If you were standing with a bucket of balls on the range and you were aware that they were all going off to the right of your target, would you not try to correct that by aiming further left, altering your grip or whatever else, so as to give the ball a chance of reaching the correct target? And this, in essence, is all you have to do with your thoughts, all you have to do with your suggestions to yourself – just be mindful of the language you use. This brings me to the fact that people are always happy to attempt to correct something physical, but where it is something mental, they often just give up and say “this is how I am”. Our minds aren’t static; they aren’t unchangeable, any more than your swing is. You can CHOOSE TO CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS.
And as I have said on many earlier occasions, your thoughts create your emotions and direct your actions. Witness your body language when you say “I can’t…”, the way your body tenses up and you get jerky; whereas when you say to yourself “I can do this”, it is noticeable how fluid and rhythmic your body language is.
Which do you think would be the easier way of shaving 6 shots off your handicap? Spending an hour or so each day practicing youre putting or choosing to believe that you can putt instead of suggesting to yourself that you can’t?
And then, once you have chosen to suggest to yourself that you can putt, you could decide to take the natural power of suggestion one step further, and shave even more shots off your handicap…Studies have decisively shown that the use of visualization in putting is actually more effective than real practice. This is FACT. And you have no doubt read the following Jack Nicklaus quote.
“I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie. First I see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes and I see the ball going there: its path, trajectory and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there is a sort of fade out and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.”
This is a perfect example of how you could choose to use suggestion on yourself. Jack clearly allows himself to see, hear and feel the shot he’s going to play before he plays it. He suggests to himself what he’s going to do, precisely and clearly, and then follows that suggestion. In effect, he allows himself the best opportunity to get the ball where he wants it to be. You’ll have noticed as well that this routine is one Jack employs both in competitions AND in practice. He wants to give EVERY shot the best chance of success, and so isn’t recording “misses” or “miss-hits” whilst in practice.
In the words of James Braid, “For practice to have full value make each swing with the care of a stroke from a tee on medal day”. In this way you are giving yourself the best opportunity to hit an optimal number of great shots and thus your mind is recording these “optimal” shots, thereby reinforcing your belief that you can hit that shot the way you want to.
So next time you are tempted to go to the range and hit 100 balls in quick succession, ask yourself will this be productive? Remember that your mind gathers information via your senses, and the senses used in playing golf are those of hearing, seeing and feeling. As you mind your language, you are hearing what you want to hear – “I can” rather than “I can’t”. As you practice productively, taking “the care of a stroke from a tee on medal day” you will be seeing what you want to see more often – great shots, and you will be feeling more consistently what a great shot feels like. And feel is so very important in golf.
In addition to having greater feel in the mechanics of your shots, you will be feeling more positive in yourself and having more fun. This, of course, is the aim of the game of golf. Having fun. To quote Tiger, “If you are not having fun playing this great game, do something to change your perspective. Having fun leads to great golf and vice versa. And don’t forget to take time to smell the roses along the way”.
As I asked in PART 1 of this article, why not change the suggestions which you are giving to yourself? You can learn how to change your habitual internal language with the help of hypnosis downloads. Why do you think the professionals use golf hypnosis? They use golf hypnosis because it works; hypnosis downloads can be used to get you to focus, to stay in the now, to see what you really want to see. With hypnosis downloads you can learn to access the more creative part of your mind and visualize your shots better. You can use golf hypnosis downloads to stop generalizing and to enjoy your golf a whole lot more than before, to have fun and to smell the roses along the way.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in golf hypnosis cds and hypnosis mp3 downloads.