5 Little Known Facts That Could Affect Your Attitude
Having the right mental attitude on the golf course is just as important as having the ability to strike the ball solid on a consistent basis.
aving the right mental attitude on the golf course is just as important as having the ability to strike the ball solid on a consistent basis. In fact as your golfing ability increases so should your mental attitude and your ability to handle situation out of your comfort zone. If you’re breaking down in this area regularly then no matter how much work you do on the technical aspects of your swing or short game you will constantly hit road blocks as it relates to your improvement process.

Below I’ve compiled 5 little known facts that could be affecting your mental attitude and ability to break those scoring barriers:

1. Break The Chain

We’ve all been there before, when things just aren’t going according to plan, a string of poor holes in a row and you stuck in a rut. The internal dialog has taken place a few holes back, ‘Why did I decide to play golf today?’ – ‘Why do I even practice?’ – ‘I’m hopeless at this game?’ – ‘In fact I’m hopeless at most things’ – ‘I should just give this game away’. Does this sound familiar, what the brain has done is started to link one piece of internal dialog to the next and created a chain, if not broken then this can continue on from anywhere up to one hole or the entire round. The first and most important point is to ensure you are aware of the dialog, only then can you tell yourself to ‘STOP’ and change your internal dialog, the greatest thinkers of all time have control over their internal dialog.

2. Talk To Yourself

The really great minds are so strong in this area, I remember listening to Anthony Robbins a few years ago and he would say over and over ‘Everyday in every way I’m getting stronger and stronger’ repeating this type of affirmation until it’s embedded into you mind so it becomes part of you, so you own your words. Develop one or two short affirmations today and take a few minutes to drill them in, you’ll be surprise how your attitude changes in these area.

If affirmations aren’t your thing then make a declaration to you wife, husband or playing partner. Unlike an affirmation, a declaration is not saying something that isn’t true, it’s stating that we have an intention of doing or being something. This can be setting a mini goal for your golf game or putting together a practice plan for game improvement.

3. Adopt An ‘On’ And ‘Off’ Switch.

In other sports we have signals to tell us to start and stop the game, be it a whistle in the football field or a buzzer to start and stop the big game. Though in golf what signal tells us we are ready to start playing our shot and more importantly when to stop and conserve our mental energy. A few years ago I heard about Tigers Woods off switch, he would have an imaginary 10 yard line in front of his ball and he only allowed his emotions to run up until he crossed that line.  Some players will use the tearing sound their glove make as an on and off switch. Stacey Keating who I teach has a marker attached to her cap and she presses it before each shot, this is her on switch and gets her into a focused state. Obviously we can’t hold a high level of focused concentration for 5+ hours, we need to develop this technique so we have full focus when it counts and can relax and enjoy the game during the down time of the round.

4. Write It Down

Write down some key words or phrases to encourage yourself to stay focused on the course. This could be something as simple as patience or a recent quote you may have heard from your favorite sport person. Read this before each shot, it really works! Some examples of this are ‘I will stay patient today no matter what the golf course throws at me’

Unlike affirmations these quotes or words are used when playing, these can be written on your yardage book so you are forced to read them. They will help you stay in the present and stay focused on the shot at hand, a little boost of motivation each hole or a reminder of your game plan can help you stay the course.

5. Direct Your Focus

Focus on ‘what you want, not what do you don’t want’. To often golfers will go through their routine step up to a tee shot and all they see and focus on is the trouble that’s in front of them. Many times it’s due to the fact that they’ve just hit their last two tee shots left and they’re facing O.O.B left on their next drive. The first thing to understand is that the past does not equal the present and to direct your focus to what you’re looking to achieve on that shot at that moment, at this point it really is irrelevant whether or not the shot comes off.

So focus on the process of deciding on what shot you want to hit, be specific! See the shot leaving the club face and track its flight to the area you’re focusing on. Once you give the brain a command be it positive or negative it will begin to move towards it. Remember the brain doesn’t process negatives or positives, so if you’re telling yourself I want to miss the front bunker and carry it onto the green, you’re giving yourself mixed messages. A better comment would be “I’m going to carry this 10 paces onto the green and 10 feet left of the pin 115 meters total, because that’s going to leave me the best chance of birdie”.

By written this blog I hope to give you better awareness of why you may be hitting a mental road block on the course. Please consider sharing this post by forwarding this on with the use of the social media buttons at the top or bottom of the page, look forward to hearing your feedback.

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Related Posts:

1. The Rise and Steady Rise of Stacey Keating – October 24th, 2011

2. Rory’s Higher Purpose – June 20th, 2011

3. Acceptance at the Masters – April 17th, 2011


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