Visualization techniques and mental practice have been working for professional athletes for years. Dennis Rodman, known to many as the best rebounder in the National Basketball Association, has said that he uses visualization to prepare for each and every upcoming game.
Before the game starts, Rodman spends a solid hour right before each game, by himself. Everyone on the Chicago Bulls knows he is not to be disturbed. He vividly rehearses in his mind exactly what he will do in the game and how he will react to his opponent based on things he's seen in past games. He clearly sees the game unfolding in his mind. He's sees himself confidently pulling down rebounds and making accurate passes to his teammates.
He sees all this using as many details as he can. You see, the details are very important with visualization techniques. The clearer you see the picture in your mind, the better your subconscious (success mechanism) will work to get you to your goal. But remember, the details are extremely important. The reason is your mind cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a real experience as long as there is enough vivid detail.
For example, Dennis Rodman, when visualizing the upcoming game, will not only picture himself getting rebounds and diving for loose balls on the court, but for it to be really effective, he must feel the pressure of his feet hitting the court after getting that rebound. He must feel the opponent pushing him in the back as he fights for a loose ball. He must see the shine of the powerful lights reflecting on the court. He must visually feel the leather surface of the ball as he's holding it. These details are extremely important for Dennis Rodman (or anyone using visualization techniques) to see and feel.
Dave Stockton, the famous golfer, says much of his success has come from his reading and using Psycho-Cybernetics. Stockton was always a good golfer, but in 1970, for some unknown reason, his putting was terrible and getting worse with each tournament he played in. He hadn't finished in first place in over two years.
His father gave him the book Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. His father (a former golf professional and the only teacher Dave Stockton ever had) said he didn't think the putting problems were physical - rather, they were mental.
Stockton didn't read the book until a week before the PGA tour championship, which is one of the biggest tournaments of the year. But when he did read it, he certainly got the message. He learned to use his past successes to visualize the way he would play at the tournament. He spent that week visualizing with incredible detail how he would approach each putt and he would see in his mind all the tough putts he'd made in the past.
And that is exactly how Stockton went into the tournament. From the very first shot, he had the confidence that the visualizing and mental practice had given him. As far as he was concerned, he had already won the tournament in his mind.
To really put him to the test, on the last day of the tournament, he was paired with arguably the greatest golfer of all time, Arnold Palmer. A pairing that would make any golfer nervous and could cause anyone to lose his concentration. But not Stockton, he credits Psycho-Cybernetics with helping him keep his concentration and thus winning the PGA Championship and $40,000 (a lot of money in 1970). Not bad for a book his father bought for 950!
When asked, "If all the golfers in the PGA began to use Psycho-Cybernetics how would it affect the various tournaments?" Stockton replied "The game might just become one big hole in one."
Former NFL player, Jim Clack, says, "Psycho-Cybernetics made all the difference for me. I went from a free agent to the Super Bowl with it. I use the ideas today as a business and corporate sales trainer. Maxwell Maltz literally transformed my life."
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