In one way it can be seen to be very positive – You’ve hit a golf shot which didn’t quite work, but youve chosen to believe that it’s not your fault that it was a bit of a duff, and therefore your confidence in your golfing ability remains robustly intact.
The other way of analyzing your shot is not quite as positive. The implication of this wording is that you think that you have applied the golf club in a pleasing manner and something else has caused the ball to veer off course. The wording also implies that there is nothing which you can do to improve matters; you have given your control away. It’s not your fault; it’s the fault of the wind, or the hedge, or whatever else it may be. This type of thought stops you from looking at what really happened; it prevents you from seeking the cause. And golf is a game of cause and effect. Unless you are aware of the causes of the outcomes which you create, you will not be able to seek a suitable remedy.
These “I didn’t deserve that” thoughts are similar to the ”It’s not fair” thought processes. They stop you from learning and growing as a person and as a golfer. You don’t get past go and collect your cash. Instead, you browse your local golf shop or the internet and spend rather a lot of dollars on purchasing a club with a bigger sweet spot or some gimmick which promises that you will stay on the course. In reality, I think we all know that it’s not the best answer, but perhaps don’t know where to look for the real answer. The majority of golfers remain baffled as to why the ball slices one day and hooks the next and just don’t know how to tackle the problem. Shopping becomes a simple and easy, if expensive, salve to the golfer’s soul, whilst at the same time providing an enticing ray of hope.
The amalgamation of ever more clubs and accessories is to the golfer like the casino is to the gambler. And the gambler says “I got a bad hand” or “luck wasn’t on my side tonight”, in the same way as the golfer says “I didn’t deserve that” or “it’s not fair”.
A reality check is called for. Life isn’t fair. Golf is a game of skill…and luck. So long as you become as skilled as you can be you are putting yourself in a better position to take advantage of luck.
No matter what happens in your golf game, you are the one who hit the ball; you are the one who told the ball what to do. No-one else hit the golf ball; you did. And the resulting shot was the outcome created by your application of the clubface onto the golf ball. So instead of saying “that’s not fair”, try asking “What did I do there?” “Why did the shot turn out like that?” Ask yourself questions which will allow you to get back to the root cause. Then, and only then, will you learn, and as you learn you will get better at this great game. The more questions you ask yourself, the more you will learn.
Awareness precedes choice which precedes change. You have to know the cause to change the effect. This is true of everything in life, not just golf. Why do you worry about what people think? Why don’t you think you can hit that shot? Why don’t you see golf as a game and have some fun playing it? Why can’t you laugh at yourself? “Why?” is a wonderful question, which will encourage mental exploration and subsequent discovery, so long as you are honest with yourself and so long as you follow the thread right back to its beginnings.
Think of the phrase “a train of thought” and imagine that you are in the rear carriage, right at the back of the train, and as you ask yourself “Why is that?” and find your own answer you’ll move forwards to the next carriage. Keep working through the carriages of your thought train and eventually you cannot help but reach the engine. And once you reach that engine and become the driver of your train, you can choose your driving direction.
Beware, though, as you start working your way through your carriages that you don’t get fooled into thinking that you’ve reached your engine before you really have. Because if the answer to your questioning is that you lifted your head, or you swung from in to out, or you swung too fast, you have not yet reached your engine. Why did you lift your head? Why did you swing too fast?
Ask yourself a few more questions and be supremely honest with yourself. As you took that shot, did you see it happening first? Did you visualize it? Did you think you could pull it off? Did you commit to it? Did you absorb yourself in the task in hand and shut out peripheral details?
And if the answer to any of these questions is negative, ask yourself “Why?” and see where the answer takes you. This type of questioning will lead to real discovery and true learning. You will find that to explore your golf thoroughly you will also have to explore yourself as a person. Your mind is the bit that’s in charge. Your thoughts create your emotions and direct your actions. Everything in life starts with a thought.
Look around you, wherever you are. Look at the chair you are sitting on, or a chair that’s nearby. How was that chair made? You can see what it’s made of and how it’s been put together. You know that the wood came from a tree, and so on.
Have you reached the beginnings of that chair? NO, you have not.
That tree, that wood, could have been made into anything; how did it come to be made into this particular chair? Somebody had to see it first in their mind and then set about creating it. Everything that you experience in life begins with how you choose to think about it. And a golf shot starts in the same way.
The person who made the chair had to know how to cut the wood, put it together, and polish it and so on. But without first seeing what he wanted to achieve in his mind’s eye and without confidence in his ability to achieve that outcome the chair would have remained a few pieces of wood.
Each golf shot you make has equivalent requirements; No matter how gifted or talented you are, without seeing the shot first in your mind’s eye and without absolute confidence in yourself, you will not achieve the outcome you are hoping for.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in golf hypnosis cds and hypnosis mp3 downloads.