Crystal Palace have turned to hypnotherapy ahead of their return to the Premier League.
Palace manager Ian Holloway has asked Glenn Catley, a former British world boxing champion, to give his side a psychological edge.
Catley told talkSPORT on Tuesday: “I make no secret of the fact that, for the last ten years of my career, I underwent clinical hypnosis. I’m unequivocal that I would have gone nowhere near as far [without it]. I wasn’t the best, I wasn’t the most gifted [but] going into all my championship fights, although I was written off for the vast majority of them, I was always incredibly confident.”
As a result, the 41-year-old undertook a course in clinical psychotherapy, hypnosis and sports psychology in Bristol eight years ago.
“Hypnotherapy is still, dare I say it, stigmatised to a degree,” he added. “When you mention hypnotherapy to people, they start thinking: ‘Look into my eyes, look into my eyes’ and clucking like chickens around a stage, which is all very entertaining - but in reality that side of hypnotherapy is complete nonsense.
“Hypnotherapy is a completely natural state, something each and every one of us on this planet goes into many times a day. When we put someone into a relaxed state of body and mind, it allows us access to the subconscious mind. Given that access... [that] is when we can reprogramme patterns of thought, patterns of behaviour and improve many, many psychological conditions.”
Catley said a chance meeting with Holloway had led to him to work with the Eagles.
“Two months ago, I was out walking the dog and bumped into Ian, a good friend from way back in the West Country where we both live,” he told The Independent.
“After talking to him about what I did, he invited me to meet his players. He told me they have all the talent, but psychologically they were letting a few demons creep in. Now I see them for a few days every week, including the first-team squad.”