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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sean Foley on Guided Visualization (Video)

Golf Digest calls this new Sean Foley video Why Your Practice Sessions Aren't Working. But it's actually about a concept called guided visualization. Here, take a look:



Yeah, I know what you're thinking... and you're right. Sometimes "Seanspeak" gets a bit confusing. But here's the basic idea:

I originally heard about this type of research being done on prisoners of war who had survived their imprisonment. In order to keep from going crazy, many of them began to mentally play sports they had played before their imprisonment -- for example, a tennis player may have imagined playing an entire 5-set match. And when they were finally released and able to play again, they found that their play had actually improved because of the visualization.

Now you need to understand that they weren't just imagining a match. They were imagining each individual stroke, each individual sprint to the net, even each fall when they lunged for a save. They imagined what a stroke felt like -- which muscles were used, the effort it took to sprint to the shot, the motion of their arms as they swung the racket, and so on. In a way, they actually performed and felt every shot in every set.

This is what Sean is talking about. But since you have the range available to you -- since you can literally perform and feel every shot you imagine -- he's suggesting that you visualize the shot you want to practice. It doesn't matter that the range isn't actually the fairway bunker you're going to hit the ball from (to use his example in the video). What matters is that you imagine the details of making that particular shot as you make a physical swing motion, and swing the club as if you were actually hitting that sand shot.

Yes, it all sounds kind of touchy-feely, but it's a scientifically verified phenomenon. You can even do this in your backyard, without hitting any balls but still swinging a club. What Sean is recommending here is combining visualization with actual physical practice, in order to get the benefits of both. And it just might help you break through some of the roadblocks you face in your game.

It's all about conscious purposeful practice. Never practice mindlessly.

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