Major James Nesmeth had a dream of improving his golf game and developed a unique method of achieving his goal. Until he devised this method, he was just an average weekend golfer, shooting in the mid – to low – nineties. Then, for seven years, he completely quit the game. Never touched a club. Never set foot on a fairway. Ironically, it was during this seven-year break from the game that Major Nesmeth came up with his amazingly effective technique for improving his game- a technique we can all learn from.
What was Major Nesmeth’s secret? Visualization. You see, Major Nesmeth had spent seven years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Throughout those years, he was imprisoned in a cage that was approximately four and one-half feet high and five feet long. While he was imprisoned, he saw no one, talked to no one and experienced no physical activity. In fact, he spent the first few months simply hoping and praying for his release. Then he realized he had to find some way to occupy his mind… that’s when he learned to visualize.
In his mind he selected his favorite golf course and started playing golf. Every day, he played a full 18 holes at the imaginary country club of his dreams. He experienced everything to the last detail. He saw himself dressed in golfing clothes. He smelled the fragrance of the trees and the freshly trimmed grass. He experienced different weather conditions-windy spring days, overcast winter days, and sunny summer mornings. He felt the grip of the club in his hands and instructed himself as he practiced smoothing out this down-swing and the follow-through on his shot. Then he watched the ball arc down the exact center of the fairway, bounce a couple of times and roll to the exact spot he had selected, all in his mind.
Essentially all motivational speakers who address the topic of extraordinary accomplishment incorporate visualization as a major component of the argument. Whether it is the dream of playing in the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club, or another important aspiration in your life, stop and think if your visual ability is as strong as your physical ability. If you do it right in mental practice, you’ll do it right in life. After all, you become what you believe.