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Newsletter June 2005
Vol. VI, Edition 6
Joan will be giving a workshop, "Entrain Your Heart & Brain for Peak Performance---Use Hypnosis to Play in the Zone State" at the world's largest hypnosis convention in August in Massachusetts. Here's your chance to learn about using hypnosis and much more to improve your golf game. Log on to
by Joan King
One of the affirmations Tiger Woods learned as a young child was to play golf with all of his heart. This may be the most impressive part of his golf game.
He has dominated the sport with his long game. He has an extensive innovative repertoire of short shots, a putting game unparalleled under pressure, and agreeably has the best mental game on tour. With all of that talent, when he plays golf his spirit is indomitable. He stays focused and never gives up.
In the golf world, athletes call it "grinding it out." I prefer to call it the discipline of using your heart to remember the good feelings, what you have done well in the past, and the unlimited possibilities that are yet to come.
Last month, Tiger missed the weekend cut at the Byron Nelson Championship by one stroke. It was the first tournament weekend he had off in seven years. He spent Saturday at the practice range at Isleworth working on his swing. Talking about Woods' game, his swing coach Hank Haney said, "I don't think there's any doubt about it. The most impressive thing to me is he has zero quit in it."
The average number of weekend cuts made by a tour player is two in a row. At the present time Ernie Els has made 20 cuts in a row. Tiger's streak that began in 1998 at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am ended with making 142 consecutive cuts.
Woods described his persistent performances; "This is more about intestinal fortitude than anything else. Days when you just don't have it, you don't mail it in. You don't pack it in. You give it everything you've got. I don't care what kind of game you have. You somehow find a way to get it done. I believe you should always have the switch on. You can't turn it on and off."
When Winston Churchill was a student, the headmaster at his school told him how hopelessly dumb and trifling he was. Years later when he was Prime Minister and had written the history of the English-speaking people, he was invited back to address a graduating class. They looked forward to one of his brilliant and lengthy speeches. Here's the entire text of what he told the students: "Young men……… nevah, nevah, give up!" And he sat down.
Learning not to give up during a round of golf is a major part of your mental game. It is important to establish this mindset before you set foot on the golf course. Your ego would have you fall into the trap of making excuses for your mistakes and moving into negative thinking. Know that bad breaks, poor shots, missed putts and opportunities are all part of the game. Your job is to prepare thoroughly enough to minimize those errors and continue to focus on creating your best performance.
Here are some strategies to take to the course:
Vijay Singh has won 27 times on the PGA Tour. He also has a fantastic streak of wins; 16 in the last 27 months. He said that he learned how to be patient in overcoming a 6-shot deficit to win his last tournament in Charlotte. His comment was, "You should never give up. When you go out there with 18 holes, you never can tell what can happen."
Make every shot a special moment in your golf career. The most difficult golf shots that you pull off will be the most memorable and confidence building. Learn not to give up. Learn not to be distracted by judging your shots against perfection.
The difference between winning and losing is that the winner expects to play well. Life is a collection of self-fulfilling prophecies. Know that you are a winner. Act like a winner. Repeat to yourself'; I am a winner. I am a winner. Feel how good it feels to experience winning. Repeat to yourself; every time I play, in my own mind, I am the favorite. I compete to win. I love to compete. I love to win. I am a winner because I give my performance 100% and never give up.
Make a commitment to yourself that you are not going to be satisfied with anything less than your best effort. Ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things. Winners never quit and quitters never win! Believe in yourself and make extraordinary things happen
- Play the game. Get the ball in the hole in the fewest number of strokes.
- Play to win.
- Stick with your game strategy.
- Accept that what has happened is over.
- Wait patiently for the successful shots to appear.
- Accept your missed shots and focus on the upcoming shot.
- When you miss a shot, don't generalize that it will occur again.
- Strengthen your resolve to prepare fully for the next shot.
- Remember that you haven't lost your swing, you have just perceived it differently.
- Give each shot 100%.
- Be consistent with your pre-shot routine on every shot.
- Don't be in a hurry. Most golfers play faster when they miss shots.
- Breathe deeply through your abdomen to maintain your arousal level for better focus.
- Use positive self-talk and visualization to create the next shot.