Archived Newsletters - AWARENESS:
Newsletter October 2004
Vol. V, Edition 10
by Joan King
It has been my plan to give you insightful information in these
newsletters to help you develop a golf game where you can play
effortlessly, trust your swing, become confident, focused and
enjoy the game more.
Golf is a metaphor for life because it has the same perpetual
challenge of not being able to achieve perfection. Life and golf
are natural processes of ebbs and flows, ups and downs. Golf
presents challenges for us to learn and grow. Everything that
happens, that has happened, is happening , and will happen in
the future is the outward manifestation of your innermost thoughts,
choices, ideas and determinations.
This month's ezine will cover diverse thoughts to jog your memory.
Without awareness there can be no change. Awareness is the key to
all change. Use your imagination and intuition to put these thoughts
Play the Game of Golf (November 2000)
The game of golf is about getting the ball from the tee into the hole
in the least number of strokes. Along the way golfers let many thoughts
interfere with the fun of accomplishing that task. If you hit the ball
well on the range and have trouble executing on the course, perhaps you
are trying too hard to hit every shot "perfectly." Instead of thinking
about how to fix your swing, use your (see, hear, feel) senses to access
the swing that you know has worked in the past. Abandon fixing your swing
on the course, relax and FEEL your tempo. Playing the game means moving
out of the learning/practicing mode into the trusting mode. Concentrate
on getting the ball in the hole and you will then be "playing the game."
Control Yourself and Your Game (September 2003)
Most golfers try to control their golf swings and wind up out of control.
To gain control and play at your peak performance level you have to let go
of conscious thinking and allow your unconscious mind to perform as you have
instructed it. To move "into the zone"; trust your swing, breathe deeply
through your diaphragm to relax and focus on preparing for the present shot.
The only thing you can control is you. Clear your mind of all extraneous
thoughts and focus on the joy of feeling the rhythm of your swing.
Maintain Your Constant Arousal Level (March 2000)
The average golfer leads a hectic life during the week and is unaware that
s/he brings this stress to the golf course on the weekend. Many people use
sports to release this tension through physical exertion. Unlike football,
tennis, swimming, weightlifting or running, golf is not a high arousal/excitement
sport. When you are over-aroused, you lose the skills you have practiced, your
balance, timing and tempo are off, and you revert to power and aggression to
force the shot. Know that unless you are diligent about maintaining an even
composure, your swing will speed up during the round. Breathe deeply to relax
and focus, stay in the present, let go of expectations, maintain positive
self-talk and stick with your game plan.
Keep a Positive Attitude (July 2000)
The bad news is that no one can be positive 100% of the time. Perhaps that is
one reason why golf scores are inconsistent. The good news is that you can
change your attitude, just as any bad habit can be changed. You choose your
attitude and state of mind. The sooner you decide to think positively about
yourself and your golf game, the less anxiety you will have and the more you
will enjoy your rounds of golf. Don't waste your round looking at "half empty"
glasses and making a victim of yourself. Make it your most enjoyable experience
After the third round of the LPGA World Championship this past weekend, Annika
Sorenstam was asked by the media how she dealt with her playing partner Christie
Kerr starting off with five birdies while she was struggling. Her answer was that
she loves birdies, loves to see people make birdies, and it encourages her to make
birdies. Winners maintain a positive attitude about themselves and their surroundings.
Be Aware of Your Thoughts (May 2002)
The human mind is only capable of focusing on one thought at a time. This is called
the Dominant Response. This means that the most current thought on your mind before
you swing the club will dictate your performance of that shot. If you are thinking
"failure" you will get "failure" feedback in the form of a missed shot. Don't let
your mind wander into the future "what if" scenarios, or into remembering past missed
shots. Instead, act as if you have confidence. Act as if you are successful. Act as
if you love everything about the game of golf. Program your self-talk "towards" what
you want instead of "away from" what you don't want. Focus your dominant thought on
what you DO want.
Maintain Your Rhythmical Tempo
The golf swing is a complicated maneuver using many different muscle groups, at
times moving in opposing directions. This complex movement cannot be controlled
by conscious thought. Swings of world-class golfers look effortless and rhythmical.
This can only be accomplished by trusting the subconscious mind to swing the golf
club automatically. Avoid the tendency to "hit at" the ball. Picture or feel the
entire swing moving through to the finish position. Hum a favorite song. Picture
a metronome swinging back and forth consistently. Count to yourself as you swing
1 (back) and (pause at top of swing) 2 (downswing), 3 (finish).
Use a Consistent Pre-Shot Routine (August 2003)
A mental and physical routine is used in every sport to prepare the athlete for his/her
performance. It keeps the athlete engrossed in the moment, and his/her thoughts away
from the pressure of the results. It is a map that gives direction to your brain about
what you want to do. It is a signal to the unconscious mind to get ready to perform.
A golf shot will hold your attention if you lead up to it with a consistent pre-shot
The pre-shot routine is a strategy to activate your swing. Consistency in your swing is
accomplished by focusing on the strategy that will get you ready. When you are focused
on your routine, your mind is too busy to listen to negative thoughts. The pre-shot
routine has its own rhythm. Each part is completed with your full attention before moving
on to the next step. If you vary your routine from shot to shot you can expect inconsistent
results. A consistent routine will produce consistent results. Watch the pros on TV
prepare to hit a shot and you will see that their routines never vary.
Indecision is the enemy of golfers. Any indecision will cause your brain to be confused
and it won't know what message to send to your muscles. Be absolutely certain about which
club to use. Be absolutely certain about the shot you are going to hit with that shot.
Prepare your mind by visualizing, imagining and feeling the trajectory of the shot.
Trust that this information is being relayed to your muscles. Play every shot will your
full intention and attention as if it is the only shot you will hit that day.
Manage the Golf Course Well (October 2002)
Course management is the ability to play around the golf course the way it was designed
by the architect, avoiding the trouble and placing each shot in the best position to hit
the next shot. Your course management depends upon many things including your skill level,
your personality, course conditions and the pressure of the situation. Have a strategy for
playing each hole so you will be prepared to focus in on your targets. Plan your strategy
according to your ability. Decide which holes you can par and which you can bogie, etc. and
set your own par on each hole. You can be a genius at course management if you are confident
with your wedges and putter. Then it won't matter if you miss greens.
Most tournaments are won or lost on the closing holes. As you approach hole 15, use your
mental energy to focus on finishing strong. This is when you may be physically or mentally
tired, especially if you have been grinding it out all day. Play one shot at a time, taking
the time to carefully plan and execute the shot. This is not the time to try and pull off a
low percentage shot. Base your shot selection on your skill level. Only hit shots that you
are confident of executing. Keep your focus on yourself, not on what others may be doing.
If you are a typical golfer, you frequently take lessons so you will know what to practice.
You spend time physically practicing your golf swing. You stretch and exercise your muscles
for strength and flexibility. How much time do you spend practicing your mental skills?
Consider practicing being in a confident, joyful mental state where you can produce peak
results in your life and in your golf game.
"What you believe yourself to be, you are." -- Claude M. Bristol
"Thanks to your coaching I've been able to play to my potential more often and with
greater pleasure. My perspective is better and I feel great. I look forward to each
challenge." -Jim Bounds, Amateur Golfer
"I listen to your putting tape every week. I am no longer agitated on the greens and
am able to relax. My putting has gotten much better. I remember the positive thoughts
expressed on the CD and use them. I am able to let go of negative thoughts or redirect
them when they occur. Thanks." -- Carol Adams, Amateur Golfer
One on One: For a FREE consultation, call Joan today by phone (828-696-2547) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn what is missing in your game to achieve your peak performances.
Positive Mental Imagery
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Flat Rock, NC 28731