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Sports Performance: The Secret Tool the Pros Use


When I was first introduced to the mysterious practice called “Tapping” or E.F.T. (Emotional Freedom Technique), I was very much in need of some new tools for feeling better fast. I met Nick Ortner, author of The Tapping Solution and creator and executive producer of the hit documentary film of the same name, at just the right time—because, of course, there are no accidents! As I always say to you and to myself, be open to everything and attached to nothing. Put away your skepticism and give tapping a try.

Here is Nick’s story about how tapping came into his life:

I looked pretty silly. At least, I thought I did. It was the spring of 2004. I was sitting alone, staring at a computer screen, talking to myself, and tapping different parts of my body. If you’d glanced through my window and seen me, you might have thought I’d lost it.

In truth, I was going a little crazy. The neck pain I’d woken up with that morning was so bad I wasn’t sure how I’d get through the day. You know the kind of pain I’m talking about. You sleep in the wrong position and wake up with a crick in your neck. You spend a day, sometimes two, sometimes three, moving your head slowly and looking like a robot to the rest of the world. I was willing to do just about anything to make it go away.


Including trying something as seemingly strange as tapping. I had been hearing a lot about “tapping,” or EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). Said to be a combination of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology, proponents said it remedied a vast number of issues. I’d been reading one miraculous story after another, so I thought, Why not? Might as well try it and see what happens. To my astonishment, the pain—which would normally have taken days to go away—vanished within ten minutes. Ah, relief! To be able to turn my head again like a normal person and not feel uncomfortable all day! This tapping thing actually worked.

Since that fateful day, Nick has become a champion of tapping—teaching the art and applying the science to help people around the world with a world full of incredibly varied difficulties and conditions. Last week, Nick’s best-selling book on the subject was released in paperback format for the benefit of a whole new cast of customers who like a lightweight, portable volume to refer to. I recommend The Tapping Solution for anyone who wants a powerful tool for help with issues ranging from anxiety, chronic pain, addiction and fear to weight control, financial abundance, stress relief, and more. The book helps you learn how to start tapping and begin to release all that is holding you back from creating the life you want.

Here’s a video that I did with Nick that will give you an idea of what tapping looks like and what it can do

I’m also including an excerpt from Nick’s book The Tapping Solution below about an area you may not have imagined where tapping has proved invaluable.



By Nick Ortner

Professional athletes at the highest levels of competition use EFT not only to improve their sports performance, but to change their lives. That includes a major league baseball team—one that has won the World Series in the past ten years. (That’s as specific as I can get without breaking confidentiality agreements.) There are PGA golfers using EFT to cut strokes off their game, to calm their nerves and steady their hands. And there are NFL players who have used EFT to get back on the field after injury faster than the competition.

Athletes are using it, with great results. So why aren’t they talking about it? The reasons are obvious. First of all, professional sports is so competitive that a slight advantage can make all the difference; the edge EFT can give a player or a team might be worth millions of dollars, not to mention massive recognition and prestige. If you had that kind of advantage, you wouldn’t share it with your competition, either!

While I understand why athletes are reluctant to admit that they’re using EFT, it’s frustrating as well. The public has a lot of respect and admiration for athletes, and if they saw athletes using this strange tapping technique, they’d likely try it too! Celebrities and athletes can truly lead the way in making this technique mainstream—thereby changing millions of lives.


Getting Back on the Field

The thing about baseball is that every mistake, every misstep, is logged, tracked, and analyzed. One off day, with a couple of errors, goes in the record books forever.

It’s hardly surprising that major league baseball players have to manage their fair share of anxiety. That’s where EFT expert Stacey Vornbrock comes in. She works with professional athletes, using tapping to help improve their game.

One pro ball player Stacey worked with had become so overwhelmed by anxiety that he’d developed a set of specific rituals that had to be done in a precise order before each game, in the hopes that they would act as a magic formula to calm his nerves. But it had gotten to the point where he was always the last one on the field. Even worse, his rituals weren’t doing the job. His anxiety continued to grow and grow, and his performance was suffering.

He came to Stacey, and they tapped on the core issues causing his performance anxiety. Very quickly, he was able to relax, and after years of obsessing about his pregame rituals, he was able to stop using them. What’s more, he was no longer the last player out of the clubhouse!

It was great progress, but there was more tapping to do to get his performance numbers back to where he wanted them. After working through his emotional angst, it was time to address past injuries, another common obstacle to peak performance in professional athletes.

There was one past injury in particular that was holding him back—restricting his range of movement, agility, and confidence. Stacey led him through tapping rounds, using her injury recovery protocols to release the emotional energy his muscles had stored since that injury first happened. It worked! His body returned to its preinjury form, and he was once again able to make aggressive plays and dives. His performance numbers quickly improved, boosting his confidence, energy, and motivation to play to the very best of his ability.

Recovering from Past Injuries

Stacey has seen again and again how damaging past physical trauma can be to athletes, who are expected to perform at the top of their game day in and day out. One professional golfer had suffered a brutal physical assault many years earlier, and came to her seeking new ways to improve his game. She soon realized that the physical beating he had endured—the unfortunate result of a wrong-place-wrong-time moment—had gotten locked in his body. He was a natural athlete, but since the assault, he’d been unable to trust that his body would do what he needed it to.

They tapped on releasing the original event and reconnecting with his body’s innate athletic abilities. Before long, he was able to release the negative emotional energy that had been inside him all that time and allow his body to hit the shots it naturally knew how to execute. His game not only improved, but the emotional freedom he recovered gave him the energy to pursue even more opportunities in his career—and his life.

Professional athletes are an extreme example of the performance issues anyone can experience. Whether it’s anxiety over your tennis game or lingering discomfort from that old knee injury, you can rest assured that what works for professionals is equally effective for casual-but-committed athletes. While tapping can’t necessarily replace good conditioning, it can have amazingly positive effects on your mind and body—helping your body heal and freeing you from the emotions that can prevent you from performing at your full potential.

Unlike conventional therapies, tapping also helps athletes at any level reconnect with their bodies. Athletes who work with trainers and take frequent lessons, Stacey explains, can go into information overload.

“The more they get into their left brains,” she says, “The worse they play, because there’s too much going on.”

EFT can help you use your subconscious to improve your performance by quieting the mental noise that tends to get in the way. Rather than trying to consciously think your way to a better swing, you can let your brain absorb the information, give your body time to practice the movement, and use tapping to release your anxiety and clear the way for your body to incorporate those instructions on its own. Just think about commanding all the muscles in your body to throw a baseball or swing a golf club. It’s an impossible feat to do with the conscious mind. The subconscious provides the instructions, and the body follows. For top athletes it’s often a critical advantage to have a tool that integrates the “bodymind” and lets their bodies feel their way to enhanced performance.


WAYNE W. DYER, PH.D., is an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development. He's the author of over 30 books, has created many audio programs and videos, and has appeared on thousands of television and radio shows. 

His books Manifest Your Destiny, Wisdom of the AgesThere's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, and the New York Times bestsellers 10 Secrets for Success and Inner PeaceThe Power of IntentionInspirationChange Your Thoughts—Change Your LifeExcuses Begone, and now Wishes Fulfilled have all been featured as National Public Television specials.

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