Archived Newsletters - SELF-DISCIPLINE FOR THE GOLFER'S MIND :
Newsletter July 2013
Serious golfers are much disciplined in trying to perfect their golf swings. They take lessons from pros, have their swings videotaped and analyzed, and practice drills for what they are told needs to be corrected. When I ask how much time they spend on their mental games, they usually spend practically no time at all. Why is this, when developing a strong mental game is the bedrock of peak performances?
What does the thought of discipline conjure up for you? Punishment? Correction? Chastisement? Control? Authority? Obedience?
I like the definition stating that discipline is remembering what it is you really want. If you really want to play better and score lower, you will develop positive mental strategies for thinking during your round. Lack of discipline in your mental game will lead to frustration and lack of self-esteem.
Monitor your thoughts
I believe that every error in golf is a mental error! Train your brain to think only in the present and to let go of all ego thoughts. The analytical ego mind co-creates doubt, fear, and resistance. On the golf course, you need to be diligent about applying discipline to what you are thinking.
All that we are and all that we do is the result of what we have thought. We become what we think. The game on the golf course is won by self-discipline. The difference between winners and losers is how they think. Your reality is based on where you focus your attention. Do you expect bad things to happen, or do you focus your attention on the good results you desire?
Managing your thoughts and emotions before, during and after your round of golf makes the difference between success and failure. This is the part of the game that does not depend on athletic ability. Everyone has the same ability to build a strong mental strategy for playing this game. It's never too late for a great beginning. Begin now to look at negative, indecisive or fearful thinking that keeps you from being successful.
Mental Discipline Strategies
1. Use self control over your fears. Fearful thoughts are the result of past experiences. Decide not to bring the past into the present. Release the fears you have created by taking a deep breath. Create anew the picture of what you desire to happen. As you visualize the successful shot, feel the emotion of joy.
2. Adhere to the Rules of Golf and Code of Conduct. Being honest with your performance and respect for others will build your self-esteem and eliminate distractions.
3. Use Course management. Use conservative course management when you are not playing well. Increase your chances of scoring lower by hitting to places for the best advantage. Hit to the center of the greens to avoid short siding, and leave the ball below the cup. Think only about what you can control.
4. Focus in the moment. Leave your ego at home. Remove all conversation in your head that says you should have, could have, or if only thoughts. Replace with "I can..." or "I am...."
5. Play percentage shots. Hit shots you know you can hit to keep you out of trouble situations. Weigh thoroughly the risk and reward options of being aggressive.
6. Be decisive. After you have analyzed all the factors that go into determining which club to use, be strong-minded and trust your decision.
Play "In the Zone" with Joan
Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances
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