Where Mental Focus Comes From For The Golf Swing

Jack Nicklaus astutely summed up the complete mental side of golf in a paragraph long before the advent of Golf Psychology.

“I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie. First, I see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes and I “see” the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there’s sort of a fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality. Only at the end of this short, private, Hollywood spectacular do I select a club and step up to the ball.”
From Golf My Way, by Jack Nicklaus and Ken Bowden, copyright 1974.

Since then, the mental golf gurus have advocated keeping a picture of the golf shot in your mind as you make your golf swing… BUT that advice misses the main point and if you do what they say, it’s costing you strokes…

Let’s take another look at the paragraph and see where the mental golf gurus have been leading golfers astray…

“I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie. First, I see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes and I “see” the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there’s sort of a fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality. Only at the end of this short, private, Hollywood spectacular do I select a club and step up to the ball.”

I have underlined the most important part of the paragraph. Why is this line so important?

Because it wasn’t a picture of the shot that Jack kept in his mind, but rather A mental picture of him making the golf swing to create the golf shot. You might say, “What’s the difference?”

Have you ever heard the mental game adage, “Stay in the present?” A picture of the golf shot is a future thought while the picture of the golf swing is a present subconscious mental thought. Focus is the ability to concentrate on the task at hand. So what is the task at hand? Is it the golf shot… Or the act of making the shot?

The present mental thought is having a picture of the golf swing that will make the shot in mind… But that isn’t so easy to conjure up is it? There IS a paradox here…

For the golf pro who keeps a picture of the shot in his mind, whenever the shot is successful, the subconscious mind DID have a picture of the swing in mind! How so? You don’t realize it, but behind the scenes, the subconscious makes the conversion and puts up a picture of the swing so the body has instruction. So you might think, “If my mind is already doing the right thing, why should I worry?”

Because we’ve finally worked our way down to the place where those few costly shots that keep you out of the top spot come from.

For those shots that don’t turn out right, one of two things happened:

  • Either the picture the subconscious created wasn’t accurate…
  • Or somewhere between the mind and the body, the picture got distorted or disconnected.

Either way, those costly shots happen because you aren’t aware of the picture that the subconscious needs to make the shot accurately.

But there is more to Nicklaus’ swing picture that isn’t obvious in his description.

  • He starts with a detailed idea of the action of the ball when it lands. – That action is created by the spin made when the club strikes the ball.
  • He then sees a picture of the flight of the ball; fade, draw, high or low. – Which is created by the direction of club movement and face angle… AT IMPACT.

If you know what the club must be doing when it strikes the golf ball at impact and you know what parts of your body to feel to consistently create those impact dynamics, you can create the complete swing picture… And your body will move Heaven and Earth to make it happen!

Why don’t the gurus tell you to picture the swing that will make the shot, rather than just picturing the shot?

Because the process of picturing your own golf swing requires much more than just creating a shot picture.

Golfers have tried using visualization to improve their consistency and accuracy for years with spotty results.

The answer to this dilemma?

The missing link provided in Bio-Visual Focus is the biofeedback to back up the picture with corresponding feel. The back and forth communication between the mind and body further opens up the communication process, which means the more you do this, the clearer your visualizations will be and the more accurate your results.

With Bio-Visual Focus, the mind is constantly double-checking the signals it is sending to the body in two ways which creates not only more accurate results, but eliminates doubt that can creep in and cause other mental issues.

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