Mind over athlete!
In Golf My Own Damn Way, pro John Daly says, “See your shot before you hit it. Yeah, I’m talking about visualisation, and I know a lot of amateurs think that’s some kind of a con job. They might not say that out loud, but they’re thinking it.”
Without a doubt, most athletes think visualisation is a con job. They don’t visualise much at all.
And the ones that do don’t know HOW to visualise properly…so they try, but they don’t get the results they should.
I’d estimate that only 1 in 1,000 athletes out there actually harnesses the true power of visualisation.
Instead they tell me things like, ‘I can’t focus under pressure’ or ‘I’m over-analyzing’ or ‘I can’t stop the negative self-talk.’ Or they tell me their friend or Dad is always getting them down. Or that they try to psyche up but they don’t believe in themselves – it just feels like a big lie.
They have these mental game problems because rather than focusing on what they want in sport, they are focusing on what they DO NOT want.
This is where the power of visualisation comes in. It corrects this problem by focusing you on the positive vision you want to achieve.
Says Daly about hitting a golf ball: “The more you focus on where you don’t want to hit it, the less attention you pay to where you do want to hit it…you try to steer the ball away from the trouble, which you’ll subconsciously try to do if that’s all you’re thinking about, your ball’s gonna find a bad place like a rat finds cheese...what you need to visualise is where you WANT the ball to go: Fairways and Greens!“
The ability to hold a positive vision in your mind is so crucial to winning that I finally decided, “If these athletes don’t know how to visualise, I’m going to try to help teach them.”
It can help you realize your dreams too.
It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, or what level you’re playing at, visualisation is an important weapon in any athletes’ arsenal!
Jessica Ennis-Hill, one of my all-time favourite athletes, used visualisation techniques as part of her preparations for the Olympic games, and we all know how successful she was! Read more about that here
And see what she has to say about the importance of visualisation