Cus D’amato knew of the benefits of using a Hypnotist for his fighters, below is an excerpt from Bad Intentions: the Mike Tyson story by Peter Heller.
During the build up to the Tyson-Spinks fight
Away from the spotlight, yet with Tyson every day in the weeks leading up to the fight was a member of his entourage somewhat unique to the training camp of a fighter. His name is John Halpin. He remained quietly in the background, out of reach to the curious and inquiring press, which is always looking for a story or an ‘angle’.
John Halpin, nevertheless, had been with Mike Tyson since his very first fight as a professional, brought in by Cus D’amato, who had been using Halpin’s expertise for his fighters for nearly twenty years. John Halpin is a hynotherapist.
From his office on West 72nd Street in Manhattan, just off Central Park West, Halpin spent most of his time working with patients who used his services to help them lose weight or quit smoking through hypnotic suggestion, D’amato believed in the value of hypnosis to help his fighters more quickly overcome doubts, fears and lack of confidence.
He would often bring boys down from Catskill, three or four at a time, to have Halpin work with them in his office. Along with D’Amato’s fighters, D’Amato disciples such as Joey Fariello and Teddy Atlas have brought their boxers to Halpin as well, and he has worked with Canada’s Hilton brothers, heavyweight Art Tucker, Canadian champion Donny Poole, light-heavyweight champion Donny Lalonde and welterweight champion Mark Breland.
Halpin first worked with Tyson when D’amato brought him down from Catskill to the hypnotist’s Manhattan office when Mike was sixteen years old. But his regular work with Mike began when Tyson turned pro in 1985. Except for a few of the easy fights, Halpin has worked with Mike for every important fight along the way. ‘Cus believed in the hypnotist’s ability to reinforce the lessons of the trainer…
Usually a man is brought to me who does have great basic mechanics but has fears that are overwhelming and are handicapping him. Unless a man has the mechanics, I can’t help him. I can [only] help him overcome his psychological obstacles so that he can develop the mechanics much more quickly,’ says Halpin.
D’Amato would often be present at the sessions, and when Halpin had Tyson under hypnosis he would get D’Amato to talk directly to the fighter, to reassure him that whatever doubts he had were unfounded. ‘you have a wonderful right hand,’ he would say. ‘you haven’t believed in it, but now you’re going to.’
Now, as the fight approached, Halpin was constantly working with Tyson, as often as twice a day. his procedure was aways the same. He would get Mike in a relaxed, comfotable position, lying on a bed or perhaps on the floor. He would then place him under hypnosis and proceed to talk to him about his fears, about how his doubts and concerns were unfounded, emphasizing how good, how talented he was, perhaps talking him through how he was going to perform in the fight. After the session, he would generally leave Mike in a deep sleep, telling him how refreshed he was going to feel when he awoke.
‘Every fighter has fear. that’s part of the reason why I see a fighter a lot in the weeks before a fight. I want to work with him two times a day for four or five days while he’s in training. Then I want to work with him four or five days right before the fight, then a week before the fight, then the days leading up to the fight, whether he knows it or not. He can be walking around in a daze. It may not hit him as a big, fearful emotion, but rather as an underlying uneasiness, and that’s why he needs me. It is ever-building toward the cimax. It isn’t on an even keel.’
That is why, Halpin says, it requires more intense work as the fight draws closer. he was worked with inducing a hypnotic trance in Tyson as close as two hours before a fight, but he is quick to point out that Mike never fights while under hypnosis. At fight time, Halpin would be in his seat at ringside, near Cayton and Jacobs.
Like the managers, once it is fight time, he can do nothing. Their jobs are done, and all they can do is wach. the only differnce being is that Jacobs and Cayton are known, are recognized, are greeted , interviewed, photographed. John Halpin remains annymous.
The public watches the invincible Mike Tyson, unaware that a hypnotist has been constantly at his side helping him to prepare for his fights. it’s one of the things Jacobs and Cayton did no make public, feeling , perhaps, thats it had no part in the Tyson myth.
Source: Bad Intentions: The Mike Tyson story by Peter Heller
Many Fighters use a mind coach or hypnotist to assist in their Fight because keeping the mind focused is paramount in a fight, removing all negative thoughts will assist hugely in the fighter giving his complete effort.
Giving 100% effort is key , losing a fight can be accepted if the fighter gave great effort and just lost and learned a lot from it on how to do better next time, but to lose a fight because of losing focus, lack of confidence or self belief this is a hard pill to swallow because it won’t matter what training was done during fight camp the fight will be lost due to distractions that the fight game brings , wether that’s pressure to get the Win , fighting on the Big stage , family problems the list goes on ….
These negative thoughts ,feelings and emotions can be removed using hypnosis and then again using hypnosis positive thoughts ,feelings and emotions installed in there place , Imagine how much better You will perform with a clear focused mind….
My commitment for fighters using the Fight Camp Hypnosis Package, is that I will get the fighter ready 100%, and they will perform to the best of their ability mentally….