Only through a ‘holistic’ approach to your golf game, including working on the ‘inner game’, will you start to realise your potential and enjoy your golf more.
The ‘Self Fulfilling’ Prophecy
Psychologically, fear produces the reaction of trying too hard to maintain control. If you are afraid of missing the fairway you can be overly cautious – you try to steer the shot and make an awkward swing. When we do this the ball inevitably heads for the rough – it is a self fulfilling prophecy!
Physically, fear produces bodily reactions where blood flows to our bigger muscles so we have less feel in our hands and we tend to make poor decisions with our brains. Adrenaline flows freely and we get speedy and jumpy.
The fear of a bad result causes the muscles to tighten up during the swing. This can lead to sudden jerky movements – exactly what a good swing is not.
Curing the problem:
Choose the shot you feel the most confident about playing. You have to accept the range of outcomes of the shot – good and bad. Commit fully to the process without letting anxiousness over the outcome inhibit your abilities.
Don’t think of a pink elephant!
Having read the above statement I am pretty sure that a pink elephant just popped into your mind, right?
This is because the mind does not have a specific image or understanding of the word “DON’T”.
This is why often the thought “Don’t duff it in the water,” is followed by just that result.
Sometimes the mind takes the word “Don’t” to be a call to action against a negative outcome and it will produce the complete opposite result.
An example of this would be “Don’t hit it out of bounds left,” your mind may direct your body to send the ball as far from the left side as you can. That’s why you may find yourself in the trees on the right – you did a good job of not hitting it left but not such a good job of getting it on the fairway.
Overcome this by stating a positive intention before you play every shot. In the examples above “Do” make your target the green and “Do” intend to hit the right hand side of the fairway.
Imagine driving your car home thinking of everything you “Don’t” want to hit. It would be a very torrid and nerve racking drive home and I would imagine far more likely to end in disaster.
Enjoy your golf more this year
If you want to unlock your potential simply book an initial lesson with me at Dunes Golf Centre. Call 01346 510693 or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/lessons/