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Newsletter May 2010

           Another month in a new year has gone by and the earth has undergone disastrous physical changes with ice storms, snowstorms, volcanic eruptions, flooding, and for us today a hail storm. For golfers there is relief and relaxation to be found on our golf courses with the newly sprouted grass growing in rejuvenating sunshine. Are you enjoying your days in the sun or are you mostly upset by your shots and scoring on the golf course? 


          Changing your golf game begins with changing your thinking. In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), changing your perception is called “reframing.” Reframing means to experience your actions from a different perspective (frame). In other words, when you put a different frame on a picture, it looks different. The event has no meaning by itself. People give it meaning according to their beliefs, values, likes and dislikes. There is always another way to look at a situation and react to it.


          Reframing is changing the way you perceive an event and thus changing the meaning. When the meaning changes for you, your response and behavior change also. Here is how Angela Stafford reframed her golf game at the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship in Palm Springs.


          Stanford went to the Kraft after missing the cut at the previous week’s Kia Classic. She shot 78 in the first round at Mission Hills, a round that had her more than a bit concerned about her game. “When my golf swing goes south, it goes south,” she said.


          Angela played the next 30 holes in 10 under to move into contention but couldn’t keep it going, She bogeyed three of her final five holes in the third round and closed with a final round 72 to finish tied for 15th at 1-under 287. It was Stanford’s fourth consecutive top 15 at the Kraft, and second-best finish of the season.


          Stanford turned it around early in the second round when she looked at the snow-capped mountains around Mission Hills. “I thought, ‘If all else fails, we’ll go skiing.’ she said. “That’s when I relaxed.” She changed her perception of the situation which changed her game.


          You are controlled emotionally by your beliefs and values. What are your beliefs and values that control your golf game?


          A belief is acceptance of the actuality of something without certain proof. Our thoughts create our beliefs, our beliefs create our habits and our habits create our lives. Our beliefs control everything in our lives. We constantly accept and focus upon our beliefs, never questioning because the results look so real.


          Many golfers believe they need to make excuses on the first tee for a poor game that they think might have. Their thinking mind takes over and they protect themselves against the “what ifs” that might happen during their round of golf.


          What are you thinking on the way to the course? What do you talk about with your friends as you are waiting to tee off?  “I probably won’t play well today because……..”


          A value is something important to each person and serves as a guide in making decisions. It can be unconscious or unconscious.


          When you are two down in a match with four holes to play do you:


  1. Value winning and perfection and believe victory should be based on playing well? If so, your emotional response will be most probably be dejection because you think you don’t deserve to win, playing as badly as you are. We witnessed this response when Tiger 3-putted from five feet on the 14th green at the Masters.


  1. Or, do you have the attitude that here is an opportunity to learn what has prevented you from playing up to your potential? Your emotional response would be inquiring and optimistic. At the Masters 13th we witnessed Phil Mickelson hitting a career 207-yard shot off the pine straw through the trees to land it four feet for an eagle putt. Phil said, “There’s an opening in the trees, it’s a 6-iron. All I’ve got to do is execute.”


          The second player has a better chance to win because his emotional state influenced by his beliefs and values is more conducive to good play.


          You are not your beliefs. You can change them at any time you wish. There are beliefs that limit us and there are beliefs that empower us.


          Karie Webb was questioned about defending her Office Depot title and she replied, “Some people say it’s harder to defend a tournament, but I think it’s the biggest advantage you can have. You’ve got better memories than anyone else in the field.”


          What you believe is what you will produce in your life and in your golf game.


          Do you remember Roger Bannister, the man who ran the first sub 4-minute mile? No one believed it could be done. He was the head of the medical society at Cambridge. At the school several research papers were published that said the mile could not be run in less than 4 minutes. He read those papers. He thought about the great milers who couldn’t do it, and the research papers that said it couldn’t be done. By modern standards, he did very low-mileage training. However, he practiced over and over in his mind, seeing himself doing it. He believed that he could do it. By the time he broke the 4-minute mile on May 6, 1954, he had already done it hundreds of times in his mind. In the 10 years following his record, 50 runners broke the 4 minute mile.


          Sir Roger Bannister described his accomplishment this way; "No longer conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity with nature. I had found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never dreamt existed."


          There are beliefs that limit us and there are beliefs that empower us. What are your beliefs about your golf game? Are you forming these beliefs from your results? Wouldn’t you rather believe that you are a great player?


Some of the limiting beliefs I hear are:

  • I don’t play as well in tournaments as I do other times.
  • I don’t expect to get better because I am getting older.
  • This is not my kind of course.
  • I’m not good at hitting my longer irons.
  • I can’t get over the water on that hole.
  • I can’t get out of the bunkers.
  • I don’t know if I can get my handicap back down.
  • I can’t putt these greens.


          These are all limiting beliefs that keep you from achieving your potential. What you resist, persists. Use your imagination and take a giant pink eraser to erase beliefs like this out of your mind. Use a great big pink eraser. Remember those pink erasers that are soft and smell good that you got at school. Use your giant eraser to erase each of your limiting beliefs that keep you from your potential. Then reframe your beliefs with positive affirmations and imagery. (www.pmi4.com, Archived Newsletters, August 2002, Affirmations)


          Begin today to believe in your ability and that you can improve. Success begins with belief. Visualize your success. Be creative. Enjoy using your imagination to create the golf game that you desire. Think out of the box. Balance your flow of energy harmoniously among your physical, emotional, spiritual and mental selves. Watch your words, monitor your thoughts and intentionally choose your actions. Write down the characteristics of the golfer you want to be. Picture yourself using each of those characteristics on the golf course.


            "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

-George Bernard Shaw


Entrain Your Heart & Brain for Peak Performances!


© Copyright PMI 2010. All Rights Reserved.


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