Both mental rehearsal and visualisation are important in golf. An analogy is that it’s easier to walk around a golf course if there’s a pathway and course map (i.e. you know where you're going or been there before), otherwise, if you’re like me, you end up in the worst parts of the course, in everyone's way, and a bit out of sync.
Visualisation and mental rehearsal are the ways in which you can create your own path, outcome, see it internally and construct its probability externally
It would be difficult to find an elite sports professional who has not been coached in some form of visualisation. Such is the power of the mind, it can be that fraction of a second it gives you to gain advantage, clarity, self belief and certainty over your fellow competitors.
The advantage of the techniques is that they are not only for golfers or sports people, but for everyone - affording you greater enjoyment, success and ability to regulate your feelings.
How does it work? It begins with you visualising a real or imagined ideal performance. By visualising, you are creating neural pathways, which get ever more installed and habitual in your mind. This is the compounding effect.
A mental rehearsal adds in breaking down each component of your ‘golf’ game and watching the performance. This time, we incorporate the full gamut of imagery: sight, smells, touch, feelings and even tastes (if relevant) into the scenario coupled with powerful emotion.
This makes the mental rehearsal multi-sensory and, when combined with physical practice, can lead to great physicality as well as emotional and mental strength. Mental rehearsal is also a key means of self beliefs enhancements and management of state.
When we imagine our performance whilst in a relaxed state, the visualisation and feeling of being confident are strengthened and neurologically linked, creating a fundamental default setting with repetition
Practice daily if you can, upon waking, make five minutes for this whilst lying in bed, as the mind is very suggestible at this time..
Intensify the benefits by using positive self-talk, and/or give yourself key phrases or even commentate on your performance. Keeping everything constructive is a must! Your mind will focus on what you give it, so give it the highlights.