Archived Newsletters - Trust
Newsletter October 2000
Dear Golf Enthusiast,
Vol. I, Edition 11
PMI is pleased to provide this free electronic newsletter, Mental Coaching for Golf to give you information for balancing your mind-body-spirit so you can play golf effortlessly, free from distractions, trusting your swing, confident, focused, and enjoying the game more!
Thanks for subscribing. With your subscription you will receive tips and insightful information at the beginning of each month to help you develop a winner's mentality for your golf game by balancing your mental, physical and spiritual bodies.
This is the end of the summer tournament season winding up with championships being played around the country. How did you do? Whether you played in your first tournament or tried to qualify for a national tournament, did your "home course" game hold up for you? Or, in Tiger's words, did you have your "A" game when you needed it? If not, what was interfering with your performance?
One of the least mentioned mental skills, and perhaps the most important, is TRUST. To trust in yourself and in your ability means:
- playing without fear of the consequences
- believing in your ability to hit the shots
- having confident expectation of good results.
When I play a board game with my 6-year-old grandson, he gets upset when my marker moves ahead of his and it looks as if he will lose. He hasn't learned yet that the game can change dramatically with every roll of the dice. In golf it is possible to be hitting the ball poorly, and still score. It is also possible to hit the ball extremely well and not score. The former is representative of a poor physical game and good mental game, while the latter represents a good physical game and a poor mental game.
Have you ever noticed that when you are in a new situation, you have feelings of anxiousness about what to do and about how the situation will turn out? This is a normal reaction to the unknown. When you are on the first tee, are you anxious and then become more comfortable after a few holes? The way to overcome this is by making the unknown, known so you can trust that you have control over the situation. To do this, you have to develop a solid mental and physical game.
The golf game is a metaphor for life because we are continually learning more about "the game" and about ourselves. To put together a good learning model requires mastery of the mechanical skills as well as the management of your mental beliefs, attitudes and resulting emotions. To move from the "learning" phase of your physical skill to the "knowing" phase means "trusting" your mechanics. For example, in learning to ride a bike, you listened to the verbal instruction, had enough desire to move through the fear of falling, and practiced until you were able to move into an automatic, enjoyable experience. Then you were no longer learning, but were "riding" your bike. In golf, it is called "playing" the game. Trusting your game on the golf course means moving out of the learning/practice mode into the trusting mode.
The Physical Game:
To develop trust in your physical game, you need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. On the following scale of 1-5, rate your golf skills using your practice sessions instead of competition. If you rate yourself 3 or less, you need further instruction and repetitive practice.
- No knowledge or poor mechanics
- Mentally understood but unable to execute
- Needs improvement; inconsistency, poor feel
- Good, but still inconsistent, inability to hit targets
- Learned and accepted as trustworthy; sound mechanics, consistent
1 2 3 4 5
- GRIP ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- POSTURE ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- BODY ALIGNMENT ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- CLUBFACE ALIGNMENT ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- SHORT PUTTS (0 TO 6') ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- MIDDLE PUTTS (7' TO 20') ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- LONG PUTTS (LAG) ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- SAND SHOTS ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- CHIP SHOTS ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- PITCH SHOTS (SW) ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- LOB SHOTS ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- SHORT IRONS (PW, 9, 8) ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- MIDDLE IRONS (7, 6, 5) ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- LONG IRONS/FAIRWAY WOODS ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- DRIVER ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
The Mental Game:
Mastering your mental game means making choices about what each internal or external representation means to you. Are you choosing your own perceptions, beliefs and attitudes, or is your subconscious mind running it for you on thoughts collected by others' perceptions? Champions make their own decisions and set up their own internal programs.
Just as you analyze your physical game, it is important to analyze your mental game and know how to improve it. Most golfers believe missed golf shots are due to lack of technique. Since your brain controls the functioning of your physical body, all missed shots begin with a mental error.
To develop trust in yourself and your mental game, you need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. On the following scale of 1-5, rate your mental skills using competitive play as your criteria for assessment. If you are below the 3 level, you are probably frustrated with your game. Strengthen your mental game and learn to enjoy the game more by reading the enewsletters. Maintain a strong mental game so you can score well when your physical game is not up to par.
- No awareness of thinking patterns
- Aware of mental weaknesses but still controlled by fears
- Needs improvement, inconsistent during round
- Good but still inconsistent, too many mental errors
- Trusting; high level of confidence
1 2 3 4 5
- POSITIVE SELF-TALK ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- POSITIVE ATTITUDE ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- POSITIVE BELIEFS ____ _____ _____ ____ ____
- FOCUS ____ _____ _____ _____ _____
- CONFIDENCE ____ _____ _____ _____ _____
- DECISIVENESS ____ _____ _____ _____ _____
- PRE-SHOT ROUTINE ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- MENTAL REHEARSAL ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
- COURSE MANAGEMENT ____ ____ ____ ____ ____
To trust yourself and your game on the golf course you have to practice enough mentally and physically to be comfortable with each new situation. Besides keeping stats on fairways and greens hit, keep track of your consistency in executing your pre-shot routine, your positive attitude and self-talk, etc. Build your consistent game by reinforcing what you did successfully, not on what you didn't do.
Develop the following successful attitudes used by champions in competition:
- Play each shot in the moment giving it your full intention and attention
- Give up replaying past shots and thinking of future shots
- Focus on each shot 100%
- Stay in the process of creating a solid shot or rolling the ball well more important than where it goes
- Maintain an even emotional level
- Trust yourself to play by feel, tempo and good timing rather than mechanics
- Stay committed to your game plan
- Decide to make enjoyment of the round more important than the score!!
Lower your scores easily with the new PMI audiocassette tape for putting! Side 1 is a hypnosis tape of positive mental programming for changing your negative putting attitudes on the subconscious level. Side 2 repeats positive affirmations for building trust, a positive attitude, confidence and your belief in being a great putter. PUTTING FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE can be ordered now on the PMI Audio Page.
If you need help with your mental game or have a question, contact Joan at Positive Mental Imagery firstname.lastname@example.org. Please share with us how this website information has helped you improve your golf game by sending an email to email@example.com