In golf you often hear phrases such as “See the ball in” or, in the case of a sand shot, “See the ball landing close to the pin”. I often wonder how many golfers really follow such instructions. Do they really SEE the ball rolling along the green and into the cup, or SEE the ball flying out of the bunker and landing on the green, back skipping and then running just a little further, ending up just beside the cup?
I suspect that many golfers overlook the importance of visualization in golf altogether. And then there are those who do recognize the importance of visualizing the ball going where they want it to go, and sometimes remember to employ their third eye whilst at other times kick themselves for forgetting to do so.
There are probably an exceedingly slender percentage of golfers who employ visualization when off the golf course altogether. You often see golfers practicing their swing when standing around in the most unlikely places. You can tell that they have an imaginary club in their hands and they go through the physical motions of a real golf swing. But do they do this in a purely mental sense? Probably not.
This is a great shame as off course visualization can have a remarkable impact. One study, which supports this fact, was undertaken by the Department of Sport and Exercise Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University, in the UK.
In this study golfers were randomly assigned to one of three groups – one group undertook physical practice of bunker shots, another group were assigned real practice plus visualization practice and a final group were detailed to practice in a purely imaginary sense. All of the groups improved significantly, and there was no significant difference found between the pure visualization groups and the pure practice groups. The group that improved the most was the one that was assigned both physical and visualization practice.
Thus one can see the value of golfers undertaking armchair visualization practice as well as seeing the ball where you want it to go whilst out on the course. The beauty of visualization of course is that every shot is perfect and so your brain records only good shots. This is a really superb way in which a golfer can build both technique and confidence.
Roseanna Leaton, golf addict and specialist in golf hypnosis mp3s and author of the GolferWithin golf mind training system.
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