SHOWMAN Keith Barry is playing some Olympic mind games with athletes from Team Ireland.
The Waterford hypnotist (35) believes the only thing standing between Team Ireland and Olympic gold is mind control.
"I've been doing some work with a number of the athletes going over to London, helping them to prepare mentally," Mr Barry said yesterday.
"It's all about reprogramming their subconsciousness -- learning how to readjust themselves when something goes wrong.
"The thing is, all of these athletes are more or less at the same level physically. The difference between winning and losing comes down to how they handle stress, how they are able to focus under pressure etc," he added.
Mr Barry already counts badminton star Scott Evans as one of his success stories.
Yesterday high-jump Olympic hopeful Deirdre Ryan became the latest athlete to turn to the psychological guru for some last-minute help.
Ms Ryan, who is based in Germany, set an Irish record for the high jump last year when she jumped 1.95m outdoors at the World Championships in South Korea.
"I heard Keith was working with some of the other athletes, so I asked him if he would come in and talk to me to see if he could give me a hand," she told the Irish Independent.
"I am meeting him to talk about the subconscious and working on my confidence. I am leaving no stone unturned ahead of the Olympics. I'm feeling confident at the moment but I know I will get nervous when I arrive in London so I am hoping to address that with Keith," added Ms Ryan, who is set to compete in London on August 9.
The psychological guru hypnotises the athletes in order to put them into an altered state of mind before teaching them to reprogramme their subconscious.
"It's about teaching them to take control of their subconscious minds and regulate their breathing and heart rate and remain super concentrated and focused during times of extreme stress. If they have a confidence issue I can help them to push through that too on a subconscious level," he said.
And it's not only athletes who can turn to Mr Barry for help in achieving their goals as next year he intends to set up a consultancy clinic.
"I plan to set up the clinic to help people deal with anything from psychological mindsets to winning mindsets to people's fears, phobias, problems and stresses. Any success that people are trying to achieve is psychologically based," he said.
- Keith Barry’s smash hit show ‘Eight Deadly Sins’ is running during the month of July at the Olympia Theatre, in Dublin.