Freshman golfer Bianca Armanini approaches the tee, pulls back her club, drives through the ball and watches as it soars down the fairway and lands safely on the putting green. This, however, has taken place hours, and possibly even days, before she ever steps on the course.
The Hawaii native has been implementing a technique that combines controlled breathing, pre-visualization and hypnosis.
“It gets rid of all the jitters,” Armanini said.
There appeared to be no jitters as she placed in the top 20 in her Wildcat debut. Armanini had the best score for the ’Cats and led the team to a fifth place finish among 17 teams at the Grand Canyon Fall Invitational Sept. 24 in Litchfield, Ariz.
Her father, Doug Armanini, is a sports hypnotist and introduced his daughter to the training that helps her keep a calm demeanor, even during stressful golf tournaments.
“It relaxes you and speaks to your subconscious,” she said.
Wildcat golfers Alexandra Bush and Sarah McComish have had sessions with Doug Armanini as well. He joined the team before the Viking Invitational at Western Washington University to help prepare them for the tournament.
“I want to see them make it all the way to nationals and win the title,” he said.
The process is about creating mental imagery, Doug Armanini said. He aims to remove negative mental images and sometimes replace them with positive ones. This achieves a deeper state of consciousness, and these changes can be made through advanced breathing techniques.
The process, known as diaphragmatic breathing, involves circular breathing in from the nose and out through the mouth as the lungs slowly fill up from the bottom to the top, Doug Armanini said. It continues as the athlete enters a semi-conscious state, which rides the edge between sleep and full awareness.
A question is then asked to aim and activate the mind’s eye,where the imagination exists, and to turn the visions into truths, he said.
Being hypnotized is relaxing, but Bianca Armanini is always able to hear her father, she said.
This is important, because only real results can be achieved through the individual’s own words and visions, Doug Armanini said.
Others who use the same techniques have had success. In 2011, Bianca’s brother, Chris Armanini, along with the rest of the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s men’s golf team, won the Pacific West Division Championship with the aid of Doug Armanini’s techniques.
Many top athletes consider the techniques integral parts of their game.
Jack Nicklaus, the winner of 18 PGA major tournaments and author of “Golf My Way,” shares his experience using some of the same techniques to keep every shot and every hole in a focused picture in his book.
“It’s like a color movie,” Nicklaus said in his book, “and the next scene shows me having the kind of swing that will turn the images into reality.”
The Wildcat women aim to turn the vision of a championship title into a reality.
Read More: Here with Kevin Lee