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Visualise Your Way to Golf Success!

See it ... Do it!

You probably have often heard me say that you create your own reality.

How many times do you see a hazard as you are about to take a shot, and combined with your self-talk, you have already decided that is exactly where your ball is going to end up? Let's imagine that you are standing on the tee, and you need a carry-over of about 160 yards to clear the water hazard and get it onto the fairway.

Your self-talk may well be saying something along the lines of ... 'be careful otherwise you are going to end up in the water' or 'I just know I am going to find that bunker at the front of the green'. Then when it actually happens you say, "I knew that was going to happen!" The good news is that mental imagery does actually work. The problem here though is that the visual imagery you are creating needs to be taking you towards your goals and not towards the hazards.

There is also no point in saying to yourself, 'Don't hit the ball into the water' as the damage has already been done. Your mind is now focusing on the water. It is a known fact that your actions follow what you last visualised. The mind will only remember the visual part of the sentence.

For instance, if I say to you now, 'Don't think of a Yellow Canoe' what happens?

Your sub-conscious mind does not recognise the 'don't' part of what you are telling yourself. Imagery is not part of language symbols, but rather simply the chemistry of the visual system. The brain uses the same pathways for imagery as it does when seeing. So, by picking a target and seeing where you want the ball to land, will create the right information for you to visualise where you want the ball to go as you set up to take your shot.

The same happens when you say to yourself 'Whatever you do, don't end up in the water!' Your sub-conscious mind now has a visual image of the water and will be supporting your actions to help you send the ball there.

The ability to control mental imagery and move you towards your target will give you a significant advantage.

REMEMBER that practice also makes imperfect. If you are practising the wrong imagery response, such as seeing the ball end up in a hazard, then you are sending the WRONG messages to your sub-conscious mind.

Just as you need to practice your physical skills you also need to practice your mental skills as well.

Focus only on where you want the ball to go ... that perfect spot on the fairway or Green and visualise the ball landing there.

TIP: Imagine going through the entire shot in your mind prior to actually taking your swing. Whilst you are picking your target where you want the ball to land, close your eyes for a few seconds and imagine that ball flying through the air and landing exactly where you want it to. See the shot happening and feel the emotions of elation as though it has landed exactly where you want it to. Then step up to take your shot with this visual walk-through still strong in your mind.

REMEMBER: Your actions follow what you last visualised so make sure you are visualising towards your goal and not away from the hazard.