Walking barefoot on glass. Walking barefoot through hot coals. Bending iron poles with your neck. These are the things Olimar Tesser, Portuguesa's newly-hired team hypnotist, believes are the keys to dragging the Brazilian club out of the relegation zone.
Portuguesa turned to Tesser after only mustering 21 points from their first 27 matches of the season, a tally that has them firmly in the relegation zone of Brazil's second division. The hypnotist has more than a little experience in fiddling around inside the minds of the country's athletes. He's been hired by Atibaia, Jundiaí, Marilia, and individual players from some of the country's biggest teams. The above video shows footage of Atibaia players going through some of his go-to confidence-boosting exercises.
Here's Tesser explaining his methods, which he repeatedly says are "not magic" and instead meant to improve concentration, confidence, and self-esteem:
I work on the human being, the man, and this is reflected on the pitch. He thinks that if he can bend iron and walk on glass, he can do anything in the game. The brain can not distinguish what is true or not. Two minutes of training in hypnosis have the same effect as 20 minutes without.
That actually doesn't sound all that different that the more familiar sports psychologist. There might be more efficient ways than traipsing through glass, though.