In golf you tend to find that certain holes are a little more vexing to you than others. You stand on the tee box and you just can’t seem to pull up a good image in your minds eye. You just don’t feel right. And you know just how hard it is to put a good stroke on the ball when you are feeling like that – it’s next to impossible.
When you see a golfer shuffling around on the tee box you what he or she is feeling. We have all been in this situation. Sometimes it is caused by the optical illusions caused by the set up of the course. Perhaps it relates to trees close to the fairway on the left or bunkers on the right or a lake right in front of you. It could be the angle of the tee box or the patterns on the fairway left by the mower. Sometimes it is just a flood of bad memories of shots that went astray that just sabotages your golf mind.
Someone said to me yesterday that golfers need a way to “de-visualize” the trees or these types of “optical illusions” and instead see a straight path to the target, be it the pin, the green or the middle of the fairway. A golfer needs to have blinkers, not just to protect their mind from external distractions, but also from their own internally created ones.
Most golfers think about distractions on the golf course as being people watching, people talking, sudden noises, and so on. But in reality the majority of distractions are perpetrated by the internal mechanisms of your own mind.
A golfer needs to be able to don blinkers against certain unwanted perceptual input. You need to be able to turn a blind eye to optical illusions and only see straight down the middle of the fairway.
Ok, I’m maybe overstating this point. You need to be able to see some of those things because you have to know the best place to select as a target. But you need to see them and respond to them in a clinically logical fashion as opposed to an emotional one. You need to see past the illusions and select a clear path for your ball.
One of the most incredible aspects of our minds is that if we focus very, very precisely upon one thing we have the ability to block out another. Thus, when a golfer needs to de-visualize any obstacle he or she can do so by precisely choosing the target and visualizing a clear path towards it. Visualization is incredibly important in golf, and doubly so when faced with these tricky positions.
When you stand upon the tee box and have a very fine target selected in you minds eye, and see your ball going there you put yourself into a position of clarity and confidence. It is only by doing this mental exercise that you will be able to properly attend to you alignment and subsequently commit to your shot.
Golf is a very mental game. It constantly tests your ability to focus and overcome obstacles of every description. The challenges of golf tend to mutate and change over time and with each new adaptation a golfer has to find his or her way to take charge mentally and win.
Roseanna Leaton, golf addict and specialist in golf hypnosis mp3s and author of the GolferWithin golf mind training system.
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