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  • Writer's pictureCarol Alford

Va Va Voom your Visualisation

This week I would like to talk about visualisation and how to use it's full impact in your game. It's an amazing technique that is under utilised by so many players and can be mastered with just a little practice. With so many of us not being able to play or practice at the moment, it's the perfect time to practice this technique. It can be done sitting in your armchair or out practicing when we're allowed to once more. Sadly many players fail to use it and this can be for several reasons. Let me ask you, how many times have you imagined failing, making mistakes, or losing in a competition, compared to visualising succeeding, performing at your best or winning the trophy? Chances are more of you will see images of failing rather than succeeding. We tend to see more easily, or recall more freely negative images. Quite often we attach strong negative self-talk to these negative internal images which intensifies the images and fear factor, evoking strong emotions. Some of my more regular readers will also recall that negative emotions are more more powerful that positive ones. 4 times more powerful to be exact, which explains why you will probably find it more easier to recall negative images. How many of you have found yourself in a self-fulling prophecy, where you imagine a negative outcome and talk yourself into it going badly? When this happens your emotions can be very intense. You know the situation where you've got a good score and have the last few holes to play and begin to imagine what can go wrong. At my course we have a notorious 18th, thats tree-lined with a lake protecting the front of the green and patio and clubhouse hugging the back of the green. So many players have succumbed to the self-fulling prophecy of duffing this hole and wrecking their card. You can literally see them becoming tense and nervous 2 holes to go and their body language become defensive, losing the free flowing swing that they've had for the last 16 holes. The strong images that they are recalling are setting them up to fail sadly. Its a slippery slope as they begin to make mistake after mistake, reinforcing the self-fulling prophecy and making the negative emotions stronger than ever. Well this is where you need to Va Va Voom your visualisation technique, to abolish the negativity and actively produce positive images for success. How can I create powerful positive visualisation for success? Consciously forming successful images can lead to a positive self-fulfilling prophecy, with a little practice in 4 simple steps.

  1. Visualise specific images for a successful outcome e.g. see the shot land where you want it to land, really hone in to the target make it as small as possible to intensify your focus.

  2. Experience the positive emotions you would feel in this moment e.g. confidence, calm and sheer joy

  3. Engage all your senses to bring the image to life e.g hear the strike of the ball in the sweet spot of the club, feel your tempo slow and easy or feel the gentle grip pressure on your club

  4. Experience in vivid detail what you want to happen and how you want to feel, really tune into the experience as if in real time

When done correctly your body and mind will not be able to tell what's imagined and what is real. Swimmers. skiers and bob sleighers all tap into this incredible technique to visualise their runs and improve their skills. When you visualise, you imprint those images in your mind. Visualisation is like training twice, one is physical and the other is mental practice. When done correctly, visualisation will boost your confidence to help you perform at your best. How to Visualise Successful Competitive Performances The key for making visualisation a successful positive experience is to include all the senses: * What would you see? * What would your body feel like as you performed in the competition? * What would you smell and taste? * What sounds would you hear during the competition? * What emotions would you experience? Top Tip: Visualise within your current skill level, don't try to visualise something that you can't complete successfully in practice at least 7 out of 10 times. Give it a go this weekend and let me know how you get on. If your would like more information on these techniques please contact me to arrange a session

Hope you found this blog interesting, if you would like to learn more about mental toughness please visit our website and get in touch. Drop me an email and let me know what you think, I would love to hear from you. Visit our website and check out our other blogs, there's something in there for everyone.


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