With over 15 years of experience, Pattie Freeman has a wide range of clients that she has helped quit smoking, lose weight, improve work performance, overcome addiction and irrational fears, just to name a few of life’s vices and crisis that we may need assistance conquering.
She does it through hypnotherapy.
The Hypnosis programs offered at her Scottsdale, Arizona and Beverly Hills, California locations or online, are customized to the individual’s needs whether it's sports performance or injuries, weight loss, pain, oncology, regression, prosperity success or depression.
Her field, which you can find out even more about on her website www.elitehypnotist.com is a growing tool for people of all walks of life who are striving to find an edge and maximize their mental capacity.
Pattie has worked with many high-profile athletes to help unlock their potential, including Eric Young, Jr. (NY Mets), Trevor Cahill (Chicago Cubs), Lou Amundsen (NY Knicks) and Anquan Boldin (San Francisco 49ers), just to name a few.
The Shadow League spoke to Pattie about her career and the growing demand for her services, particularly in the athletic arena. Part of Pattie’s approach is rooted in visualization techniques, allowing her clients to train the brain and body through the power of suggestion.
Pattie Freeman: The client/athlete wants to change. In order to change, you have to visualize a perfect game, being quicker, hitting the ball out of the park, pitching consistent strikes, etc. Whatever they want is really deep inside and all they have to do is access it by visualization.
The suggestions I use in a session are really told to me by the client. I don’t need to know how to play the sport, but I do understand the mind, how it works and what it wants to hear in order to achieve peak performance. Visualization is seeing it happen right before your eyes. Your mind doesn’t know the difference between reality or your imagination, so if you visualize yourself doing something you really want to achieve, you need to visualize it consistently in your mind. It will start to believe and before you know it, you start doing it as if you did it before... like a déjà vu moment, I call it. The mind is strong, and I just facilitate getting them back to their peak level of performance.
If they have an injury or are in a slump, I can help get them back in the game quicker with this technique.
P. Freeman: At one time, each of these athletes needed help on their focus and concentration skills to gain peak performance levels. They are considered perfectionists in their field. In the past, they have excelled and still do in all aspects of their lives. For them, sports is their career - it’s everything. They are the most hard-working individuals that a lot of people don’t recognize. It doesn’t matter what sport you play or how you play, it’s that they are dedicated and committed to their team. Each of these athletes are the best in what they do, and I was just a part of shaping their mental edge to help push them further.
Gambler: That mental aspect of the game is so important and it’s something that media and players rarely speak about ? Why?
P. Freeman:The media doesn’t have the knowledge I do concerning hypnotherapy techniques. Some are not aware of how powerful sports mental training can be for an athlete or anyone. Many of the players have misconceptions about the power of the mind. Many athletes aren’t taught about visualization skills or how to use the mind to become a better athlete. The media feels that having talent is what makes you who you are.
Actually believing in yourself with positive thoughts, using the visualization skills and the talent is what makes you the elite player that you really are. Athletes aren’t the only people that use this technique, we all do and the mind is a powerful thing. Just be careful what you ask for, because you can actually get it. Success, a win or anything else you might want.
Gambler: What are some of your biggest sports success stories? We saw how Eric Young Jr. exploded that one weekend with the Mets after meeting with you. What did you do specifically for Boldin or Amundson?
P. Freeman: Many of the athletes I work with are very private, but I worked with Amundson when he was on the Suns. He came to me in order to improve his free throws and become more aggressive on the court.
Gambler: Does a pro athlete’s mind function in a different way than your other clients?
P. Freeman: The only difference between athletes and regular clients is that the athletes are goal achievers, are dedicated individuals who take the sessions seriously. Their minds strive for success and perfection and they are all hard-working. They’re harder on themselves and I help them get out of their heads so they can go out there and play the game to get the results they want.
Gambler:How did you get your start with hypnotherapy. Did it come from a personal experience ?
Years ago, I switched my career and went back to school for massage therapy. Upon finishing, I was working as a sports massage therapist and used visualization techniques to help the client relax. During my sessions, I would have my clients visualize doing something they wanted to improve. When they would return, they would come to tell me what they were able to accomplish. When my son played football, I used visualization with him as well. I researched it a lot and found a very successful psychologist who became my mentor. From there, I became a certified hypnotherapist with a psychology background and began to pursue sports mental training.
I was offered a position at my son’s high school, where he was captain of the football team... as their mental trainer. Their team hadn’t won a state championship in 25 years and when I was with them, they won three state championships in a row.
Gambler: How was your life growing up ? What did you do before you transitioned into this?
P. Freeman: My dad passed when I was nine, I was raised by my mother in Chicago so of course, I’m a Chicago Bears, Bulls and Cubs fan. When I had Trevor playing on the Cubs and Eric Young playing on the Mets, it was hard to choose. Before this, I was a successful business owner and decided to change careers. I wanted more out of life and wanted to help people. The passion that I have for my career and working with such wonderful athletes and clients, I can actually say I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
Gambler: What is the most common problem you find in athletes that ask for your help?
P. Freeman: The most common problem is they expect so much out of themselves and they feel disappointed if they are not performing at that level. Many people don’t understand the pressures they carry in their mind. There are so many people they have to please and still play the best of the best under these pressures. Athletes are normal people that have a talent and passion and they get a chance to show it by being able to live their dream.
Gambler: Do you ever meet with clients in secrecy?
P. Freeman: I have an agreement with my sports clients that anything that is said in my room is kept confidential unless they otherwise want to talk about it with others. A lot of them don't want to disclose it thinking they have an edge on the other team. Some of them feel the other players wouldn't understand what they're doing so they keep it secret. The funny thing is that many of those other teammates already come to me as clients but I cannot disclose that to any of them. Sometimes one client walks out the front door and the other one is coming through the back door which is one of their teammates. Right now, I have three athletes on the same team that all come to me and none of them know.
Gambler: Do you incorporate music in your therapy sessions?
P. Freeman: Yes, I have bio feed music that I use in the background during my sessions that involve my voice and visualization skills suggestions. I also give a motivational session that helps clients in between so they can listen to it when they work out, or are on their way to the game or even in the locker room.
Gambler: You’ve worked with people as young as 5 years old What would a kid that age need hypnotherapy for ?
P. Freeman: The five-year-old is a skateboard athlete. He puts in 30 hours a week skating. He tells me when he comes home from school at noon he eats, get dressed and goes out to skate. He has three instructors and he skates like a 13-year-old. He came to me for confidence, focus and concentration skills. He is definitely an athlete in the making and will succeed. He’s ready to have the dedication and commitment to the sport.
Gambler: What’s your ultimate goal in your field and what are some of your interests outside of your profession ?
P. Freeman: My ultimate goal is to work with the whole team. My dream job would be to work for a team like the Phoenix Coyotes or the Arizona Cardinals. It’s amazing how having a few players from each team can make a difference, but if I had the opportunity to work with a whole team, it would be a amazing to see them go to the Super Bowl, win the Stanley Cup or the World Series.
I am an instructor for the NGH so I train professional Hypnotherapists, but I’m actually so involved in my practice that even the fun things I do still involve my profession. I perform at corporate / college and comedy events to demo what hypnosis is all about. I also donate my time to the American Cancer Society, Relay For Life and the child crisis center.
Gambler: How many hours do you spend in a given day or week working? What's a normal travel schedule for you?
P. Freeman: My schedule is by appointment. I work everyday - I try to take at least one day off during the week to get my errands done. If I am needed, I go to the field and work with the athlete. I also do Skype and phone sessions for international athletes. Currently, I have hockey players in Germany, soccer players in the UK, hockey players in Canada and Equestrian in Ireland and the UK. Those appointments are usually in the middle of the night so my hours vary, but I’m on call 24/7.
My travel depends on if I go to the stadium or field. Since I’m not with a team, the athletes usually come to my office or have session through Skype. Normally, I go to their game to see how the sports training is working for them, so my work does not stop when they leave my office. I work with a lot of college athletes being looked at by scouts from all over the U.S. Coaches have called asking for my help and they will bring me in and provide travel. I’m grateful to say my clients are all types of athletes including lacrosse, jockeys, polo, poker players, billiards, skateboarders, IndyCar/NASCAR racers - the list is endless.
Gambler: Where are some fabulous places your work has taken you?
P. Freeman: All places in the sports field are fabulous. I love working with the athletes and being in their environment. My profession isn’t about traveling and going to fabulous places, it’s about having an opportunity to work with great athletes and helping them to be even greater. Seeing the results in action is my fabulous place.
Gambler: Recall an anecdote or encounter that was most inspirational to you as an expert in your field.
P. Freeman: I was at a professional hockey game and saw the goalie sitting in the back of the net. Nobody else was there, just the team. Knowing some of the hockey players that I work with, they looked puzzled as they saw this new goalie jump up behind the net, stretching out his hand into a high place and low with his eyes closed. While I was watching him, one of the players asked me what he was doing. I told him, “He’s visualizing.” The confused player didn’t understand what I was saying. I told him he probably knows the opponents must have a player that hits a high puck into the net and he is just preparing his mind. The player shrugged his shoulders and walked away. I introduced myself to the goalie and he explained that he was preparing himself because the other team has a powerful player that hits high when he’s close to the net.
In the game, the very first shot that was made was hit high and the goalie jumped so high off the ice, lifted his right arm and caught the puck in mid air. By the time his skates hit the ice, the player that was asking questions looked right at me, shook his head yes and gave me the thumbs up. The goalie later told me if he didn’t practice his visualization skills, he probably would never have caught that puck. After that game, I had a few new clients wanting more information on how to improve their game. That goalie was an inspiration not just to the team, but to me for showing first hand that visualization does work if you truly let it.