The Do's and Don'ts in Your Golf Mind - Part 1
In golf it is important to train your mind to think about where you want the ball to go, instead of where you do not want it to go. The powerful effect of visualization in golf is truly amazing.
Have you ever wondered why sometimes the more you don't want something to happen the more likely it is that it does happen? That's kind of a strange co-incidence don't you think? Let's examine what happens when you try to not do something...
Try as hard as you can right now to NOT think about a giraffe.
What are you thinking about? It's almost certain to be a giraffe! Now ask yourself did you see the word "giraffe" or did you see it's rather long neck?
So what does this tell us about how our minds work? Firstly, in order to comprehend what it is we are trying not to think about we have to focus on what that thing is. Secondly, we tend to picture it rather than think about the letters of the word; an image of it comes into your mind's eye. And this makes sense if you think about how you learnt as a child; You would have a picture book with the words next to the picture, and that's how you would learn that that particular word represented that particular picture. The picture has more impact - the picture comes first.
What we can learn from this is that where there is a conflict between your will power and your imagination, your imagination wins. Hence in several previous article posts I focused upon the power of visualization in creating a great putting routine, and more particularly, the power of using visualization as a practice routine which you can execute at any time when you are unable to get out and play golf.
If you haven't quite appreciated as yet the extreme power of this mental skill, think of the times that you have stood on the tee thinking "don't go in the bunker" and hey, presto - amazingly that's exactly where the ball ended up. Your mind is EXQUISITELY TALENTED. Unless you are a pretty low handicap player, for most of us to aim the ball into a bunker that's 180 yards away and 2 yards in width, we would probably have to have a few attempts before succeeding; and yet, just by THINKING "don't go in there", it does. Wow! Isn't that amazing?
Once again, what can we learn from this? As you think "Don't" your mind has to comprehend "don't what?" and will PICTURE whatever the object it. And a "picture is worth a thousand words" to quote a well-known, and insightful, phrase. What we golfers need to do is simply to use this knowledge to our advantage. We can choose to PICTURE exactly where we want the golf ball to go. You can picture the exact line that you want the ball to travel along, picture the trajectory, picture the ball landing and rolling and coming to a stop. Your mind understands and responds to pictures automatically, instinctively and EASILY.
Sometime soon, why not get out to the chipping area with a friend? Take it in turns to ask your friend where they are going to land the ball, and put a tee there to mark the precise spot. Then ask them how high the ball will travel; hold your arm out to indicate the exact height. This is a quick way of assisting someone to visualize their shot. Then move away and allow them to execute the shot they have pictured. It's amazing how your visualization skills will improve as you do this, and in this way you are clearly telling the golf ball what to do - you are chipping with clear intent. The result, quite logically, is that the golf ball is far more likely to go where you want it to.
Once you have done this, you can go home, put your feet up, get nice and cozy and simply picture the process all over again. You can have a lovely relax on the sofa, simply visualizing all those fantastic chips, over and over and over again, thereby strengthening those neural pathways in your brain, creating an expectation that those great chips will come off as you want them to.
Why not spend some time focusing upon your mind instead of the mechanics of golf? You can learn how to really visualize your shots with the help of hypnosis downloads. Why do you think the professionals use golf hypnosis? They use golf hypnosis because it works; hypnosis downloads can be used to get you to focus, to stay in the now, to visualize a great shot and to see what you really want to see thereby making it happen. And that’s what you want; you want to make it happen when you are out there on the course.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With a degree in psychology and qualifications in hypnotherapy, NLP and sports psychology, and a great passion for golf, Roseanna Leaton is one of the leading golf psychologists. You can get a free hypnosis download from http://www.roseannaleaton.com/ and view the GolferWithin golf hypnosis cds and downloads at http://www.golferwithin.com/