Make Mental Training Part of Your Round

Copyright © 1999 - 2035 Craig Townsend

Just like the bunkers, there are many mental hazards to watch out for as well while you are playing a round.

Hazards such as getting overly annoyed, trying too hard, first tee nerves, and getting mentally tired (which causes concentration loss) must be erased before they can have any major impact upon your round. These mental changes during a game are the very source of the cause of those missed easy putts, and must not be under-estimated.

The best way to overcome these negative mental changes is to build some mental safeguards into your round until they become an automatic part of your golf game. This ensures you are giving yourself the best possible chance, physically and mentally, of playing a good round each time you go out to play.

The first step towards safeguarding against these is detection - you must see the problems before they happen. The best way to do this is to watch yourself through the eyes of another - this means 'checking in' with yourself regularly and monitoring your feelings and reactions throughout your entire round. This way you are able to detect a potential problem immediately, and troubleshoot it before it can have any effect upon you.

A good time to do this is when you are walking in between shots - just do a quick mental check on how you are feeling - noticing if you are feeling any signs of annoyance, tiredness, nervousness, urgency, tightness, or overly rushing etc. Troubleshoot trouble before it appears, as it is much easier to deal with at this stage, plus your scores remain unaffected by the possible disturbance.

If you do notice some negative signs within your mind or body, this is also the very time to eradicate these immediately, using some positive self-talk, or affirmations repeated over and over (all within your mind of course, not out loud!). Tailor the affirmation to suit the particular problem. eg. If you are feeling annoyed, you might repeat to yourself something like "It's a beautiful day" or "I'm letting it go", or if you are feeling tense you might repeat to yourself "I'm calm and relaxed" - over and over again while you are walking, all the way until you are ready to hit your next shot.

Another good habit is to hit all shots in your mind before you even consider hitting them physically. This means using visualization, picturing the perfect result of the shot before walking up for a practice swing. This can be done with either eyes open or closed within a few seconds. This simple practice takes little time, makes an enormous difference, and sets up a mental blueprint for your body to follow for the next shot.

Whenever you play a round of golf, take your psychology and mental training with you and make it a permanent part of your game. It troubleshoots any problems before they arise, and also to pre-program your next shot into your mind for your body to follow. Your mind and body must be working together each time you hit a shot, to ensure that you play a great round.

 

"The Mind controls the body, and the Mind is Unlimited"

The best of success, Craig Townsend

 

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