The power of positive thinking is real, nowhere more than the golf course.
Every prominent sports psychologist preaches pre-shot visualization. And every pro practices it.
Develop a habit of seeing or “feeling” a great golf shot in your mind’s eye and you’ll chase the demons of negative thought that plague so many golfers. Visualization is especially useful on holes where water or other hazards can create anxiety and a self-fulfilling fear of doom.
A few pointers on visualization:
- Be specific: Don’t vaguely imagine your drive ending up in the fairway. Picture the shot exactly as you plan to execute it – starting down the left-center, gently fading right and bouncing past the 150-yard marker, for example. Drawing a sharp mental image will cue your body to make the necessary swing.
- Call on past experience: On a familiar course, think about the best shot you’ve hit on the hole you’re playing. Duplicate it in your mind, then execute. This is a good way to keep bad memories at bay, too.
- Be realistic: If your typical drive is 225 yards, don’t picture yourself launching one 300 yards. Delusions of grandeur are great when we dream, but can lead to overswinging on the course.