“I'm glad I became a fighter...it had its ups and downs and everything, but...one of the best things that we do, is to decide to take up fighting.”
- Mike Tyson
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Mike Tyson had an absentee father. Tyson also speaks with a lisp and was often beat up and bullied as a kid.
He became a street hustler and got arrested more than 30 times.
When he was only 16 years old, his mother passed away.
Despite all his hardships, Tyson won the WBC heavyweight championship at just 20 years old.
How did he do it?
After Tyson’s mother passed away, Cus D'Amato, Tyson’s coach, took him in and became a father figure to Tyson.
In an interview with Joe Rogan, Mike Tyson describes how D'Amato trained him.
Mike Tyson: “You know what else Cus D’Amato used to do with me? He used to take me to a hypnotist. He was a hypnotist as well. Yeah, he used to go into the hypnotist motions.
“You relax, you go under, you totally focus on blackness, nothingness. You go under and you’re just being this savage, intelligent animal. You’re just working. You're gonna do this, you're gonna be a ferocious animal.
“You're gonna fight puff puff. Put both hands to the body, you use your jabs and you do this in a ferocious fashion. And I would just think all that when I was younger.”
What Mike Tyson is referring to is known as “sports hypnosis”.
This is the key that many Olympic teams and athletes use, including Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, Kobe Bryant, Wayne Gretzky, and Mohammed Ali.
There’s even an article from 1977 about Olympic teams using sports hypnosis in the New York Times.
But how does hypnosis work? Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis isn’t about losing control; rather, it’s about understanding and influencing your conscious and subconscious mind.
Moreover, while in the hypnotic state, you can only accept suggestions that you believe benefit you; anything else will be rejected.
By working with D’Amato, someone Tyson whole-heartedly trusted, Tyson — despite coming from a background of being abandoned and bullied — transformed into a world champ.
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