As a child I hated the game of golf. I even used to joke about it’s legitimacy as a sport. In my opinion it was just a game that old men would play to get away from their wives. Now that I am an adult, I know that it is so much more than that.
[The quest to master the game of golf is similar to the journey to achieve your ideal body. It may seem like it is in constant repair, but there are a few ideas that could help make that journey more successful.....]
Anyone who has played the game of golf, regardless of their ability level, knows how frustrating the game can be. Players face a challenge on every shot, conditions are never constant, and things can go from bad to worse in a hurry.
[Hopefully you will never have to hit a shot like the one Miguel Angel Jimenez was forced to attempt behind the green at the famous "Road Hole" at St. Andrews, but navigating your way around any course can be difficult, without the right approach.]
Yelling Fore repeatedly was becoming embarrassing, so after years of lackluster performance on the golf course I sought the help of a golf guru. It only took one lesson with a certified teaching professional and I was back to my old self, shooting scores 10-15 stokes less then prior to the lesson.
How did he cure all my problems in one lesson?
Physical Ability vs. Mental Ability
We’ve all seen people in the gym, or on the golf course that are freaks of nature. A chosen few have a natural ability to move their bodies in ways that leave us breathless. Indeed, not everyone has the potential to become a master of their craft quite like Tiger Woods, nor do they have the genetics of an Arnold Schwarzenegger, but they still have the potential to succeed.
The best advice my teacher provided was not about grip, posture, or swing plane, but mental imagery and its significance on the golf course. He recommended a book titled, “Golf is not a game of perfect” by Dr. Bob Rotella. The lessons in this book have helped me on the course, and in achieving my fitness goals.
Have you ever had a day, whether it was at work or on the playing field where everything seemed to go your way. Maybe every shot you took was destined for the basket, or every decision you made worked in your favour. This is referred to as a flow state, it is almost a subconscious state of being where you are in the ZONE. I have only felt this once, but the pros feel it all the time.
The Less Glamorous Side of Success
What most people can’t see, and what Dr. Bob Rotella teaches in his book is importance of visualization for elite level athletes. What Tiger Woods can do under pressure has less to do with physical ability then we think.
Everyone on the PGA Tour can hit great shots! Sure it helps that Tiger has hit the same shot on the driving range before, but to hit that 6- iron from 200 yards, over water to a tight pin, in front of thousands of live spectators and millions of television viewers, consistently, is beyond physical.
Here are few ideas to help you get in the “ZONE”
1. Think Positive Thoughts – Tap into your mental power reservoir
How do professional golfers chose to not see the water hazard in front of the green, forget about the bad shot they just hit, and approach the next shot with nothing but positive thoughts? The technique is simple and has applications to other aspects of life, including weight loss.
Find your happy place! On the golf course, and in the gym!
[Just thinking about my favourite Adam Sandler scenes puts me in a happy place. It seems trivial, but your mind is such a powerful tool, and when wired correctly, can put you in the best place to succeed]
A positive thought over the ball, in front of the mirror, or before you attempt your first fast, must be the only possible thought.
2. Make The Choice to Succeed
I tell my students that we make a choice everyday. We decide if we will have a good day or a bad day. We can get up angry, pissed off at the world, upset because your favorite show isn’t on for another week, or we can chose to be happy and seize the day.
Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant. ~Anthony Robbins
3. Paint a Detailed Picture in Your Mind
Every shot on the golf course presents itself with opportunity for success, and failure, as does every hurdle to changing our exercise routine, or food choices. The clearer our mind can visualize success, the better chance we have to achieve it.
When standing over a golf ball the average golfer will often visualize a failed shot, while the professional will visualize a successful one. If you have an image of what failure looks like (duffed shot into the water, slice into the trees, short into the bunker), you increase the chances of producing the imagined result. Just like if you can picture yourself gaining weight, and can see your waist line expanding then it’s probably going to happen.
[Tiger is probably aiming at a specific branch on one of the trees behind the green, on a line that will get his ball to the hole. He is picking a very specific target, so when he misses that target at least he'll be close to the hole. Aim for the stars, and if you miss, you could still end up on the moon!]
If we are able to use our beautiful minds to create positive images for our golf shot, slap shot, baseball swing, business success, we can definitely use it to achieve our weight loss goals.
4. Goal Setting – Specific Targets
While I believe that writing down goals is a valuable activity, I know that I respond better to images. I would be more motivate by pictures, real or imagined for motivation, than reading words. Sort of ironic because I like to read and write, but I think many people are in the same situation. Images get burned in my memory and leave a lasting impact. When I read the words 6 pack abs, I immediately create and image in my mind.
Images are the reason everybody prefers the book to the movie
Since perceptions are our reality, whatever we believe to be the truth, is the truth. This is why people are disappointed when they watch a movie after they have read the book. They usually imaged the characters to be different, and it wasn’t up to their own standard of what they thought it should be.
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to look like. I asked myself the following questions to help paint that picture of the new me.
What will I would look like in a speedo (which I still haven’t purchased)?
How will I look in my new clothes?
What does my walking pattern look like? ie light on my feet, agile
How do I carry myself (how do I want to carry myself), good posture.
The more vivid and specific the image, the better chance you have of achieving your goals. This technique worked wonders for my golf game and my body transformation. Remember to be very specific about what you will look like. If we aim for the green and we miss we could be in a lot of trouble, but if we aim for the flag and we miss we might still be on the green. Like my 6 pack pursuit, I know exactly what it will look like on me, but if I miss at least I will have a flat stomach to be proud of!
5. Now Go Get It!
The last bit of advice you need is just to go an get it! You have all the tools, now grip it and rip it as they say in golf. Trust your research, and your routine. You will get the results you are after!
Cheers, and good luck using mental imagery to achieve your goals.
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