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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Eagles look to punch above their weight

Crystal Palace have turned to hypnotherapy ahead of their return to the Premier League.

Glenn Catley was WBC Super Middleweight Champion in 2000.
Glenn Catley was WBC Super Middleweight Champion in 2000.

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.”

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