It is important to be “in the now” in order to be fully aware of what we should be aware of whilst on the golf course. Perception involves all the ways of becoming aware of things, people, happenings, or ideas. Once a person has perceived something they will make sense of that “reality” in their own way – they will make a judgment, come to their own conclusion about the “reality” of the situation. Judgment involves all the ways of coming to conclusions about what has been perceived. If people differ systematically in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions, then it follows that they will differ in levels of motivation, acquisition of skills and in their reactions to situations.
There are many ways in which people differ. On a physical scale, we differ in height, shape, weight, fitness, flexibility, and so on. And our golf swing will differ from one individual to another because of these obvious physical differences. Golf is played from the platform of you, the person, and you are unique, and thus you will have your own unique swing. And yet so many golfers try to imitate someone else’s swing which they perceive as perfect; and it probably is perfect…for that other person – it suits their individual characteristics, both physically and psychologically.
On the psychological side, some of us are more relaxed and easy going whilst others are more easily excitable. Some of us do things slowly and deliberately, whilst others do things at great speed. Some of us are very controlled, others not. Again, our golf will reflect such individual characteristics.
Awareness is the first step on the journey to mastery of anything in life. If you are aware of your individual methods of perception and the judgments that ensue, then you can change your reaction to situations, you can change your levels of motivation and also your ability to acquire skills. And golf is a game of reactions, motivation and skill.
If you are aware of reacting as “Mr. Angry”, for example, you can do a little work on this and learn to respond in a different way. I can hear you saying “but this is how I am, I always get angry because I care” and so on. But the fact is you don’t HAVE to get angry, you CAN learn to react in a different way, and you CAN take control, so long as you WANT to. And so, with a little effort on your part, and maybe a little help from a hypnotherapist or golf psychologist, you can change your reactions to all sorts of situations on the golf course. Wouldn’t that be useful?
Not only can you change your reactions, you can raise your levels of motivation, overcome negative thoughts and feelings and take a more direct route along the road to mastery. Once you are aware of your own unique characteristics, you know what skills come naturally to you and what skills require a little attention, and as you attend to these mental skills you will find that you can acquire them in a relatively short space of time. Let’s face it; if you are good at your long game but not so good at chipping, you know that if you work on the chipping it will get better. Taking the same approach to your mental skills will work just as effectively. They simply require a little attention on your part.
One particular aspect of personality, however, will always remain pretty constant and unchanged, and to fight this aspect would be a complete waste of time and effort. There is an individual tempo of the personality. There is a natural tempo with which we all perform any deliberately willed action. And if there is one thing which is vital in golf is to have a good rhythm, a good tempo. This does NOT mean that you have to have the same tempo as Tiger, or Ernie or Phil. Your best rhythm, your best tempo, is your OWN natural, instinctive tempo or rhythm. You dont have to slow your golf swing down or speed it up; simply become AWARE of your natural tendencies and swing the club accordingly.
Ask yourself these two simple questions and you will easily work out your own best golfing tempo:
Do you speak quickly or slowly?
Do you walk quickly or slowly?
Next time you swing your golf club, become aware of what tempo feels best to you. As Gary Player says “There is a definite “feeling” and this feeling is to be developed and looked for”. Instead of trying to swing at the speed you think you should, allow yourself to become aware of the feel of your golf swing and discover for yourself what feels best, and you will find that your own most comfortable swing speed, your most comfortable rhythm and tempo, will in fact simply reflect your personality type. By swinging your golf club with the rhythm and tempo of your own personality you will produce your best results on the golf course.
You will never become a master of someone else’s golf game, but you can become a master of your own game. To quote Pia Nilsson, “Trust your swing; it is your signature”.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in golf hypnosis cds and hypnosis downloads.