Mental Golf Tips
Golf…it’s all in your head
“Visualization is the most powerful thing we have.” – Sir Nick Faldo
As I was preparing for this edition of Cambodia Golf Today, I asked myself to take a little detour into the world of Golf and the topic for this edition: Visualization.
I Googled the words “Visualization Golf”. Here’s a very short list of what I saw: “Turn into a birdie machine using visualization,” “Three steps to visualize great shots,” “Visualization for Golf – You Can Do It Like Tiger Woods, “and much, much more. What I found was almost overwhelming. By the way, the article “You Can Do it Like Tiger Woods,” I hope you read my last article about Modeling behavior. That article will help you to move one step closer to achieving your goals.
In this edition I want to discuss how we can use our mental power of visualizing to achieve whatever it is we want. Visualizing is an integral part of everyday life, whether talking about golf (sports in general), business, even in our personal lives.
In business, many top executives (leaders) have a vision of where they want to take their companies. Inspiring Leaders harness the power of visualization to picture the future and convince others that working together can bring that vision to reality. One of Steve Jobs’ famous quotes was “A computer for the rest of us”. His vision of a “computer for the rest of us” sparked the personal computer revolution and made Apple an icon of American business.
For you, the golfer, visualization can start with something as simple as your journey to the course. Visualizing every little detail, from walking into the locker room, tying on your golf shoes, putting on your gloves, touching the clubs, gripping the clubs, standing in the tee-box, then visualizing that perfect drive onto the green.
Something to know in advance, the human mind cannot distinguish between what is real and what is not real. Think about a bad dream you’ve had. Have you ever woken up with your heart racing or getting the cold sweats watching a scary movie? Was that real? Your mind didn’t know it wasn’t real. So, you can trick your mind into thinking things are real and making them reality for you.
Apply visualization to golf – Outline the basic content of what it is you want to be imagined, the perfect drive, the perfect putt. Write it down in the first person (“I’m picking up the three-wood hitting the ball perfectly straight down the fairway for 300 yards”). Ensure you include all components of the skill to be imagined and the behavior(s) to be emphasized. Describe the technique in step-by-step detail.
Add some details – Use your senses to fully associate to the experience—describe all of the colors, the sounds, and of course the feelings. Describe the environment; e.g., your surroundings, the weather, etc.
Describe your movements such as speed and/or direction. Add the kinesthetic (feelings) to your vision, your physiological or body responses, and the emotional responses. Add words, action words that clearly describe the quality of actions or emotions in your vision.
Refine the Script – Read it to yourself and imagine the event in all its sensory, action, and emotional detail. Ask yourself, are you actually executing the skill or experiencing the event? You should be experiencing the event. If not, re-examine the descriptors (feelings, emotions, sounds, colors) and action words to see if they accurately reflect the sensations associated with this action. One final step is you can record yourself. When you have a suitable script, record it, then use it as a prompt for your imagery training.
The key – When you choose to visualize, you move closer to achieving your goal. So when you arrive at the event you’ll experie,nce a feeling or sensation of “this looks kind of familiar; it seems like I have seen something like this before.” If you can achieve this state, you will achieve your goal, whether that’s the perfect drive, the perfect pitch, or perfect putt.
Look forward to my next installment where I’ll talk about something that complements visualization: FOCUS.
“If you can dream it, you can do it!”
- Walt Disney
Coach Al Valentine is a professional Human Performance Coach who holds master coaching certifications in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and Time-Line Therapy. Coach Valentine is a former government diplomat, career military officer, he holds various post-graduate degrees and certifications.
Visit the website of Human Performance Academy for more information.