Researchers at the Olympic Training Centre at Colorado Springs enlisted 30 college-age golfers, who were asked to work on their putting each day for a week.
One group was instructed to practice physically putting the ball but without any visualization.
The second group was instructed to visualize sinking each putt just before putting. This visualization process included mentally rehearsing the entire putt. They visualized the backswing, the stroke through the ball, and the ball rolling in the center of the cup. The third group was instructed to visualize before each shot, but instead of visualizing the ball going in the cup they were told to imagine the ball going left, right, and stopping before the hole. The results after the week were incredible. The physical practice group improved by 11%.
The visualization group that imagined the ball going in to the cup improved accuracy by 30%. And for the group that visualized the ball coming up short, their accuracy declined 21%.
Yes, the group who had pictured the golf ball straying off course, away from the cup – experienced a worsening of their putting.They had pictured themselves putting poorly … and they did!