Target Handicap Niamh Flynn


Introducing Niamh Flynn.

Having worked extensively as a sports psychologist over the years, Niamh suggests that the success of any team, be it in business or sport is dependent on intelligent management of several key areas. Clear goal setting and powerful programming of the subconscious mind can be used effectively to achieve fast and lasting results for individuals who want to achieve their goals. Indeed this approach can be used effectively for business coaching, weight loss, sporting success, to decrease anxiety and to stop smoking.

The eclectic educational background combined with years of experience means that clients will benefit from a personalized programme which will draw on a broad spectrum of tools adapted to best suit requirements. The intention is to deliver high-quality results for clients in the minimum of time.

My Experience of Working with Niamh

At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, again, yours truly is better placed than most to assess the importance of harnessing a positive mental attitude on the golf course. In golf and indeed life, I have found this to be one of my biggest challenges. Blessed with an outlook on life that sees everything half empty rather than half full, the self-talk that goes on within is probably not fit for publication. Unfortunately, my inability to do this has often got me in trouble. That being said, it is important not just in golf but in life, in general, to garner positive attitudes. I could write a novel, akin to War and Peace on the struggles I’ve had with this in life in general, but for now, we’ll focus on golf with an emphasis on putting.

I went to see Niamh, last July, after a miserable start to the season. Despite the fact my golf swing is more akin to a Pierce Purcell Golfer (there goes that positive self talk again), on my day, I’ve always managed to have days where I strike the ball exceptionally well. For years, I’ve always felt my putting held me back despite having had some hot streaks most notably over one Easter Weekend in Rosses Point. The first half of last year saw frustration grow. In particular, a very strong ball striking performance at RCD at the Irish Amateur combined with an average of 37 putts per round proved very frustrating. Four three-putts and a four-putt in the last six hole of the third round made this all the less palatable. 

Now, I must admit that I was the worlds biggest skeptic when it comes to hypnosis. I had six hypnosis sessions with Niamh. Prior to the first session, we chatted mostly about previous achievements and goals for the future. I had four hypnotherapy sessions that really felt more like meditations whereby Niamh brought me back to formers glories and worked on visualizing future triumphs. I was still Skeptical but results soon improved, largely due to improved putting performances. Three Senior Scratch Cups, An Irish Senior Cup, a European Silver Medal, a victory at a Winter Series Event and reaching the lowest handicap of my amateur career at +3 has changed my mind on this. How it works, God knows, but you can’t argue with results. I’m sure, I’ll come in from a bit of slack after this article, but with the positive self-talk growing, I think I’ll manage. Maybe this new found assertion in rubbing off on IGN?

After finishing with Niamh, she gave me a couple of mp3s to assist me to continue to “think better”. After speaking with Niamh about Target Handicap, she agreed to assist. She spoke about her thoughts on Sport Psychology in the following extract

“Sport Psychology is about helping athletes to improve sports performance. The role of the sport psychologist is to help athletes develop the psychological skills which will allow them to reach their goals and enjoy their chosen sport. The areas of interest to golfers frequently include improving concentration, reducing anxiety and specific help with the long or short game.

Pencil and paper assessments can provide an insight in to current mindset and once clear goals are established it is about creating the thought patterns to bridge the gap between where the athlete is right now and where they wish to be in terms of their golf handicap or skills.

After graduating from The University of Sheffield in 1997 with a Masters of Medical Science I came back to the West of Ireland and set up a sport psychology practice. Disillusionment quickly set in. Having worked in the gym industry in a previous existence I was goal driven and wanted results fast. Traditional psychological interventions dragged out over months and years with no great promise of success were not inspiring. I did some research, discovered hypnosis, studied the discipline and that changed everything. Many athletes noticed instant, positive results even after the first consultation. It was about changing beliefs at the subconscious level of the mind which made far more sense to me that negotiating with the limited, logical, conscious mind. My impatient nature was satisfied. Hypnosis works quickly, is effective and has no negative side effects. When combined with an understanding of elite sports performance at both a physiological and psychological level, tangible results can be achieved quickly.

There is still a fear about hypnosis for some individuals so it may be useful to clear up a few misconceptions:
You will hear everything that is said during an hypnosis session.
You will not accept suggestions that you do not wish to accept.
It is a very safe state of mind which we go in and out of naturally during the day, every day, for example when driving a car on a long journey.
You will not be looking for Leprachauns or quacking like a duck – unless you specifically request those suggestions…
You do not have to be relaxed during an hypnosis session but most do experience a pleasant level of relaxation.
You are completely in control throughout an hypnosis session.

If you are aware of any unhelpful thoughts or beliefs you have when playing golf then these are usually easy to change with hypnosis. This in turn has an effect on performance. Whether you want to improve your putting or your long game, you will undoubtedly be aware of just how big a part your mind plays in the game. Just like you can train your body to be physically fitter you can train your mind to be more positive, stronger and more focused.”

If you want to explore more about Niamh’s service you can access more information at

Niamh had also kindly offered a discount of 25% to any IGN members booking hypnotherapy sessions on or before March 2.




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