miercuri, 9 noiembrie 2011

Golf Mental Game - The 5 Worst Mental Game Mistakes You Can Make

Most golfers are aware of the "golf mental game" and can quote you various stories of how a "mental game guru" has taken a relatively unknown professional from the middle ranks right to the top. Most tour professionals know for certain that their "mental game" is what actually makes the difference between a win (and a lucrative sponsorship deal) or not even a bus ticket home. Unfortunately, time and again, I see too many club players inhibiting their potential because they constantly make the "5 worst mental game mistakes" when they play:

1. Too much emphasis on "final scores"

This is a classic mental game inhibitor. The player is so focused on finishing with a certain score that the slightest mistake during play, every dropped shot, causes the person to become stressed. This stress quickly turns to anger as they try too hard to pull the shots back with the result that their whole game falls apart. The answer is to just play each hole independently and ignore your overall score!

2. Too much emphasis on "what other players are doing"

This is another mental game inhibitor where a player pays too much attention to what their companions are doing. This is seen right from the first tee. If the first player to tee off plays a beautiful shot, you can guarantee that the next player to tee off will be feeling the "pressure to perform". By allowing the other players shots to invade your thinking, you lose focus on your own shot.

The answer is to ignore the other players completely and focus just on your own shot being played.

3. Too much emphasis on "being seen to be a good player"

This is a powerful mental game inhibitor as the player is immediately putting themselves under pressure to achieve. When we have this kind of pressure our mind is more aware of other people watching us than on the job at hand; playing the shot. When a player has this kind of split concentration it is inevitable that mistakes will be made. Then each mistake compounds those before and the pressure builds while the mistakes multiply.

The answer is to be confident in oneself, be less self-critical, and not be concerned with what others may be thinking.

4. Too much emphasis on "swing thoughts"

We have all heard of "swing thoughts"; the things we are told to concentrate on to improve our swing. I know some golfers that jokingly refer to "swing thought 128" or "swing thought 356", which just shows how overwhelming these things can become. How can a player possibly play well consistently if they are always being made aware of their faults? Of course, we all need to correct errors in our technique but this can become obsessive to the point where we are more concerned with "swing thought 257" than we are with how far it is to the green. This kind of obsessive focus on our glitches in technique is guaranteed to reduce confidence and limit our potential to play well.

The answer is to accept that perfect technique may not be possible at this stage and just play naturally to find your "natural swing". This will remove the negative mental trap of highlighting our faults.

5. Not enough emphasis on "enjoyment"

Most of us play golf to enjoy the game and the company of like-minded people. Even top tour pros need to enjoy playing the game even though they are in a very competitive situation. Enjoyment produces good, positive feelings and energy in the body, and this enhances our ability to perform by making us relax and reducing stress. When you reduce stress you reduce tension in the body and allow the body to move better. This increases coordination, muscle performance, and promotes fluid movement. The result is better golf!

The answer is to put the game into perspective, play each shot as it comes and not berate yourself if something does not go right. You cannot change the past, you cannot control the future, you can only endeavor to enjoy and influence the present!

Relax, have fun, and do not worry too much about winning and you should be able to avoid "the 5 worst mental game mistakes"

Now you can find out more about 'Right Mind Golf', the brainchild of golf mental game specialist Leslie Meehan, and how to improve your golf game here http://www.rightmindgolf.com
Copyright (c) 2010 Leslie Meehan

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