Sophrology teaches wellbeing techniques mainly from Asia (India/yoga, Japan/zazen, Nepal/tummo) from which all religious patterns have been removed to make them practical and easy to use on a daily basis in modern life. It is a multidisciplinary method that draws on ancestral knowledge. Throughout history, humanity has tried to sublimate the power of its consciousness in order to broaden the scope of its understanding, optimize its concentration or improve its learning capacities.

Since its creation in 1960 by neuro-psychiatrist Alfonso Caycedo, sophrology has seen the birth of several currents. The one that seems to me to be the most holistic, successful, to accompany an athlete is psycho-behavioural sophrology. It’s the one I practice and use with athletes.

Sports sophro-pedagogy in psycho-behavioral sophrology

Psycho-behavioral sophrology provides effective tools to work on the mental skills necessary to improve sports performance while remaining in pleasure and respecting the athlete’s ecology. 

Sports sophro-pedagogy allows the athlete to analyse, structure and channel his/her energies in order to improve his/her performance and results without having focused on winning. Mental preparation uses specific tools depending on the training or competition periods. It finds its place before, during and after the sporting event and aims for the athlete to achieve his autonomy through the acquisition of tools adapted to his needs.

The athlete will be able to act on what he feels, what he thinks and what he does, the three levels of organization (physiological, cognitive and behavioral), components of sports performance.

The aim of sports sophro-pedagogy is to support the athlete towards the achievement of a concrete goal. Dialogue is important. The support is based on a pact of reciprocal trust. Throughout the duration of the sophrological support, it is essential that everyone retains their free will. The athlete being supported plays an active role in the process. The goal is to achieve rapid autonomy to use the techniques on their own whenever they need them, usually between 8 and 12 weeks due to one session per week. In addition to the practice of relaxation at the beginning of the process and intra-sophronic activation techniques performed in an altered state of consciousness (close to modern hypnosis), psycho-behavioural sophrology is inspired by the latest behavioural, cognitive and emotional therapies but also by the work of Carl Rogers and his “Person-Centered Approach”, NLP and coaching in order to help the athlete see clearly to express what he wants and what he expects.

Psycho-behavioural sophrology is an innovative form of sophrology. Each support is subject to a personalized protocol since each person is different. A pre- and post-session interview allows me to stay in touch with the athlete’s needs and allow him (her) to move forward on his resources as well as on his difficulties. At the end of the session, a prescription of tasks to be done at home or during training, invites him to actively mobilize what has been worked on during the session.

Sophrology helps us to optimize our possibilities, to recognize our emotions, to accept them and to find new resources to cope with everyday events. 

At the end of a sophrological support, you will not be a better version of yourself but simply closer to yourself.

My Path to Sophrology

At the age of 18, I discovered the virtues of breathing, muscle relaxation and positive visualizations. I have used these techniques all my life; They have often served me on my expeditions and in life in general.
I have been a sports educator and professional skipper for 40 years. I have seen countless crew members passing onboard and I have always been fascinated by the richness of the different personalities I have been able to meet during these years. 

I have always strived, with great pleasure, to welcome my teams and my customers so that everyone finds a place to their measure, in a harmonious way, in the crew. A team is for me a sum of individuals who share the same goal. 

Life aboard a sailboat is radically different from life on land. I found it interesting to set up the conditions for the less experienced to succeed in overcoming their fears and living these changes with serenity especially when the sea and bad weather were part of the game. For the others, I remained attentive so that they could flourish more in this environment that seemed to suit them.

Along the way, I became interested in Psycho-behavioral sophrology. The tone set by the teaching team and their great intellectual honesty immediately seduced me. I realized, along the way, that this new great adventure offered me many effective and useful tools and an opportunity to be able to broaden the scope of my support by integrating these tools into the heart of my professional activity.

Olivier Pitras

For contact information and prices, see the “Athlete’s mental training” page.



“As for the future, it is not a question of predicting it but of making it possible”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry