Your Greatest Enemy During Your Round

Copyright © 1999 - 2035 Craig Townsend

One of the most frustratingly powerful negative forces in golf is unconscious sabotage.

Unconscious sabotage (in golf psychology), is caused by the mind sending negative 'signals' for the body to follow during the swing on particular shots.

This is caused by negative beliefs (brought on by a regularly dwelled-upon negative thought) which can cause a golfer to 'self-destruct' during the pressure of a round, through making a host of major and uncharacteristic errors that may never happen during practice.

A negative belief often causes recurring problems which can often last long periods of time if not overcome quickly (eg. first tee nerves, yips, shot difficulties, etc) - and these can be anything within the realms of golf - from a recurring slice or draw, to losing concentration on the back nine. When this happens, there is very little you can consciously do to overcome it during the actual round, as this problem is not conscious, it's sub-conscious (or below our normal conscious awareness).

Generally the best way to prevent it is to stop it happening in the first place. Self-sabotage occurs when your subconscious mind has accepted a negative thought, which creates a new mental 'blueprint' for your body to follow on particular shots from then on. For instance, one particularly bad 1st tee shot - if dwelled upon for too long - can create a mental program which will ensure the player repeats this problem over and over again, regardless of the course. This can go on until the mental program is finally overcome and reversed.

This is unconscious sabotage, and it can become a recurring habit over time if not watched carefully. I have come across many golfers who had been going through this for years, before we made the mental changes necessary to break the pattern.

Classic signs of this can also be a severe loss of confidence in your own ability (which is often especially localised to particular shots). This sabotage is generally brought about if you allow your mind to focus for too long upon failure and all the things that can go wrong - as this sets up a powerful blueprint for the body to follow, especially during the pressure of competition.

The good news is that your subconscious mind is programmed by your everyday conscious thoughts - so this mean that you actually have control over what goes IN to your subconscious. You have the right to CHOOSE whether you are going to dwell upon your successes or your failures - and this choice separates the winners from the rest.

Probably the most effective way to avoid self-sabotage is to generally avoid negative thoughts in the first place - which prevents negative beliefs from forming in the first place. Choose to completely disregard momentary doubts and negative thoughts (permit them, but ignore them), and focus purely on what you want to do - or better still, what you are GOING to do.

Remember - what you choose to focus upon, expands. Ensure you choose every thought wisely during your round - choose thoughts of strength, confidence, consistency and motivation. Your thoughts become your habits, and your habits become your results.

If you are experiencing regular self-sabotage, it takes a steady diet of daily visualization, affirmations and positive thoughts on a daily basis until the results begin to turn around - for more info on this you can also go to Visualization , Affirmations, and Handling Negative Thoughts. Otherwise, remember that prevention is always the best cure when on the course!


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

The best of success, Craig Townsend

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