Everyone watched in horror along with I. K. Kim as her one-foot putt to win the first LPGA major of the season on Sunday spun around the rim of the cup back at her. She had birdied the previous two holes to get into the position to win with a one stroke lead going into the 18th hole.The unexpected missed “gimme putt” obviously upset her. She lost the first play-off hole to Sun Young Zoo who made birdie. And now she has to live with the distressing emotions, thoughts, and media attention.
This kind of miss happens in golf if you aren’t focused in the moment. The way to prepare your mind is with a consistent pre-shot routine on every shot whether it is a tee shot or a putt.
Why have a pre-shot routine? (www.pmi4.com, Archived Newsletters, February 2005)
- The pre-shot routine prepares your mind to hit a shot.
- A consistent pre-shot routine will produce consistent results.
- The pre-shot routine moves you from the thinking phase to the automatic doing phase.
- It keeps you engrossed in the moment and your thoughts away from the pressure of the results.
- It is a signal to the unconscious mind to get ready to perform.
- It is a series of actions to get you totally absorbed in the routine process of getting the ball to the target.
Why have a post-shot routine?
The post-shot routine helps you to build positive mental consistency. After the shot is hit, the routine prepares your mind to anchor a good shot or to let go of a missed one. Our minds are very active and the memories we remember the most are the ones connected to good feelings or negative feelings. Repetition of the post-shot routine will result in more self confidence.
Anchor your good shots. Anyone who has had a hole-in-one can describe in great detail where, when and how it happened. Why? Because of the excitement generated which anchored it into the memory bank. If a shot comes off as you plan, anchor it by replaying it in your mind with a good feeling, good visualization and a trigger such as a smile or fist pump.
Let go of your bad shots. To release the emotions of a miss-hit and become positive:
- Release the frustration and anger with a swear word. It has been proven that this works.
- Take a deep breath to calm your mind and body from the tension.
- Do not try and analyze what went wrong with your swing.
- Step aside and swing the club you used until you feel the swing you wanted.
- Focus on accessing your timing and tempo.
- Visualize the ball going to the target.
- Anchor the good feelings and visualization.
- Don’t move on down the fairway until you have completed your post-shot routine.
Play “In the Zone” With Joan
Since we are all part of the golfing community and want to improve, I would like to hear from you. Let me know what your concerns are, the parts of your mental game that you need help with, what excites you, and what you love about the game.