Golf Mental Articles Archives

Are You A Perfectionist Golfer?

Golfers who are perfectionists can struggle with low confidence in both practice and in tournaments.

angry-golfer1Perfectionists golfers demand a lot from themselves about the quality of their performance. They have high expectations which can lead to self-doubt when these players do not perform up to their high standards.

Perfectionists also have a hard time transferring the confidence they develop in practice to the course. For example, they might feel confident hitting on the range, but doubt themselves when on the course playing a round.

In addition, perfectionists often desire approval from others. They want to be accepted by parents, coaches, and friends. What wrong with that? If they don't think they are gaining approval from others, their confidence can sink.

Here's the good news about perfectionist ball players....

Perfectionists are very motivated, have a strong work ethic, are committed to their goals, and have a desire to learn and improve.

They have a good mindset for practice, which is their strength. They are willing to improve and take instruction.

But here's the bad news... Perfectionists:

  • --Lose confidence quickly not performing well
  • --Expect to perform perfectly (hit all shots perfectly)
  • --Are very self-critical of their game
  • --Tend to dwell on mistakes and missed chances
  • --Are stuck in a practice mindset, which hurts them on course

What's the solution to the problems with perfectionism?

The answer is not easy. Many golfers  fit into the category of perfectionists. I understand the challenges it presents, but perfectionist golfers do not admit it's a hindrance. They can be in denial.

The first step is to help golfers uncover the beliefs that underlie perfectionism (and keep them stuck). AND help them understand how it hurts their confidence (overcome denial).

For example, we find that players often believe they must be perfect to perform well:

"I should demand high expectations of myself because I work so hard to achieve my goals."

OR

"I need to perform perfectly today and avoid making any bogies."

As you can see, these beliefs do not help players perform their best--when not at their best.

Here's the process for changing beliefs for perfectionists:

  1. Help golfers understand the disadvantages of perfectionism and agree these absolute beliefs get in the way of performance.
  2. Uncover the beliefs and behaviors that support perfectionism and hurt confidence.
  3. Replace the unhealthy beliefs that hurt confidence with a philosophy that helps confidence grow.

Here's an example of number 3 above:

"I can perform well even when my swing does not feel or look perfect."

If YOU are a perfectionists golfer, try to buy into this new way of viewing how you perform.

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Manage Your Self Doubt on the Golf Course

sunset-golfer

Last time, I wrote  about how self-doubt can erode confidence if left to run wild in your mind.

Today, you'll learn how to stabilize confidence by managing this top confidence killer...

sunset-golferIf you uncovered your top doubts using the tip from last week, you want to take the next step today...

How to manage these doubts and banish them from your mind. It's a simple concept called cognitive reframing. This simply mean viewing your golf game in a different light and finding an alternative way of viewing situations.

Follow these three steps for reframing doubts:

1. Think back to a recent round when you doubted your ability. List the self-doubt you had at the time.

2. State each doubt above as if you are thinking out loud. Here's an example:

Doubt: "I'm unsure if I'll putt well today because the greens are do fast. I often struggle on fast greens."

3. Reframe and/or challenge each statement. Turn each doubt into a statement of confidence:

Reframe: "I've worked hard on my putting for years. I had great putting rounds in the past. I can putt well on any putting surface."

Here's an advanced strategy:

relaxing-golf2In your mind, practice rehearsing your new statements of confidence until they are well learned and easy to remember.

You'll want to apply this strategy to your practice and rounds to make it take hold:

When you first notice that you are doubting your ability, use this reframing strategy to challenge the doubt and embrace confident self-talk.

This mental game strategy will help you stabilize your confidence by reducing the amount of time you allow doubts to run unchecked in your mind!

Fragile confidence in golf equals more doubt

Do you have fragile confidence?

golf-ball-on-teeDoes you confidence go up and down depending on the outcome of your last shot or score on the hole.

We also call this the "confidence roller-coaster." This can be a big problem for golfers...

One way to keep a steady or stable level of confidence is to manage your doubts.

This means you want be aware of the thoughts, doubts, or beliefs that undermine confidence. And doubt is one of the top confidence-killers in golf.

Some golfers start doubting before they even tee it up. Golfers struggle with doubt the most after hitting a series of bad shots or making a double or worse.

The problem is you don't want doubt to unchecked in your mind. Do you even know when you are doubting your ability to hit a good shot?

The first step is awareness... You want to uncover the top doubts and negative thoughts you might have after mistakes.

And remember, when you are questioning your ability - "is my short game good enough today?" - this is a doubt in disguise.

Here a few areas to help you develop your list:

  • Self-doubt about ability to beat your competitors.
  • Questioning the quality of your practice or training.
  • Self-doubt about your physical ability such as size or strength.
  • Questioning the quality of your equipment (i.e. clubs, putter).
  • Doubts about your strategy or game plan.
  • Making comparisons to other golfers.
  • Feeling that you can never perform up to your potential.
  • Doubts about executing a specific shot.

Changing your behavior always starts with awareness. A good exercise to uncover your top doubts is to keep a log of the doubts you have -- after rounds.

Are Your Golfing expectations too High?

Golfers who maintain very high expectations (demands) easily lose confidence when they don't perform up to their expectations.

Strict expectations also can lead to judgmental thinking and self-doubt. Even worse, golfers become frustrated when they fail to perform up to their expectations and lose focus altogether.

This week, I'd like to discuss How to manage these strict expectations. When you can manage strict expectations, your confidence will flourish...

A few players do resist my idea about expectations being harmful to performance. That's because they see confidence and expectation as one in the same. But they are not.

So how can you remove the problems of strict expectations?

Here's the plan:

1. Identify what expectations get in the way for you.

2. Throw expectations away--stop demanding you must reach them.

3. Replace them with more manageable goals or objectives.

Most golfers find it hard to stop focusing on to expectations because they have done it for so long

(and often adopt them from others).

So what's the solution?

The solution is to replace strict expectations with more manageable objectives or what we call process goals (mini goals).

Think of process goals as objectives or performance cues and not really goals you must achieve.

Remember that you strive for and focus on goals--you don't have to reach them.

What are the objectives you should focus on? Ask your one important question:

"What can I focus on that will help me execute or prepare for this shot?"

When you focus on small objective that help you execute in the moment, such as your target or committing to the shot, for example, your mind is locked into the present and not obsessed with obtaining results (a la expectations).

Here are a few more examples of objectives or mini goals:

--Putting: Commit to the initial read.

--Chipping: Focus on the landing area.

--Tee Shot: Pick smart targets.

--Iron Shot: Trust my swing. Keep it simple.

Obviously, you can select many objectives to help you focus on execution. But the key is to select an objective or performance cue that will help you prepare for or execute a good shot.

And keep it simple, don't over-complicate your shot-making!

Gail Smirthwaite | Golf Mind Guru

I've been planning to review the 6 CD series from the Golf Mind Guru, Gail Smirthwaite since I received them a couple of months ago so what better time to start writing my review whilst playing golf in the beautifully rugged coastline of Cape Town, South Africa.

gailsmirthwaiteGail Smirthwaite is a trainer on the CPD programme for the PGA (Professional Golf Association in the UK), a golf confidence coach, an author and golf columist. She gained her honours degree in Social Studies at the University of Sussex in Brighton and the University of California San Diego, and her full accreditation in Coaching at Wolverhampton University.Many individual tour golfers are taught by Gail including Alison Nicholas who is our ex-US Open Golf Champion and Solheim Cup UK and European Captain.

FREE Golf Hypnosis Download

With all the focus in the press recently on the mental side of golf, golfers are searching more and more for the keywords golf hypnosis download, mental golf training ,controlling nerves in golf, hypnotherapy for golf, golf mental training, but the MOST searched for term on my website at the moment is FREE audio on mental toughness and free golf hypnosis downloads.

It's no secret that in winning The Open golf last weekend that Darren Clarke has had a LOT of help from Bob Rotella, that doesn't surprise me at all, I've used Bob Rotella's golf mental psychology for YEARS and YEARS with great results.

BOB ROTELLA GOLF PSYCHOLOGY BOOKS US

BOB ROTELLA GOLF PSYCHOLOGY BOOKS UK

HOWEVER,

My post today is in response to a lot of regular visitors to my site who have actually written to me to say how much they have enjoyed the free golf hypnosis download that I offer, I must say though, that it IS one of my all time favorite golf mental downloads , the guy's voice is SO similar to Sean Connery that it is extremely relaxing and who better to help with controlling nerves in golf than 007 himself!!!   WELL, ALMOST!!!!!  ( NO--IT IS NOT SEAN CONNERY! 😉 )
SO, due to the many request to make this particular golf hypnosis download more visible on my site here is access to it again:

POSTSCRIPT:

As I was testing out the free golf hypnosis download process, I downloaded it again to make sure the links are correct etc and I had it playing while I'm working on my site, LOL
It's SO HYPNOTIC, I had to switch it off so I could concentrate.
I'll listen to it again later when I take a break. 😉

ENJOY!

HEY, if you like the download, please leave a message to let me know what you think , if it proves to be really popular I'll add MORE free golf metal downloads.
Thanks
😉

FREE Golf Hypnosis Download

Golf Mental Training

I LOVE the voice in this FREE golf mental training download, it's 27 minutes of sheer relaxation, is it REALLY SEAN CONNERY?

Well, NO, IT's NOT Sean , but why not let your mind wander that extra step!

007 in your head

ON THE GOLF COURSE, at times of mental golfing stress?

I'll go for THAT!

Left Handed Golf club Auctions

Learn To Control Your Mental State

Most golfers are at the mercy of their constantly changing states, or personal frame of mind.

That’s, because most people don’t know how to control the way they feel.

Their state is usually determined by what is happening in the outside world or their perception of it – their personal map of reality.

If it is a nice sunny day they feel good.

If the golf ball is “behaving itself” they feel confident.

If the person they are playing with is to their liking they feel happy.

The way they feel, their state, is controlled by external events - events that are beyond their control.

However, we don't have any control over external factors such as these.

You can train yourself to control your 'mental state' , you can develop the ability to get into the right state, at the right time, for the task or experience at hand is key.

THIS is the fundamental difference between golfers who play well and golfers who let thngs that they CANNOT control affect their state of mind.

GOLF MENTAL GAME TRAINING COURSE

Step 1

Step 1: Imagine you’ve just hit a really bad golf shot, maybe one that costs you a couple of shots. Remember what you said to yourself and most importantly what you felt. What state were you in then and how do you feel thinking about it? Now forget about that shot completely. It never happened.

Though golf is mostly a game that requires natural and inherent physical capability, anyone who has played it at a high level can tell you just how the psychological side of the game is even more important, in fact, many people say that the mental side of golf can account for 90% of your golf performance !

Just about all golfers have hit that perfect shot more than once in their lives and MOST golfers are able to drive itstraight and sink those long  putts. However,  what keeps those players back is a combination of nervousness, lack of focus, low energy, and random lapses in focus.

With that in mind, golf mental coaching enables you to beat back these kinds of common difficulties and unleash the top quality golfer within.

Golf mental training by using hypnosis

One of the things that may continuously hold a golfer back is really a problem with their sub-conscious thoughts. Most golf players are controlled by their anxieties and those worries naturally dominate when they stand over a putt or when they're at the very first tee.

Hypnosis will help a golfer in a number of ways.

Accessing  the unconscious mind and sorting through the issues there can allow golfers to improve endurance, harness natural strength, and increase long-range hand-eye co-ordination.

Exterior distractions can be entirely removed from the equation, which will enable players to operate at their strongest possible levels.

On the list of significant issues is a rise in self-confidence, which can result in more reliable swing planes for competitors of all levels.

Golf mental coaching withNeuro linguistic programming

NLP - or Neuro Linguistic Programming - is used in a variety of fields to help people get on the right track. Neuro linguistic programming for golfers can help golf players particularly by eliminating those subconscious concerns that they don't have any control over.

We've ALL  hit plenty of excellent shots on the range prior to a round, but whenever we stand over the ball on the very first tee, we  are often wracked by nerves.

Possibly by a fear of failure that is deep-rooted, who knows.

These issues can be helped and effectively improved with NLP.

Simply speaking, by incorporating NLP techniques into their golf game, players are hard-wired for success.

Think about exactly what it might be like walking out onto the golf course with a free mind and with a boat load of self-confidence.

That is what golf psychological training is able to do for you.

Many players just accept  the belief that they cannot conquer their worries. They drop strokes and waste their potential on the golf course, simply because they don't understand the way to deal with nerves and lack of golfing confidence.

With some of the modern golf mental training methods it is absolutely possible and HIGHLY LIKELY to drop strokes and turn playing golf into a positive experience all around.

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My Golf Rehab – Round 6

Today we played our 2nd round at Saunton Sands golf course. The weather was AMAZING! Just perfect for golf !

Short sleeve weather with just the tiniest of sea breezes and the views at this golf course are just gorgeous!

Anyway, I didn't start off very well, good drive, 2nd ( and 3rd ) into the nearest bumker, no score on that hole!

The next few holes were not much better and the old feelings of frustration and golfing misery were starting to re-appear!

I started working through the  mental training that I've been working on in my golf mental programme and slowly, in my head, started to turn things around.

Now, who knows whether you feel better mentally because you start to play better golf, or you start to play better golf because you feel better mentally and I really believe it's the latter but slowly and surely, as my mental attitude improved, my golf game turned into that of another person.

I told myself that I was going to enjoy my game WHATEVER the score was and focussed SO hard on just hitting the ball in front of me and to be truthful, I played the best golf I've played in a long time and ended up with scoring 20 points on the back 9 !

My best score in forever and especially gratifying as it was on a course that was new to me. So together with my 'frustrated' front 9 score of 11 points I finished with a respectable total of 31 points so just dropping 5 points off my current handicap of 13 !

The mental golf game improvement is a slow, ongoing process but is most definitely working and I'm beginning to enjoy playing again.

More tomorrow when we play Ilfracombe Golf Course !

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