First of all, you need to acknowledge that you have created the pressure. The pressure and resultant anxiety probably come from your habit of focusing on how you are doing in comparison to others. The judgment or ‘what-if’ scenario that is playing in your mind is just a fear thought that has no relevance in creating a positive outcome.
DISTRACTION + FEAR = LACK OF TRUST
Secondly, you need to let go of the pressure by allowing your mind to focus on creating the present shot. Make every shot the most important shot you will hit. You can do this by mind stopping techniques, mental rehearsal, imagery, deep breathing and your pre-shot routine.
FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON WHAT MATTERS
When you are playing “in the zone state” there is no pressure. The golfer has let go of all of the restrictions imposed by conscious irrelevant thoughts. The mind and body are harmonized before the swing so the swing happens without any thought or effort. You are aware of making a mistake but have an internal knowing that it does not create any fear or anxiety.
In this state you have total trust that all is well, things will work out, and you have total enjoyment in the process. It is amazing how well things work out when you let go of trying to control and just allow your abilities to happen as you have trained them.
Golf is an amazing game. It is possible to hit the ball poorly, and still score. It is also possible to have your ‘A’ game, hit the ball extremely well, and not score. The former is representative of a poor physical game and a good mental game, while the latter represents a good physical game and a poor mental game. In either case, the determining factor is the mental skill of trusting in yourself and in your abilities.
Without this trust, we doubt whether we can rely on our practiced skills, and revert back to old habits to try and fix our swing.
Build new mental habits
- If you are still thinking about the mechanics of your golf swing when you are over the ball, your mind is still practicing, trying to find the perfect swing.
- Let go of all mechanical thoughts when playing. Leave them on the practice range. On the golf course be totally focused on the game of getting the ball into the hole in the fewest shots.
- Train your mind to feel and sense your swing instead of being paralyzed by constant analysis.
- Do not doubt your decisions. Indecision is the enemy of golfers. Access your swing tempo and allow it to happen.
- Allow yourself to hit the ball at your target without your mind telling you how to do it! Your body knows how to swing if you will let it.
IMAGINE IT, FEEL IT, BELIEVE IT!
Surrender to the present moment
The old way of thinking is to set a goal and then try to force it to happen. We are creatures of habit, both productive and non-productive. Disconnect from your ego that tells you there is only one right way and listen to your inner knowledge. Go with the flow and surrender to the moment you are in.
Reliving past mistakes brings fear into the present and destroys your confidence. Trust that it is in the past and will not happen again or you will carry the fear into future holes. Focusing in the present means letting go of expectations and judgment of how you are playing.
The mental part of your game is a process of developing mental skill programs. The biggest mountain you have to climb is the one you have built in your mind. Believe and trust in your uniqueness and all inferiority programs will disappear. Let go of comparisons and focus on playing from your heart for the love of the game. This will bring you the joy and success you are seeking.
Play “in the zone” with Joan
Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances
To train your brain to play your best golf, listen to Positive Mental Imagery self-hypnosis guided imagery CDs in the privacy of your own home, available at www.pmi4.com/cart
If you aren’t able to maintain trust and belief in yourself on the golf course, email Joan at email@example.com or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.
All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!
“THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances” explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to the joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world.