Controlling Negative Thoughts On The CourseCopyright © 1999 - 2035 Craig Townsend
In golf, once you submit to negative thoughts, they become very difficult to overcome - as they can then often control the remainder of your round.
The key is to control them and prevent them gaining control of your thinking, and your game.
There are many ways to do this, but one of the more effective ways is to use an affirmation.
An affirmation is a few words or a short sentence which you repeat to yourself over and over again, at times when your mind is battling to remain positive (which on the course is usually after a bad shot).
It's vital to mentally isolate bad shots rather than allow them to strengthen and destroy your round, and so rather than allowing your conscious mind to go off on a tirade of self-abuse, it's far more useful to force it to constantly repeat a particular positive thought for 2-3 minutes instead.
This ensures that the negative thought does not create an entire negative thought pattern, which can be almost impossible to overcome during that particular round. Needless to say, affirmations are repeated internally within your mind, not aloud on the course - or else you might get some strange looks from your playing partners! That's the great thing about this technique, it is so easy to use, and no-one even knows you are using it.
For instance, lets say your chip onto the green wasn't at all what you had hoped for, and instead you have a very difficult long putt to make for par instead. Rather than rueing the bad chip shot which most people do, you instead project forward to the next shot, and mentally repeat an affirmation such as "perfect putt, perfect putt, perfect putt...", over, and over, and over again in your mind while your partner is hitting his shot.
This sends a powerful and repeated message directly to your computer-like subconscious (the controller of all your movement) which can program it to perform the shot you desire, whilst simultaneously (and more importantly) shutting out any opportunity for your mind to dwell on the negative from the previous shot.
This is an ancient and proven technique which works very well on the golf course, and for many other purposes, for that matter. There's far too much to know about using them for me to mention in this tip, however the main thing you must observe is that they are positive and worded in the present-tense at all times (as affirmations work equally well in the negative!).
So whenever you hit a bad shot or feel a negative pattern developing, interrupt it with a string of positive affirmations, repeated over and over again until the negative thought has been vanquished forever. Ensure that you never allow negative thoughts to take a hold of your thinking on the course again.
"The Mind controls the body, and the Mind is Unlimited"
The best of success, Craig Townsend
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