About Mental Imagery

Mental imagery is very powerful in my opinion when building, working on and performing an athletic motion.

My longest WAX Nation members will of course be familiar with the mental imagery aspect of the golf swing because of my Austin/Dunaway years (2009-2013), so this is nothing new.

What’s new is that, for me as I’ve said, the mental imagery I absorbed and used myself to explain the golf swing is not what I would use today now that I’ve built the model I was trying to nail looking at Austin/Dunaway.

Even though it’s virtually identical to Dunaway’s flat-footed impact and step-around finish model, I got there with different imagery, so I believe my imagery is more conducive to learning it, simply because it’s the imagery that led me to the model.

Whether or not it’s as close to Dunaway’s as I think it is remains to be seen of course, but if it is, and it’s a model I built from the ground up because I simply couldn’t do it watching and listening to other explanations, then I’d have to conclude that my mental imagery is, shall we say, more accurate or closer to optimal.

It could be that it only works for me, but I’m a very conventional person. I don’t do things differently just to be different, in fact the MCS Classic Golf Swing model was built purposefully to emulate the swings of the great swingers of that era, so I wouldn’t take a straight-forward explanation of something and change it just to be different.

I stated earlier my belief that the imagery and explanations offered in teaching the Austin/Dunaway swing models were the main culprits in people being unable to replicate them.

I mean, who actually looked at Dunaway’s golf swing in the Sybervision video while trying to explain how to swing in Dunaway’s own words?

I know that I did the latter and stopped doing so even before I took a closer look at Dunaway’s Sybervision swing action and noticed to my surprise that he was swinging in a traditionally classic style when it came to the hip action?

So, a good deal of my model work is to swing using different mental imagery to produce the fastest speed and I’ll tell you, certain images work great – but they aren’t images I’ve used before, except for the “leading/left foot stomp,” which I’d still use today.

There is no other image I can think of at the moment from those earlier years that I’d use now.

Do the hips shift and tilt or post in the Post-Modern or Shift & Post model? 

They certainly do – but that is a mechanical action and not a mental image. If it simply ended there, we’d all be swinging perfectly, wouldn’t we?

For me, the issue is which phrasing or mental imagery did I use to become used to the actual mechanical action, and how would I use mental imagery to get someone who doesn’t yet know how to swing in that manner to do so?

The image triggers muscle movement, and the better the image, the better the movement.

I use a mental image to build my stance, a  mental image for my pre-swing trigger, another for my backswing pivot and yet another for my downswing.

When I break it down, I might use two mental images on the back pivot and another two for the transition/downswing.

When I’m really grooving on the speed work, I’ll use an image and a feel for the backswing and another image and feel for the down swing.

The point is, I’m not thinking about every exact muscle movement in the swing, because we don’t do that when we perform athletic actions.

We have a single image or thought/feel, perhaps two that we use.

There’s no time to go through every movement and sequence, even in a golf swing where reaction isn’t needed.

It Happens Too Quickly

I’m at the point where I’ve stopped having revelations about the stance, backswing & downswing – until I can get more feedback in the form of ball flight and video analysis, I’ve got the models and mechanical actions I believe are optimal.

Now, I’m exploring how best to execute them using mental imagery.

The work continues.