Summer tournaments are in full swing. By now you have experienced an increase or decrease in your handicap from the beginning of the golf season.
You may have experienced the disappointment of making a large number on a hole, of not playing to your potential, three-putting, penalty shots, or losing a match. On the bright side you may have experienced a chip-in, birdies, low scores, playing well with friends or winning in a tournament.
What do these two scenarios have in common? Emotions. Your performances are directly related to your emotions.
It is an interesting facet of the brain that we remember perceived good and bad things that happen in our lives. We remember them because of the intense emotions attached to the experiences. These events are anchored into our subconscious mind for immediate recall. How easy is it to recall a hole-in-one or other emotional shot?
In weekly tournament play at my club I am always amazed at the golfers who are constantly anchoring miss-hits with sabotoging emotions into their subconscious mind. In NLP we call this negative anchoring. Your subconscoius mind records everything literally and does not discern between negative and positive emotions.
Yelling at your ball reinforces your low self-esteem and lack of confidence. If you "talk" to your ball in flight and tell it not to go there (water, rough, bunker, etc.) you are putting emotion into what you do not want. The subconsious then records this message visually seeing the ball end up where you don't want it to go.
And you say, "The pros talk to their balls al the time." The difference is that the pros are reinforcing their original plan for the ball to go to a certain target, not where they don't want it to go. They are not afraid of where it will wind up because they have practiced every possible shot and have confidence in executing it.
Golfers who talk to their balls are afraid they will not be able to successfully get out of a challenging situation. This fear then creates anxiety about the score.
And so you see that your emotions start with your thoughts. If your expectation is to hit a certain shot well and you don't do it you will be frustrated, disappointed, humiliated. Instead of judging your result, determine what the thought was that created the miss. You always get what your last thought was.
Learn from your miss-hits so you won't repeat them. This will release the emotion.
When you hit a good shot, always reinforce it in your subconscious with praise and a good feeling of success. It can be anchored with a smile, a fist pump or other energetic motion, but it is basically an internal process to build confidence. Whether you reinforce it with an outward expression or not depends on your personality.
Release fear thoughts for good results
1. Confidence allows us to bypass feelings of fear, providing us with the strength to face new challenges.
2. Don't make choices out of fear. Develop confidence by practicing shots you are afraid of.
3. Use recovery shots as an opportunity to excel. Develop a plan for the best possible outcome.
4. Let go of fear thoughts. Focus on creating each shot to the best of your ability, and accept the result.
5. Step away and take a mental mulligan, if you have a fear thought prior to hitting a shot.
6. Reframe your thought process by thinking about what you love about hitting the shot.
Good results come from good thoughts
1. No one thinks in your mind but you. Control your golf game by controlling your thoughts.
2. Practice having a positive attitude. Golf is a game where it is necessary to maintain composure, patience and an attitude of loving the experience of doing your best.
3. Your beliefs and attitudes effect your emotional level. Reframe your thoughts into believing you can recover successfully from anywhere on the golf course.
4. Anchor your best shots with positive emotions. Feel the joy within of success. Then it will be easier to repeat the shot you want. Anchoring your poor shots with negative emotions will send a message to your subconscious that you want to repeat those shots.
5. Self-confidence builds from small successes. Every day recognize what you have accomplished.
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