Anyone who watched Jason Day closely this week would noticed his use of visualization. During his pre-shot routine, Jason closes his eyes and images the shot he wants. For Jason Day, closing his eyes facilitates his imagery process. Jason Day also mentioned that he continually visualized himself holding the trophy for the 2015 Farmers Insurance Open. At the end of the day on Sunday, his visualization became a reality at Torrey Pines.
Visualization is not just for the greatest players in the world. Amateurs can greatly enhance their game as well with an addition of mental pictures. Visualization can help your game and lower your scores in a number of ways such as:
1) Greater Motivation-For Jason Day, his visualization of holding the trophy kept his motivation high and his intensity amped throughout Sunday. It kept him going mentally when things did not go his way. Let’s be honest—for many golfers, hitting balls on the range is boring and monotonous, but you can stay motivated by imaging yourself shooting that ideal score, or perhaps holding that club trophy.
2) Greater Confidence– As the old cliché goes-You need to see it to believe it. But it is true. To greatly enhance your confidence for every shot, you need to image the shot you want to hit. For Jason Day, he gains confidence with his imagery during his pre-shot routine. You too must incorporate a positive mental image in your routine if you want to be confident over every shot.
3) Greater Focus-The great Seve Ballesteros would state that he would visualize himself in a bubble with only the fairway and green in his golfing universe. You can enhance your focus and block out distractors with a similar image.
4) Great Feel-When you are pitching, you should not only visualize where you want the ball to land, but also the ball’s trajectory and how much your ball will roll out. The greater your visualization–the greater your feel. The greater your feel, the greater likelihood you will hit the shot you desire. This same principle goes for chipping, putting and in your full-swing.
Visualization gives you a direct connection to the mind-body link. Visualization gives you power over your mental game—and power over your scores.
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is the sports psychologist and professor at Austin Peay State University. He is a regular guest every Wednesday on “Talk of the Tour”. He has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players and is the author of the best-selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf. If you have any questions about the mental game, please visit him at www.drgreggsteinberg.com