Philip Alfred Mickelson, arguably one of the best golfers of all time, will turn 50 on June 16th, 2020. Mickelson has won 44 events on the PGA Tour, including five major championships: three Masters titles (2004, 2006, 2010), a PGA Championship (2005),, and an Open Championship (2013).
In this recent candid interview with Ed Mylett, Mickelson reveals his secret formula that YOU will need if you want to be able to pull away from the masses, sharpen your skills and your mental preparation and bring home a WIN. Whether you are trying to win in sports, in business, in your relationships, in your faith, in your fitness, or in any area of your life, the formula is the same! Learn how one of the most successful athletes trains his brain in PREPARATION to win and how to turn visualization into your victory.
Visualize Your Victory
The very first question Ed asked Phil what the difference is between the #50 player in the world and the #1 player in the world.
His answer: When it comes to the #1 player on tour and the #50 player on tour he said: “The ability to visualize and see shots before they happen. So a lot of people have the ability to execute the shot but if you can’t see the shot you’re trying to execute you’ll never be able to hit it. The players that see the clearest, that visualize the clearest, rise to the top. And those that are just slightly behind tend to not see things as clearly.”
Visualizing and mental preparation are every bit as effective to your success on the course as physical preparation. There was a study done 25 years ago involving free throw shots in basketball. The study broke the subjects into three groups. Group one only shot free throws. Group two was only able to visualize throwing the free throws. And the third group was able to do both, visualize and shoot. The result: the ones that visualized solely performed every bit as well as the group that was able to both visualize and shoot. And the group that had no visualization was quite a bit behind the other two groups.
So when you visualize, you want to visualize perfection. The end result. You visualize hitting the shot the way you WANT to. Not the way you DON’T want to.
Phil On Fear
“Playing golf with fear is a recipe for failure. You cannot visualize what you don’t want to have happen, you have to visualize what you do want to have happen.”
“I see a lot of players struggle with when things go bad and their inability to control their thoughts and refocus on what the want to have happen and the thought of what they don’t want to have happen continues to enter their mind over and over and they don’t have the ability to push that out and refocus on what they actually want to have happen.”
Controlling Your Thoughts
How do you control your thoughts? The ancient tradition of meditation. When you are meditating you are trying to control your thoughts, not eliminate them. You cannot eliminate your thoughts. But you can control what it is you are focusing on. When you are meditating, thoughts will enter in from all different areas and you have to be able to push out the thoughts you don’t want to have and refocus on the ones you do. That ability to control your thoughts will ultimately lead to success in whatever your line of work is.
“That ability to control your thoughts will ultimately lead to success I believe in whatever your line of work is because you have to see what you want to have happen. You’ve got to be able to control your thoughts”.__Phil Mickelson
Living In The Now
Having a bad shot is part of golf. By its very nature, it’s a game of imperfections. But when you do you need to put it behind you and refocus on what it is you want to have happen, not on what just happened.
“Every golf swing I make I’m trying to create a certain feeling and create a certain shot. I’m not trying to fix the previous swing.”
“I see a lot of people try to fix what went wrong before and they are working out of the negative rather than creating the shot they want that’s right in front of them.” “I have a belief that even if I have a few bad shots my next one is going to be great and I see coming off exactly the way I want to. I feel it before I hit it and then I try to create that.” _Phil Mickelson
How does a guy who is about to turn 50, who’s already cemented his place in history to be so driven and hungry at this stage in his life? “What drives me is my passion and love for the game of golf and the challenge to try to do something that others can’t.”
“Winning major championships as I get older in life or winning PGA tour events as I get further along in my life, that becomes a greater challenge than it was before. It’s a greater work ethic, I appreciate it more, it forces me to get in the gym.”
Phil On Fitness
If you look at pictures of Phil at the 2006 US Open he was the heaviest he’s ever been.
Phil today. He eats better, takes care of himself better, he understands and appreciates the elements of nutrition and overall fitness to help him perform better far more now than when he was younger. Phils attributes much of his fitness success to his TPI guided workouts that focus on improving his flexibility and strengthening his core.
According to his trainer, Phil performs golf-specific strength/endurance exercises that work multiple muscles at the same time using medicine balls, physio balls, and resistance bands. Not weight training exercises that isolate muscles.
Phil is now stronger than he’s been in a long time and his swing speed faster than it’s ever been and he’s hitting it longer than he ever has. His improved fitness and swing speed gives him the ability to go out and compete with the young players of today. Phil still thinks he can win major championships in his 50’s and I’m sure he can.
“I give a lot of credit to (TPI Certified Trainer) Sean Cochran and him staying up on new techniques working with Dave Philips, Greg Rose and the guys at TPI and having our workouts being designed to elongate my career…”
His Secret To Success
When asked what makes him special, what allows him to have elevated himself to the level of athlete he is his answer:
“I will do whatever it takes to succeed”. “A lot of people have talent, but not everybody is willing to do whatever it takes”.
We all deal with setbacks and failures, both in golf and in life. But its how you react to them that will determine your ultimate success in life. Phil came in second place in the U.S. Open six times! You can see that a failure or as a success. If you see that as only a failure, you will probably never rise about that point. If you see it as a success, your chances of changing things the next time are much greater. “We can’t let our failures hold us back. It hurts, it stings, but we have to put it behind us and learn from those mistakes and not that hold us back because we have to refocus on what we want to accomplish.”
You need to think about your next performance as your next opportunity.
Phils Final Words Of Wisdom
- Surround yourself with people who see your same vision and support you.
Brett’s Bottom Line:
Visualization is powerful on its own. But when you combine it with physical practice is a great way to get yourself ready because you only see yourself doing it the proper way, hitting the shot perfectly.
When you are visualizing, don’t just see the shot you want to make, you also need to feel what it will feel like when you make it. Mickelson describing his 2004 win at August National with an 18-foot putt on the 12th hole, “I stood behind that putt and saw it go in over and over and then I let that feeling of what the stroke was going to be-enter my body. And as I walked up to the ball I tried to maintain that feeling, that sense of what it feels like to create that stroke and that role. I’m letting the feeling of what it feels like to create that shot through all the many hours of practice. And I try to hold that feeling so that I can over the ball and just recreate it and just let it happen.”
Your mind gravitates with what it’s most familiar with. So if your mind is most familiar with the perfect shot you gravitate in that direction. If you are obsessed with the fear of failure of something then that is likely the result you will get.