Golf can take some time to play, especially if you’re on the PGA Tour these days!
But seriously, being out on the course expecting to concentrate intensely for four plus hours is no mean feat, especially when you’re expected or expecting yourself to play at your best with a myriad of things going on around you and inside your own mind.
Like multi-tasking, which is never a good idea really, you end up doing five things averagely instead of one thing at a time really well.
Having large amounts of down time between shots is one of the game’s big challenges. It allows golfers plenty of time to focus on all the negatives in their game, which can lead to them looking for the slightest excuse to blame their mishit or missed putt on something other than the real problem.
It could be the drone of the green-keeper’s mower 300 yards away, a loose coin in someone’s pocket or a butterfly sneezing on the next fairway. Whatever it is, it can and does get to some golfers and has been known to send some into a complete frenzy.
Years ago I recall seeing Colin Montgomery chastising a cameraman for being too close to him when he was about to take a shot, even though the guy had been shadowing him most of the afternoon, it just so happened it was when his game was starting to feel the pinch.
He allowed his mind to wander.
The pressure gets to us all if we let it. And then the yoghurt really can hit the fan.
So what’s the answer?
To let “shift happen”.
By that I mean shift your focus of blaming everything that is going wrong onto everything else, such as the mower, the loose coin or the butterfly sneezing and take responsibility for your focus, your actions and the results.
Shift your focus to responsibility is incredibly empowering, knowing that you have the power to make things happen or simply allow them to happen.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could shift from looking for what’s going wrong to what’s going right and what can go right?
When you do that you’ll be amazed at how your game can change.
Too often we don’t always realise it’s happening and we need another set of ears and eyes to notice these things.
If you feel your game isn’t where you want it to be and want to get that other set of ears and eyes, contact us to discuss how we may be able to help.
Photo by Mitch Gunn / Shutterstock
Over the years I’ve heard so many different differing thoughts and advice on how to improve and one of the most amusing quotes related to this was “You don’t improve because you keep listening to your friends”.
The problem with that is your friends often don’t know enough to be giving advice and also give the wrong advice, because they simply aren’t at a level to teach others and haven’t trained how to spot the problems and causes in someone else’s game.
I’m sure you wouldn’t ask a ‘friend’ to sort out your electrics at home who wasn’t qualified, so why do it with your golf game.
It often becomes so confusing and is counterproductive.
You can hear them saying things like “Your hands are too high…. Keep your head up…. As you take it away, keep your hands in line, turn wide, watch the ball, shoulder to chin and then what you do is….”.
Or words to that effect.
Which leads me to the best piece of advice I’ve ever heard in person rather than just in books. It was last year when attending a clinic for a small group of people after the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, S,Carolina, being hosted by Sir Nick Faldo.
He arrived on the Monday morning after the tournament and walked to the practice ground where he was to hold the clinic. Without so much as a warm-up he launched into his talk and started going through his repertoire, hitting different shots from low fades to high draws with incredible precision.
Or so it seemed to us. He may not have been quite so impressed compared to his younger days, but he could still strike the ball beautifully.
But the amazing thing was when asked about his swing thoughts during competitions, he said that he won his first Open Championship with only one swing thought which was simply “Thumbs up”.
He explained that the world’s media thought he was, in his own words “Some mechanical lunatic”, but nothing could be further from the truth and on each shot, all he thought about was keeping his thumbs up on the back swing and thumbs up again on the follow through.
It was that simple and it worked.
So if you’re every wondering if you have too many swing and mental thoughts standing over a ball, if it’s more than one, then the answer is ‘Yes!”.
Like many things, keeping it simple always is best when it comes to the mind and especially golf.
Try it out in your game and see how you get on.
If you find you’re struggling with it, no matter what level you’re at, get in touch to see how we can help you with your mental game by clicking here.
Have you ever wondered why so many people struggle with golf?
I recall growing up in the 1970’s and it seemed that every time we turned the tv on, there was an American tv show on and someone was always off to ‘see their shrink’.
You’d see the tv character laying on a leather couch in the Psychologists office staring at the ceiling being grilled by the ‘shrink’ about their life and what was going wrong.
I remember thinking it’s all doom and gloom, is everyone really nuts?
Previously there’s been a negative connotation with the mental side of sports including golf, with many thinking there’s something ‘wrong’ with them if they seek the help of someone to work on their mindset.
It’s seen as some form of stigma or it's only for the very elite.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Working on your mind in any line of work, business or leisure is one of the best investments you can make. Ever.
You become elite because you work on your mind and game.
I’m not saying that because I am involved in the business but more a reason I got involved was because I’ve always been fascinated by what makes one person ‘tick’ or successful and another person not so. I realised my failings early on in life were because I lacked the mental strength and mindset required to get to the next level and sought out a way to find out how to get there.
One thing’s for sure, it would have been a much less difficult road to travel had I started much earlier in life, instead of choosing to do things “My way” for so many years, being blind to the power of our minds.
As I’ve covered in other blogs, golf is both a physical and a mental game and how we fuel our bodies and minds is critical to success.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “if you put cra*p in, you’ll get cr*p out” and many aren't aware how much of both they're putting in!
Many of golf’s greats have expressed their thoughts and feelings as to the power of having a strong mental game to become the person required to reach their potential and Arnold Palmer summed it up brilliantly when he said
“Success in the game depends less on strength of body than upon strength of mind and character”.
It doesn’t happen by chance. It happens through choice.
Here are some of the ways we work to help improve the mental aspects and fuel the mind.
1. Increase awareness. What’s working, what’s not working, Our weaknesses can outweigh our strengths.
2. Prepare. How to prepare for the course and how to get their minds into the right frame or state to perform at their best.
3. Routines: building routines that they can trust under pressure.
4. Build self-confidence and confidence. Confidence in their swing and confidence in their ability
5. Develop resilience – the ability to bounce back from setbacks during the game.
6. Develop the mental ability to reduce fear.
7. Accountability. Have someone who is there to help you commit and reach your potential.
8. Belief. Probably the most important one of all. You can achieve great things when you believe in yourself, but you can achieve amazing things when you have someone who believes in you.
Now, the big question ‘Do you need one?”
The simple answer is no one ‘needs’ one at all. The question is “Do you want to improve?”
Take it from me, doing it "My way" is not something I'd recommend if you want to fulfil your potential.
If you would like to know more about working someone who will get the best out of you, contact us to find out more by clicking here
I grew up looking forward to F.A.Cup final day like most kids, with eager anticipation. The day started out with tv cameras at the teams hotels following the players every move.
They followed them throughout the build up, giving an insight into everything you could wish to know from where the players would get their haircuts, to how fans were having their hair dyed in their teams colours, to what underpants they would be wearing as part of their superstitions.
But what’s this all got to do with golf?
Nothing and everything.
In all sports people have superstitions to help bring them some luck. The thing is almost all of the time we often make our own luck and no matter how many pairs of lucky pants or trousers you wear, or four leaf clovers, silver dollars you keep in your bag, they won’t stop your ball once it’s left the club face from taking a bad bounce left or right and ending up in the bad stuff.
There will always be times when playing the great game that things will not work out exactly the way we want them but there will also be times when things work out better than they really should.
Just recently Jerry Kelly playing on the PGA Champions tour at Hualalai, played his second shot on the 7th hole into the par five, he managed to block his shot straight right into the lava rocks, bouncing twice, before hitting the cart path and bounced down the hill through the rough and onto the green about 20-25 feet from the pin.
Sounds more like crazy golf!.
But he wasn’t finished yet. He nonchalantly walked up and sunk the putt for an eagle.
I can imagine that made his day, going from a likely double bogey to an eagle in no time at all, saving him four shots!
The thing was from the moment he hit the shot he knew it wasn’t going as he had planned but he didn’t go off on one. He simply started jogging left to see where it was going and let out a sound of faked pain with a hint of painful laughter as he realised he’d made a big booboo.
No thumping the ground, expletives or self-cursing.
I’ve seen many golfers who would have snapped the club in half as soon as they saw the shot aiming for the rocks.
Golfers can be pessimistic, almost expecting the worst to happen.
However, we never truly know what is going to happen, we can only do our bit, play the shots, follow the processes and routines and simply trust that everything goes right, instead of focusing on “What may go wrong”.
Having a negative expectation is a habit but one we’re not always aware of and can make us react more negatively to things when they appear to have gone wrong, instead of taking a little time to see what actually happens and then simply accepting things, come what may.
Wouldn’t it feel better to play with the anticipation of something good happening and focusing on positives to help your game, rather than always expecting the worst and being on edge the whole time?
Sounds simple. It is.
Easy. It’s not.
And therein lie the challenge and why so many struggle.
Change isn’t easy but like the saying goes “Everything worthwhile is uphill”. So if you’re fed up struggling with negativity or frustrated with your game, then get in touch to see how we can help you improve your mindset and your results by clicking here.
Performance Coach & Trainer at Golfing minds