The Best Time For Good Golf - And 2 Modes of Thought To Avoid!Copyright © 1999 - 2035 Craig Townsend
There is only one time you will ever play great golf - and believe it or not, that time is right now.
No, I am not telling you to grab your clubs right now and go down to the course! (more's the pity, really!). I am saying that your best golf will mostly occur when your mind is not focused upon either the past or the future - and this only leaves you: the present moment!
In golf, most self-sabotage - which is the most common reason for a bad round - comes from thinking about the past or future shots, instead of being in the present moment.
Thinking about the past shots is almost synonymous with becoming 'dwelling on the negative', whilst thinking about the future, if not carefully monitored, can easily slip into having negative expectation about future shots to come.
So generally the best way to keep your mind positive during your round is to ensure you keep your mind in the present moment, and off the past or future strokes.
Interestingly, this is supported by the fact that we generally only click into the powerful mental state known as the "The Zone" (the mental state which produces our best possible level of play) when we happen to be in the present moment, which happens very rarely when we are worrying about past or future shots. And this is the same in almost every sport, not just golf.
Of course, there is nothing to prevent you from using the past and future to your own golfing advantage - if you can manage to do it! This can be achieved by consciously extracting only the memories of your earlier good shots (which is fabulous positive reinforcement), or projecting positive images about your next shot (a form of moving visualization) - but you almost need to force your mind to do these tasks, as your mind can easily slip back into working against you unless it is closely monitored.
As the great tennis player Arthur Ashe once said about tennis ("it's not a game where you have the luxury of thinking cumulatively"), and golf is very much the same, in that you cannot really afford to think too much about the past, or future - otherwise the present moment can become extremely unpleasant if you make a bad shot!
So the easiest way to ensure your mind remains positive - and free of self-sabotage - is to use that ancient Zen principle - "be here now".
By focusing on the now throughout your round, you will be ensuring that (once you're back in the clubhouse) the past round will be looking pretty good too!
"The Mind controls the body, and the Mind is Unlimited"
The best of success, Craig Townsend
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