Sniper tip to work your mind: Visualization

Astuce de sniper pour travailler son mental : La visualisation - Phil Team

Testimony of a Navy SEAL

“I have seen the power of visualization work many times. No matter what field you work in, visualization can help you, especially in high stress environments.

The first memory I have of a visualization that worked for me outside of SEAL teams was during a stress-tested course for a certain agency I worked for.

I'm not allowed to say who it is (I've already asked several times but they keep saying no) but I'm sure you can guess.

I remember closing my eyes and running through the course, what we call a "Kill House", over and over in my head. Walk through rooms, engage enemy targets, squeeze my partner's shoulder to signal him to enter the next room. Identify hands for a weapon or no weapon to ensure that no friend has inadvertently received a nap.

I succeeded the first time. I remember one type from the level 1 unit that failed twice and was not certified by the client. It's your fault if you didn't take it seriously.

"That's not how it's done in my unit." We're not in your unit anymore, man. You have to realize your environment and adapt. It's a good life lesson, period.

A few years ago, I met mind management pioneer and gold medalist Lanny Basham when I was a sniper instructor on SEAL teams. Lanny has become a friend of mine and I am grateful to him for his lessons. You can and should read his book, With Winning in Mind . He changes things.


The story he told me that struck me was of a Navy pilot who was shot down and captured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. We'll call him Lt. Jack Sands.

I went to a POW boot camp, and it sucks. Living in a cold concrete box for days and going to the bathroom in a tin can is a one star stay on Air BnB, believe me.

Jack lived in difficult conditions for four years. Many people who live in captivity find ways to get out of it and stay hopeful. For Jack, it was golf.

He was an avid golfer and played his favorite courses in his head. He rushed off the tee and sent a long drive right into the fairway. When he wasn't being beaten or tortured by his captors, he was playing his head.

Fast forward: Jack and his fellow prisoners of war have been freed and flown back to San Diego, CA. On their way to Balboa Naval Hospital, they passed the back gate where the golf course was. Jack pulled the driver over so he could play a round of golf.

As he was in very bad physical shape, the other officers on the course took him for a madman. They almost threw him out of the clubhouse until he explained who he was. With tears in their eyes, the other officers rushed him onto the course after providing him with shoes and everything else he needed.

Jack is so happy to be able to play golf in sunny California after so many years of torment.

He did 18 par holes.

They all stood in shock as he played one perfect shot after another...

"How it is possible ?" "You haven't touched a club in years and you're in really bad shape!" they asked him.

He would reply, "Gentlemen, I've been playing perfect golf in my head for four years."

Think about it for a moment. How could you apply the same mental rehearsal to your own life? The life of your children?

Visualization works, folks. That's why Phelps set a world record when his glasses got wet during a final race in China.

He had repeated that in his head..."

What are you going to use the visualization for?


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