Oz hypnotist puts club on winning streak

Daily Telegraph - 21 January 2009

MEET the Australian hypnotist hired by an English Championship side to improve its performance - with startling results.

Since Ipswich Town engaged Perth-based Rick Collingwood, the struggling team has not lost in its past four outings.

"If you look at the stats there's been a significant improvement and I'm rapt," Collingwood told The Daily Telegraph yesterday.

Former top-flight Ipswich are a step below the Premier League in the Coca-Cola Championship. The club has been firmly wedged around the middle of the table, despite a new owner and a big injection of cash.

Collingwood was recruited at the start of December after team officials heard about group hypnosis sessions he was holding in the UK.

He held two mass hypnotisms on the team at their training ground.

"They all go into a room together and go down into a trance," Collingwood explained of his hypnotism sessions with the players.

"Basically under direct suggestion they're told they'll perform better, they'll kick harder and more accurately. It enhances their natural capacities. It's just about maximising the inner potential they have already."

He has also prepared a special hour-long CD for players to put on as they go to sleep each night.

But there was some hesitation at first from a small number of the players, Collingwood revealed.

"A few were a little cynical and dubious, mainly because hypnotism is a very misunderstood thing," he said.

"But the first thing I said to them was that they are all professional people with the potential to make huge amounts of money. What I do is maximise what they already know. If I can give them a 10 per cent edge, obviously it is worth it."

Since Collingwood's first session, the team has won four games, drawn two and lost three. But in the past four games they have been closest to a winning streak: three wins and a draw.

Last weekend the Tractor Boys had their best result of the season, defeating favourites Crystal Palace 4-1 in an away game. Ipswich fan Tom Skippings said: "Something must be helping because it's a long time since we've had that kind of win."

This weekend they face the ultimate test, taking on the mighty Chelsea in the FA Cup fourth round.

"I think we need to hypnotise Frank Lampard and John Terry rather than ourselves to have any chance there," joked Skippings. "But if it works, then as a fan I'm all for it."

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