“OUTCOME VS. PROCESS THINKING*
Focusing on the process means staying in the moment, concentrating on one shot at a time, and thinking only about the things you can control. The process-oriented golfer knows he cannot control anything outside of himself. Process-oriented golf means thinking about what you want to do (the process of doing it) versus worrying about where your shot will go or what will happen (the outcome of your score).
Focusing on results means that golfers think about the consequences of miss-hits and the trouble on the golf course. Their concentration then wanders to “what if” thinking which causes tension and anxiety and creates the miss-hit the golfer is trying to avoid.
Examples of results thinking are; trying to shoot a certain score, trying to better your lowest score, trying to hit a certain number of fairways or greens, trying to have a certain number of putts, or trying to avoid penalty strokes. It is the ability of the golfer to stay in the moment on every shot and putt that allows him to play at his peak performance level.
You are the only thinker in your mind. It is important in golf to decide to think in the present moment instead of thinking about the trouble or what might happen. The best way to shift from outcome to process thinking is by developing a consistent and easily repeatable pre-shot routine.
Tips for focusing in the process:
- Be aware when you are feeling anxious. It is a sign that your mind is wandering into outcomes.
- Refocus on your pre-shot routine. Pause, take a deep breath or two and begin your routine again.
- Make a decisive club selection and target.
- Visualize and feel the shot.
- Maintain your arousal level.
- Take a deep breath to relax before and after each shot.
- Relax your mind between shots.
Golf is a game that is played for the unlimited challenges that it provides. To play at your personal best means to play for the fun and love of the game. Choose to play for the challenge of each shot (process-oriented) and not let the pressure to perform for score (results-oriented) determine your round. Your results can be enjoyed afterwards at the 19th hole.”
Excerpts are from Chapter 15: Concentration; “THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances”
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“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.
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