• Timothy White

Visualize the shot before you shoot

Think about this: everything we do begins as a single thought in our mind. Every action, every word, every human creation exists first in our imagination.

The ability to see things before they actually happen is what enables us to pursue our dreams and ultimately achieve them. In fact, the better we visualize the future we want, the better our chances to make it happen.

Training the Mind is Training the Body

Our brains cannot differentiate well between real action and mental action. There has been research done showing that thinking about an action — even while your body is at rest — will fire the neural pathways in your brain just as you were actually doing it.

The term psychokinesis (from the Greek ψυχή, "psyche", meaning mind, soul, heart, or breath; and κίνησις, "kinesis", meaning motion; literally "movement from the mind”) (Greek τῆλε + κίνησις, literally "distant-movement"), is a term coined by Henry Holt to refer to the direct influence of mind on a physical system that cannot be entirely accounted for by the mediation of any known physical energy.

To see this for yourself: hold a piece of string and let it dangle. Then, keeping your hand as still as you can, imagine twirling the string around. Most likely, the string will begin to move, ever so slightly.

And that’s the good news: mental training can improve almost all our skills and fast-track us towards our goals.

For instance, many psychologists and life coaches recommend mental rehearsal for all sorts of things. Athletes at the highest level are encouraged to use visualization to improve their technique, motivation and drive. When interviewing Olympic gold medalists, they discovered that several winners used visualization, not just for the sport technique, but also to capture the feeling of being awarded a medal. 

The key here as it is applied to the Cue Sports is to know what to visualize and even more importantly when. There are specific areas within the pre-shot routine ritual where the triggers allow the mind to construct and accept these pictures. The body will then follow this lead toward the goal.

To learn how to develop the perfect systematic pre-shot routine please check out the Cue Sports Training Encyclopedias.  

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