Visualization is the biggest key, seeing the shot before you hit it and merely letting yourself do it.
—Scott Simpson, golfer
The other morning, my dog was barking in her sleep. She was moving around and even making chewing motions. She was obviously dreaming. She was visualizing.
Have you ever had a dream so vivid that you woke up and thought that it actually happened?
Did it actually happen?
No, only in your mind.
Your brain cannot distinguish between what you visualize and what you actually do physically.
This means that mental practice is just as good as physical practice.
When I spoke to gold medal skier, Lindsey Vonn, she mentioned that she visualizes before she goes down the slope.
You don’t have to be a skier (or a dog) to visualize.
You can visualize before a presentation at work or school. You can visualize before a test.
When you visualize…
1. Make it as realistic as possible (sounds, smells, temperature, surroundings, etc).
2. Imagine how you want to perform (instead of how you DON’T want to perform).
3. Do it in a relaxed state (just before bed is ideal).
Try it and let me know your thoughts.
Take a moment and think about a wonderful event in your life. Where were you? How did you feel? What was the weather like? What smells were in the air? Who else was there?
You just practiced visualization, or imagery.
It doesn’t matter if you visualized a vacation, a great performance in your sport, a delicious meal, your wedding, etc.
Many top athletes use the power of visualization to help them perform at their peak during competition.
I recently heard a powerful example of visualization.
There was a POW, Prisoner of War. While he was held in custody, he visualized himself playing 36 holes of golf, every day. He never physically played a game of golf in his life, but he did this to help pass the time by. This lasted years. And after he became free, he instantly became a great golfer.
You can visualize playing your best game, or your worst game and making adjustments. You can visualize potential challenges and how you would want to react to them. You can visualize when you get into bed at night and you can visualize just before a pitch/point/play/down.
You CAN do all of these things, but WILL YOU?
The mind is a powerful thing, use it to your advantage to play your best game.
Did you know that whatever you think about during the 30 minutes before you go to bed gets replayed in your mind 15 or more times while you’re sleeping?
What do you do right before bed?
Do you watch the news, ie, the down economy, terrorism, food recalls, shootings, etc?
Or do you cultivate gratitude for all you have in your life?
Do you think about what you have to do tomorrow and visualize it going the way you planned?
Your focus is your future.
Think about what you want to happen and don’t give energy to what you don’t.
“I believe that if I can take twenty or thirty minutes before each game and visualize what’s going to happen, I’ll be able to react to it without thinking, because I’ll already have seen it in my mind. When I’m lying down before the game, I can see myself making a shot or boxing out or getting a loose ball. And then when I see that come up during the game, I don’t think about it, I do it. There are no second thoughts, no hesitation. Sometimes, after the game, I’ll go, ‘Wow! I saw that! I anticipated it before it happened.”
-B.J. ARMSTRONG, Chicago Bulls
Whatever is real, your mind accepts as fact.
Whatever is imagined, your mind accepts as fact.
What does this mean?
1. Practice visualizing your perfect stroke, it’s almost as good as physically doing it.
2. Focus on things that you want to happen, not things you don’t want to happen.
3. Imagine different scenarios that may occur and think about how you will react when those situations arise–then you will be prepared.