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Secret of great pin shots: bigger holes

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Imagining something can make it so, recent studies suggest.

Using golfers and softball players, a University of Virginia professor showed that better golfers imagined the hole to be bigger than lesser players did, and that better softball hitters imagined the ball to be bigger than worse hitters did. In neither case did she pinpoint why.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University may have the answer. They proved that what we see in our mind’s eye strongly influences our perceptions. In an experiment, people shown two competing images (one in each eye) more often reported actually seeing the image they had imagined more times beforehand.

You’ve heard descriptions like these on the course or the diamond: “It was like putting into the Grand Canyon” or “That baseball looked like a beach ball today.”

Athletes, of course, have been using visualization techniques for years to improve their performance, and we also know that people see what they want to see. The difference here is proof that a specific form of visualization works.

Bottom line: The way you choose to perceive and imagine things could affect the outcome. If it works in sports, it will work in life. What nobody knows exactly yet is how to make that hole seem bigger.

— Adapted from “Play Better Golf By Playing Bigger Holes,” Dan Peterson, Scientific Blogging,, and “Imagine a Bigger Market and You’ll See a Bigger Market,” Guy Kawasaki, How to Change the World blog,

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