Major James Nesmeth was a weekend golfer who shot in the mid to low 90’s. He aspired to improve his score, but his dreams quickly ended when he was called to fight in the Vietnam War. During his deployment, Major Nesmeth was captured and became a prisoner of war (POW) for 7 years. His living conditions were something that no one should ever have to experience. He was forced to live in a cage that reached only 5 feet tall and provided him with very little room to move about. To stray away from becoming insane, he devised a mental imagery program in which he envisioned himself playing his perfect game of golf. Major Nesmeth applied polysensory skills (body movement, touch, taste, sound, and vision while perfecting his game. From the smell of the field, the leather wrapped golf club, the smell of fresh cut grass, to his perfect stance and drive, Major Nesmeth applied these senses to his mental game during his 7 years in prison.
To escape the depression of being locked up in a small cage from having no personal interaction and no physical activity for 7 years, Major Nesmeth mentally played his perfect game of golf, every-single-day. His imagined golf game lasted the same amount of time as it would on a real golf course. Focusing on every detail (down to bathroom and water breaks), little did he know that he was developing a successful mental and physical impact routine of how he would perform in a real-life game of golf.
Thankfully, after 7 long years in prison, Major Nesmeth was released and returned to the states. Regardless of his poor physical condition (from being caged for 7 years), after slight-recovery, he decided to play a round of golf at his favorite course. To his surprise, after 7 years of physically not swinging a real golf club, Major Nesmeth shot a 74! He had dropped about 20 points, without physically practicing his game. The proof that mental imagery does work through determination, consistency, and time has not only been proven from Major Nesmeth, but also from world class athletes today that play in the NFL, NBA, USA Track and Field, and more!