Golf Mental Game 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.

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.

Are nerves ruining your first tee shot?

Are nerves ruining your first tee shot?

I don't know WHAT it is about that first tee shot!

Nerves? Expectation? People Watching? Excitement? Dread?

You know what it's like - despite your best efforts, the thoughts still crowd your mind:

Will you perform at your best?

Will you make a mess of your first shot?

Will you duff your drive into the bushes?

Never mind who is watching.

Do you go for the driver or play it safe with a smaller wood or iron?

Prepare your brain to tee off perfectly

The trouble is, no matter how many hours you spend on the driving range, it doesn't prepare your mind for the pressure of that first shot. And that's where mental preparation comes in.

Prepare your brain to tee off perfectly

The trouble is, no matter how many hours you spend on the driving range, it doesn't prepare your mind for the pressure of that first shot. And that's where mental preparation comes in.

To perform at your best you need to relax and focus completely on the shot. To do this consistently you need to train your brain so 'being in the zone', becomes your instinctive response to teeing off. This is why we have developed this 'Tee off with confidence' golf hypnotic download.

The best golfers reliably access an intense yet relaxed state of mind that has them focusing on what they are doing not how they are doing it.

Use 'Tee of with confidence' a few times before your next round and you'll notice the difference immediately. The first tee will change from something to be endured into an enjoyable - even fun - experience.

Download your 'tee off with confidence' hypnotic download today and really enjoy yourself the next time you step onto the first tee.

 

GOLF HYPNOSIS DOWNLOAD

Stop nerves ruining your first tee shot

Find the Zone I: Master the Mental Game of Golf

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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
😉

Did Nadal Choke at Wimbledon?

Did Nadal Choke at Wimbledon?

The Anatomy of Choking

By Patrick J. Cohn, Ph.D.

Rafael Nadal, the number two player in the world today, is known for his mental toughness on the men’s pro tennis tour. He’s won several tournaments on his aggressive style of play and mental toughness including the 2011 French Open. But last week, Djokovic defeated Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 in the 2011 Wimbledon final. Did Nadal choke in the championship match against Novak Djokovic? Was Nadal’s confidence hurting because he lost four previous matches to Djokovic? In today’s article, I’ll explain why Nadal may have choked during the final match at Wimbledon and what I think constitutes choking in sports.

I don't think anyone would say Nadal is a choker... But according to Nadal himself, his confidence took a hit from four previous loses he suffered to Djokovic. Nadal stated that confidence is key especially when playing the important points of the match. “I started the final match without thinking [about the previous loses to Novak]. But when you arrive to 5-4 in the set, these [critical] moments, it probably affects you a little bit. That's what happened, and that's why,” Nadal explained after losing.

I think the previous wins was a mental advantage for Djokovic, which helped him to win the Championship in four sets. Novak said that winning the previous matches gave him more confidence to win the critical points or play well during the tough moments in the match. In addition, Novak used mental imagery to recall when he performed well against Nadal in previous matches and why. “Probably, you know, because I have won four times, consecutive times, in the finals against him this year. So I had that in the back of my mind. I was trying to take myself back to those matches and really perform the same way that I performed those days in those matches: aggressive, taking my chances, not giving him opportunity to take over the control,” said Djokovic after winning Wimbledon.

You can’t take anything away from Novak Djokovic’s performance. He played incredible during the first two sets and was playing the best tennis of his career (48-1 for 2011 so far). Could anyone beat him the way he was performing in the first two sets? When you are performing at the top of your game, you force your opponents into changing their game plan or approach…

My observation is that Djokovic’s aggressive and consistent style of play forced Nadal into playing defensive tennis and hitting more low-percentage shots, maybe stepping out of his normal attack game plan, which lead to uncharacteristic errors by Nadal and lots of winners by Novak. “I played short because I played short I think today. He's doing great. He's doing a lot of things fantastic. But I had to play better to win, and I didn't today. I played a little bit less aggressive,” conceded Nadal after he was asked if Djokovic forced him to play short.

But here’s what leads me to believe that Nadal might have choked in this match. Or maybe I should say he choked based on Nadal’s own standards of mental toughness. Everyone knows how great he is when his back is against the wall and what type of shots he can hit during the important moments or points of the match, such as break points or game points. However, Nadal conceded that he did not play the important points well in this match. He confessed that the mental part is “a little bit dangerous for me.”

“The most important thing, to win in matches here, to win tough matches like today, like two days ago, is to play well the important moments. There are a few points in the match that can change the match, and I didn't today. Probably the mental part is little bit dangerous for me, because when I arrive to the 5-4, I played a bad game with 30-Love. When I arrived to 4-3 of the fourth set, I played another bad game with my serve. That's what I say: to win these kind of matches, I have to play well in these kind of points, they can change the match. When I had the breakpoint at the first set, at the first game of the fourth set, I didn't play well that point. But these three times, that's what happened. And to change that is probably be little bit less nervous than these times, play more aggressive, and all the time be confident with myself. That's what I gonna try next time,” said Nadal after the lost.

You might question: how does not playing the big points of the match qualify as a choke? You feel pressure when you have to come through on big points or important plays -- the ones that can change the outcome of a match. You come to a point in the game when you realize you have to make a big play to turn the game or match around. Did the pressure get to Nadal in the big points and cause him to under preform? Yes, I think so, but only because of the style of tennis Djokovic played: he was controlling the match.

Let’s back up and allow me to discuss what choke really means in sports. The term “choke” comes from the concept that you feel like you can’t breath – or someone is strangling you – when under pressure; a lack of oxygen. But choking has a wider meaning to me. Choking happens when you get in your own way mentally or your mind prevents you from performing at your best. In most cases, athletes experience physical changes, such as tension, increased heart rate, and rapid breathing. Athletes also report mental changes, such as anxiety, fear, apprehension, and confusion. Athletes often change their strategy when choking.

Most athletes and coaches would agree that choking happens when you are firmly in command of your performance or the competition and you lose because of a change in your mental state or a mental meltdown. You feel pressure or suddenly lose confidence, such as when Rory McIlroy lost a big lead and shot a 43 on the back nine during the final round of the Masters tournament. Athletes who choke will lose a big lead because they are fearful of not finishing off the game or they perform tentatively or defensively and lose trust in their skills.

But I think athletes can also choke at the start of the competition. They might feel intimidated or have a lot of doubt interrupting their mental processes. They proceed to play scared or afraid to lose and thus can’t perform with trust in their skills.

Based on my definition, did Nadal choke? When I look at his comments after the tournament, I would have to say, for Rafael Nadal, this was a choke. However, I think Nadal was reacting to the quality of the play of Djokovic.  Novak put a seed of doubt into his mind prior to Wimbledon when he beat Nadal four times in a row. This became a factor for Nadal when playing the important points of the match; the ones that can determine the outcome of the match.

I also give credit to Novak for beating Nadal at his own game: an aggressive style of play and forcing Nadal to play defense, which I think lead him to make more errors. This was Djokovic’s game plan from the start. “You got to take the chances, you know. In those moments, you have to believe that you can do it, not wait for your opponent to make a mistake,” said Novak Djokovic after winning.

Nadal was able to rationalize losing and like a good champion use this lose as a springboard to improve his game. “He's in the best moment of his career. That's true, too. I am in one of the best moments of my career. Still not enough for him. I have to play longer. I have to play more aggressive. I have to have less mistakes. I understand the sport is like this. When one player is better than you, at this moment the only thing you can do is work, try to find solutions, and wait a little bit for your time,” said Nadal.

For tips on how to avoid choking, visit Peaksports Network Online Mental Training System.

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

Golf Instruction for Women

Lady Golfer's Guide

Lady Golfers Only:

From: Anniket Coleman

Dear Fellow Lady Golfer,

Play Better Golf, Starting In Less Than 5 Minutes From Now

Did you know that women are more flexible than men, have more efficient swings, and are more naturally suited to the game than our male counterparts? That being a fact one has to wonder why we are so intimidated by being on the course or by male golfers.

Muscle does not make a good swing. Distance alone does not make a good golfer. Yet this, coupled with a certain arrogance by males on the golf course cause a very high level of intimidation even while our muscle-bound friend plays golf no better than we ourselves might.

It stops here!

Lady Golfer's Guide Together with several qualified golf teaching professionals I have put together the most comprehensive Golfing Guide available for Women Golfers. This learning guide will help Lady Golfers play their best Golf - with no fluff or hype but all the needed facts and knowledge - for less than a lesson from a reputable golf teacher.

Golf Mental Game

From Lady Golfer to Lady Golfer, this book covers every aspect of the game, from improvement tips and lessons to equipment tips to rules and course management all the way to a large section of golf fitness for women, including Yoga for Golfers. Every section of the book is fully illustrated, so you know exactly what to do.

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You have probably realized this: most, if not all, golf books out there are directed at male golfers, many of them about how to improve their swing. This doesn't help us much, hence it was time to create a complete golfing resource for us women only:


Lady Golfers take note: this book covers everything you ever need to know about Golf. Over 222 pages I will personally guide you from A-Z on the strategies, techniques, rules and facts, plus I show you invaluable fitness tips (incl. Yoga for Golfers!) - all for Ladies only.

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