By Grant Garrison
Jack Nicklaus who was the best golfer in the world from 1968-1977 and still holds the record for most major wins revealed that he never hit a shot, even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture in his mind. He said “it was like a color movie, I first see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on 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 a sort of 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.”
The greatest athletes in the world all engage in playing their sport with the same kind of focus. This kind of focus comes from the subconscious mind which plans out every shot using your imagination. When you allow yourself to play from this place, it will free yourself to create shots you couldn’t imagine before and becomes the secret to consistent golf.
Have you ever hit a shot that you magically new it was going to be a good one or you just new that you were going to make the putt? This is your subconscious mind at work, your mind can process much more needed information that allows you to perform. Jack Nicholas was not surprised after each great shot because he already saw the movie, he was simply showing his movie to the crowd followed by a smile and a gracious tip of his hat.
You might believe that I must be technically correct in order to play well. This idea can be a stumbling block for many golfers as they attempt to use their conscious mind to improve. However, you can imagine and create every aspect of your technical game; swings, strokes, holes, rounds, driving off the first tee. You can even imagine yourself winning the big tournament or shooting your best score. The types of images that you can create are endless and fun.
There are two ways we can get ourselves un-focused:
1. We become victims in our own movies. Have you ever imagined yourself missing your putt, your ball going into the lake, or out of bounds? You have just created a very sad movie where you play the victim role. If sympathy from others is what you really desire, then your movie served its purpose. However, if a victorious ending is what you want, you must not base your movies on your need for compassion. Taking responsibility for creating great movies is up to you. You are the screen writer, producer, director, and you play the lead role in every golf shot you hit.
2. The second way we get off track is to not believe that our subconscious mind is capable of getting the job done so we try to use our conscious analytical mind instead. Form must follow function which means that doing something well requires you to know exactly what it is that you are trying to accomplish. Picture an artist trying to create a beautiful painting by placing all of their focus on the proper way to paint instead of the picture they are trying to create. This is not to say that you will not make changes to your swing form, it simply means that you will make changes for a clear reason, to create something new, different, or better versus trying to do it perfectly.
Now, here is the interesting part of all of this. Your intent to focus on movies happens in your conscious mind. Yes, you must consciously dedicate yourself to put your Focus on creating movies the way Jack Nicholas did and you must never hit another golf shot before you have created each movie from start to finish. That even means that you do it when you are practicing. In other words, you must have self discipline and remember where to put your focus. In time, it will become a habit like it did for Jack Nicholas and many other famous athletes.
Playing golf (life) this way can bring amazing results and add to your enjoyment. You are free to create any movies that you desire. The more vivid and clear your movie, the more your body (life) will know what to do and where to go next. In time, you will find that it only takes a moment to create a movie and it will bring you great pleasure when your body reacts perfectly to the movie you created. Using this change in Focus can have amazing results in every part of your live.
Following is an example of how it worked for my mother. I recently was trying to get my mother to implement a computer into her life. I thought it would help her stay in touch better with her children and grandchildren. It was not going well as the movie she played was full of self doubt in being able to learn something new, the movie she had created was full of disaster. I asked her to create a new movie of her communicating to her 3 children and 6 grandchildren on a daily basis and what this would feel like and she made a beautiful movie which stirred her into action, she now enjoys a much closer relationships with everyone she loves and she thanks me often for getting her past her fear and rewriting her script.
Like Jack Nicholas, my mother simply changed her Focus and used her subconscious mind to create a wonderful movie, then she made a brave decision to play the leading role.