So yesterday I promised an incredible story about the power of visualization. I read this true story a few years back and though I don’t remember all the details, you’ll get the idea. Let me start by saying that our brains are more powerful than most people realize which makes them a two edged sword. They can be incredibly helpful and they can be incredibly destructive. Today’s story is a great example of how powerful visualization can be in helping us play better golf.
Let’s start by first discussing the word visualize which means to create a mental image. Our brains can actually create images of things that don’t exist in reality. And by reality, I mean visible to other people. What an amazing ability! You can instantly go anywhere you wish to go and see anything you wish to see and the brain does it all effortlessly. Incredible.
So how can this amazing ability help improve our golf games? Here’s the story.
An American soldier was captured during the Vietnam war and held captive as a POW in enemy territory. He was kept as an animal in a cage and only let out once or twice a day. The rest of his time was spent inside the cage with nothing to do but think. It also happens that this particular soldier was a golf nut! So how do you kill time day after day for more than two years when you have nothing to do and nowhere to go? He began to visualize golf.
To give you a little background, the soldier had been playing golf for a while before the war began. He played good enough to break 100 but he had never broken 80. Here is the amazing part. He began to close his eyes every day and visualize a perfect round of golf with very specific details. It helped pass the time and he found dreaming about golf to be a good escape from his current reality. Eventually he got so good at the exercise that he would visualize getting dressed to play that day. He visualized his clothes. He even visualized tying his golf shoes. Then he would imagine driving to the course. He imagined getting warmed up on the driving range and putting green. He visualized every tee shot. Walking to each shot. Picturing the next shot, choosing the right club and so on. He visualized a perfect round of golf every day in his head for a couple of years.
This particular soldier’s story has a happy ending and he was eventually released and sent back home. Would you like to know what he shot the very first time playing golf after being released? 79
Never underestimate the power located in the 6 inch space between your ears. It can destroy your game or it can help you post scores you never thought possible. And the crazy part is, it’s up to you. Will you learn to control it or not?
We just couldn’t tell this story without saying THANK YOU to the incredible men and women who have served our country.
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