Worldgolf Golf Tips

Mental Briefs For Better Golf

Visualization: Tools of the Trade

by Nick Rosa, Ph.D

Visual imagery (visualization) is frequently recommended by sport psychologists to help golfers maximize performance. Just as a specific type of wrench is recommended for a given purpose, so should the sport psychologist recommend a specific type of visualization for a given purpose.

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All too often, however, visualization is recommended in a non-specific way. Sometimes even the most basic specification- that is, disassociated versus associated, is not made. For example, it might be recommended that you "Imagine yourself putting......" Given this recommendation, should you imagine seeing yourself on a screen (a disassociated visualization)? Or, should you be in the imagined scene feeling your feet on the green (an associated visualization)? Since both tools are valuable in very different ways, this is an essential specification.

Once this essential specification is determined, adjustments are needed. In the same way a specific wrench must be adjusted and tailored to the task at hand, so does the specific visualization need to be adjusted and tailored.

So, if a disassociated visualization were specified, should you imagine the screen to be close to you or far away, large or small? Should you imagine the screen to be directly in front of you, or to the left or right of your field of vision?

Whether disassociated or associated, is the scene to be imagined in black and white or in color? If in color, is the color bright or dull? What happens when you reverse the action and run or experience the action in reverse?

These questions reflect some of the possible adjustments that can be made regarding how we visualize. And, how we visualize greatly effects how well visualization will help us to get the results we want.

These are some of the questions to be answered in the "Mental Briefs for Better Golf (Visualization) Series." Knowing the answers to these questions will, no doubt, enable you to know how to specifically adjust your visualization to get the psychological and physiological results that will enhance your golf game.

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