the off-season leading into
spring training. He dropped into Freeman's office Monday for another.
"I'm always training other parts of my body to get myself ready to play," he said. "A lot of times, people
forget the brain in that. I wanted to make sure we get everything covered from head to toe, including the
Young isn't unusual among professional athletes in seeking help through mental training and hypnosis. In fact,
Freeman said during spring training she worked with five to six players from every team in the Cactus
And she estimates that she works regularly with about 20 athletes from the Valley's professional clubs as well
as a number of amateur athletes, including Olympians.
Some are just trying to fine-tune their game. Others are desperate to find it, and they're willing to try
anything that might help.
Unlike Young, most would rather keep it all on the down-low.
"They think that if people know they need help or want to have help, it's because they're not strong enough to
do it on their own," Freeman said. "The thing is, they can do it on their own. The weird thing is they
can do it without me, they just don't know how.
"That's what I'm trying to help them with. 'This is how you can access that mental ability to be the peak
performer that your truly are inside.' "
Freeman said at her previous office, players often would go in and out the back door. And she avoids calling it
"hypnosis" with many athletes.
"I call it visualization and mental sports training," she said. "When they see that, they say, 'Oh, that's
And yet, Freeman said, athletes tend to be more open-minded about the process than the average person. They
understand better than most the value of getting their mind right.
"The athlete, in general, is more accepting, period," she said. "They're here to make a change. I love athletes
because they do what I ask them to do. They want to be an elite player. They don't try, they do. That's the
difference with athletes."
Does it work? Well, Freeman said her clients have had enough success that they seek her out, not the other way
around. Most athletes come to her through word-of-mouth referral.
After hitting .296 in spring training with a .377 on-base percentage, Young started the regular season with one
hit in his first 16 at bats at the top of New York's order and was hitting .186 when the Mets got to Arizona
Monday. He collected two hits in three at bats, walked once and scored twice Monday night after his visit with
Often, Freeman said, athletes simply need to learn how to maintain positive thoughts, eliminate distractions,
relax, feel comfortable and allow their talent to come out. Others need help coping with pressure.
"Our mind is so strong, you have no idea," she said. "Like a baseball player, if somebody says, 'You looked
really bad last game,' they start thinking negatively."
The hypnosis and mental training, Freeman said, allows players to focus and find that hard-to-explain place
athletes call "being in the zone," when the game slows down, the ball or basket looks huge and everything
"I teach them how to turn it on, turn it off," she said. "When they're on the field, they come out with their
swagger going on. When they leave, they go back to their normal self."
Young said he hasn't experienced an epiphany, but he believes having a positive mind frame and visualizing
success can only make him better.
"I've always been a big believer in the mental side," he said. "In life in general, it's an important aspect to
help us progress. A lot of times you suffer trouble because you're already thinking negatively about yourself.
"If you want something done, you have to have a game plan in your mind first. Then go for it."