Winning is a habit, unfortunately so is losing...

by Wade Pearse

What is the difference between the winner and the loser? A winner says "Of course I can do it! I've practiced it mentally a hundred times." While the loser says, "How can you expect me to do that? I don't know how!"

The power of a focused mind is hard to overstate. In every area of life we read stories of almost miraculous results that came from applying specific visualizations.

Your mind is a creature of habit. It loves routine. Now you might not enjoy routines but your mind certainly does! If you want to make real change in your game it will begin in your mind. Skiers, gymnasts, Olympic athletes, business people, public speakers, and golfers all use visualization to improve performance. Do you? It is almost impossible to find a top level athlete who doesn't use visualization exercises!

Along with your visualization program, which can be as simple as 5 minutes a day before sleeping, you'll also want to employ your best self talk. Your internal dialogue must support your goals. Matching your self talk with focused mental imagery exercises will transform your game faster than every other method combined.

Years ago in the Olympics the cameras awaited a certain high jumper to begin his approach toward the bars and make his jump. Yet they waited and waited. The commentators did their best to fill the seemingly dead air. Why was he taking so long? We would learn later exactly what the reason was.

The man's name was Dick Fosbury. He stood staring at the high jump and gently rocked back and forth on his feet. This motion simulated the initial move he would make to begin his run. A full 4 minutes passed before he began his jump! He did not take a single step toward his jump until he had completely rehearsed every nuance of the jump in his mind's eye.

Talk about focus. All those cameras, spectators and millions watching on TV. That single jump, which won him the Gold Medal, revolutionized high jumping forever. Every other jumper began to copy the famous Fosbury Flop. Prior to this all he received was ridicule and doubt in his ability to compete with that "silly" technique.

It's all in your mind - 's eye!

The point of this is we all have an inner power that can be tapped and utilized in any way we choose. It requires some simple guidance and basic mental repetition. The same way you acquire any habit.

The difference between being a winner and a loser is so small it's almost scary. Yet that "difference" can be tilted in your favor by a strategic use of your mind and developing a strong mental game.

Your golf game will continue to move to higher levels and all the while your improvements will feel natural. You gain that much sought after skill of "getting out of your own way." Your physical skills will improve along with your emotional balance and mental focus when you practice a few simple visualization techniques.

Whether it's a key match or tournament you're playing in or simply a friendly round with colleagues or friends, visualization will improve your game, relax your mind and enhance your satisfaction. There are few things in life as powerful as a well managed mind. Use it your your advantage or it will continue to use you!

The mind is a great servant but a poor master. You are either the master of your mind or a slave to its acquired habits. Either way it is all about choice. What do you choose?

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