A golfer told me the other day that his problem was that as soon as he hits one bad shot he finds that he just can’t stop thinking about it. It then ruins his entire round. There are a lot of golfers who will identify with this feeling and share a similar reaction. I can’t help wondering why golfers let this sort of thing happen?
If a golfer finds that a shank pops out, he or she would likely go to the range and have a few practices or take a lesson so as to iron out the shank. Similarly if a golfer starts to pull or push the ball they would probably do something similar. What I’m trying to say here is that if the problem at hand is mechanical or technical the golfer will go and do something about it. But if it’s mental, they tend to just let it keep happening.
Doesn’t that seem bizarre to you? Why would you work to cure something that happens now and again from a mechanical perspective, and yet not even contemplate working to overcome a rogue mental thought that happens time and again and creates havoc for the entire round?
The only conclusion that I can draw from this is that those golfers who are affected in this way simply do not know that they could work on it or how to work to overcome these extremely negative reactions. They must think that they are “stuck with it”.
Whilst ever a golfer thinks this to be the case they are in fact correct. BUT, as soon as you look to see if there is a way to overcome these havoc wreaking thought patterns and beliefs you will find yourself empowered to take control. This problem is only insurmountable so long as you think that it is so.
There are in fact many mental fixes that can be applied in such circumstances. The key is to find a way (or in fact many different ways) that suits you to dissociate yourself from the emotional reaction to that bad shot. This is where a post-shot routine is extremely helpful. Most golfers have a pre-shot routine, but few have a post-shot routine.
The purpose of having a pre-shot routine is not just mechanical. Yes, you are working to feel your next shot. But you are also relaxing your body and dialing in your mental focus. I suspect many golfers do not appreciate the importance of the latter benefit to having such a routine. They see that which is mechanical and overlook the mental aspects.
The purpose of the post-shot routine is to enable you to de-brief your mind, clear negative emotional reactions and leave you with the ability to apply 100% of your focus, in a positive manner, to the next shot. As you can see, this particular routine has no mechanical components; it’s all mental. Perhaps this is explains once again why golfers overlook it’s invaluable place in the game of golf.
Golf is a mental game even more than it is a physical and mechanical game. To ignore the mental side will inevitably ensure that you never play to your optimal potential.
Roseanna Leaton, avid golfer and specialist in golf hypnosis mp3 downloads and author of the GolferWithin golf mind training system.
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