• Nigel

Life Lessons From the Game of Golf #4 Visualisation

There are few things more powerful than a focused mind.

Whether we’re talking about unaided fully motorised flight or the end of Apartheid, this truth remains - once the mind is focused, anything is possible.

Few things focus the mind like visualisation. It is one thing to have a desire or a dream, but once you can visualise it and give it form and structure, your mind is then able to focus on achieving it.

When I first began playing golf, as with any new activity or endeavour, I had to learn the fundamentals of the game - how to hold a golf club correctly, how to stand correctly, how to swing and hit the ball. Committed to becoming as good a golfer as I could be, I practiced regularly and as a result, my game was steadily improving. Everything except my driving.

I was hitting my mid and long irons well and my putting was improving all the time, but for some reason I just couldn’t hit the driver. This became an increasing source of frustration for me, so much that after 6 months of trying, I stopped using it completely and resolved to only use my irons. I accepted defeat and was content not to use a driver again, a feeling aided by the fact that I was surprisingly able to hit my no 1 and 2 irons quite a considerable distance.

And then one day while waiting to tee off behind a 3-ball, I watched one of the other players tee up and proceed to drive the ball well over 250 yards with the greatest of ease. Something clicked in me that day as I froze the image in my mind of him hitting the driver, and I replayed it over and over again. I then began to picture myself playing that shot over and over again. The more I replayed it in my mind the more convinced I became that I too could drive the ball like he had done.

Well, the next time I was at the driving range I visualised what I needed to do and what do you know - I drove the ball over 200 yards first time and have done so ever since.

This got me thinking about other areas of my life where against all odds, I had sometimes managed to accomplish the seemingly impossible and other times, failed to achieve what were supposedly easily attainable goals. What was the cause of this?

After some honest self-assessment I came to the realisation that the difference between many of my successes and failures was this issue of visualisation. In almost every situation, where I took the time to visualise and focus my mind on the outcome that I wanted to achieve, I was successful. And in the instances when I casually took things for granted and did not give the task or goal much thought, I failed.

Every golf coach and professional will tell you that one of the secrets to playing a great shot is to visualise it first. I dare you to practice visualising your goals and what you need to do to accomplish them, and see your success rate significantly increase!

“If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.” – Zig Ziglar

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