Power Your Golf with VisualizationCopyright © 1999 - 2035 Craig Townsend
One of the biggest problems I have found facing most golfers is a distinct lack of real belief in their own ability.
I am not talking about external confidence but real inner belief that you truly KNOW that can make a shot when you need it, and beat those lower-handicapped players.
This is a feeling which cannot be faked, and which is absolutely essential when it comes to playing the back nine on competition day. Those who implode on the back nine are usually missing this inner belief which is required to reach the greatest heights of your own personal golfing ability.
A lack of real belief in oneself creates a mental approach of fear, which cause a whole variety of different problems for players during a round, the most common ones being:
* a deep inner feeling of not being good enough
* first tee nerves (especially in front of a small crowd of players)
* practicing brilliantly but playing badly or inconsistently in competition
* negative thoughts between shots
* worrying about small details which may never occur (uncontrollables)
* intimidated by lower-handicapped players
* making unusual or silly mistakes during a round, on crucial shots
* regularly recurring problems in competition
* not looking forward to competition
Once players gradually begin to believe in themselves, these symptoms often disappear completely or reduce substantially, allowing positive feelings of confidence, anticipation and even a general feeling of happiness and eagerness to fill your mind and body during a round. This is a far better mental preparation for a strong performance.
Don't get me wrong, however, nervousness before you go out to play is not a bad thing! It's a sign that you are psyched up and ready to go. (So don't get nervous if you're nervous!!) It's only extreme nervousness that most players can do without as they tee off.
So what is the best way I know to begin to create belief in yourself and your own golfing ability?
Daily visualization. Let me explain, this is all you have to do. Every day for 5 minutes (or even if just for a few minutes) vividly imagine in your mind the absolute perfect round you would love to play at your next competition, as if it is really happening right at that very moment.
This literally programmes your subconscious mind for success (much like a computer), it's a form of self-hypnosis which is very safe, easy and it works brilliantly.
A crucial element - when you visualize playing in your mind, use all your senses - imagine seeing the players, greens, fairways and surroundings, all in their respective colours, and most of all - feel that amazing joy of victory when you shoot a fabulous round.
If you do this every day for around 5 minutes, you will gradually notice a shift in your confidence levels before and during rounds, and your results will begin to steadily improve. I don't have the space to tell you how this works, except to say that this creates a mental program (or blueprint) in the area of your mind that is the control-center of all of your body's movements.
Now the only trick to it is this - it's only the truly dedicated players who will do this every day. This very quickly sorts out the serious players from the ones who just wish they were better, but are not willing to do anything about it. Are you willing to try this for 5 minutes a day? If you do, you may well discover a whole range of extra benefits from it as well, which even go far beyond golf.
There are many important aspects to visualization which you should know about (I could probably write 100 pages on this topic alone), but some of the important aspects it can be used for are to:
* overcome extreme nervousness
* learn new technical skills or aspects of a swing far more easily and quickly
* overcome and conquer intimidation and self criticism
* dramatically increase your own inner self-belief
* increase your energy, enthusiasm and motivation
* relax easily and quickly
* banish negativity, and sustain positivity
* recover from illness and injuries more quickly
* learn to make contact with the sleeping giant inside you, your subconscious
* and many, many others
But that's all in the future - begin today, find a quiet place for 5 minutes and start your daily mental training routine. Be patient and persistent, and the results will come - they always do.
NB. if visualization is a challenge for you, try my Mind Training for Golf visualization program, which takes you through the entire process automatically.
"The Mind controls the body, and the Mind is Unlimited"
The best of success, Craig Townsend
Mind Training for
Golf Mental Training Program