Hypnotist puts losing club Ipswich

Australian hypnotist puts losing club Ipswich Town on winning streak

By Dave Murray in London, England

January 21, 2009

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

Since Ipswich Town engaged Perth-based Rick Collingwood, the struggling team have won four games, drawn two and lost three. But they have won three and drawn one of the past four matches.

"If you look at the stats there's been a significant improvement and I'm rapt," Collingwood said.

Former top-flight Ipswich are a step below the Barclays Premier League in the Coca-Cola Championship. The club has been firmly wedged around the middle of the table, despite a new owner anda 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 said 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 play 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."

Last weekend, they enjoyed their best result of the season, defeating favourites Crystal Palace 4-1 at Selhurst Park.

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 play 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," Skippings joked.

"But if it works, then as a fan I'm all for it."