In my last article I identified 5 of the top 10 performance issues most often presented by clients. Remember, these are not in any order of importance or frequency. Each golfer is different and whats an important issue to one may not be important to another. Here are the next five:
No. 6 -- 'I Focus too much on my score or worry about the next shot/hole
Golfers who focus heavily on their scores often find themselves experiencing greater tension and anxiety. The same goes for those who worry about upcoming shots or holes. Of course, its only a problem if it causes you to be more anxious and uptight; which it does for many golfers.
Suggestion: When you find yourself focusing on your score or worrying about an upcoming shot or hole simply direct your attention to something you have complete control over. The fact is; you do not have complete control over your score or over anything in the future so why waste your mental energy on it? Its a very ineffective use of your energy. The only shot you can hit is the one in front of you and the way to perform your best over that shot is to focus on process thoughts (things you can control right here and now) NOT outcome thoughts like score.
No. 7 -- I focus a lot on mechanics
Mechanics, mechanics, mechanics. The golf world is inundated with the mechanics of the golf swing. Its everywhere! Look in magazines, on television and just about anywhere else and youll find the focus to be on striking the golf ball better and further. Imagine a 3-legged stool that has one leg 5 times longer than the other two. Would you sit on that stool? You cant because it is always out of balance. Your mind, emotions and body are your performance legs and when you focus on one leg more than the others you are also out of balance. The golfers I know who are obsessed with mechanics generally hold themselves back from performing their best due to extra tension over the ball because their mind is too active.
Suggestion: Focus on feel more than mechanics. When in address position the ideal state for most golfers is to have a quieter mind. Analyzing your way through the golf swing creates a swing that is not loose and powerful. Focus on mechanics between shots not at address position.
No. 8 -- I want to avoid the bogey train
Many golfers write me about their experience on the golf course when things start to go wrong and they keep on going wrong. They describe this as the bogey train and they want to get off that train as soon as possible. The bogey train occurs when a golfer seems to cruising along and then shoots bogey on a hole, then shoots bogey on the next hole and before they know it several holes have gone by where theyve shot bogey after bogey (or worse!). For most, this is far more of a mental issue than it is a mechanical or physical one.
Suggestion: You dont have to stay on the train if you dont want to. You can get off the Bogey train when you are able to see each shot as a completely separate entity. Each shot has its own beginning, middle and end. The train occurs when we continually carry over one shot to the next and this happens ONLY in our minds. Clear the mind and the bogey train has no chance to keep running on the tracks.
No. 9 -- 'I want to be more consistent!
This is another common request. Most golfers would like to perform at a higher level and do so with greater consistency. Remember, you are no different than the 3-legged stool I discussed earlier. If all 3 legs are working together you will be more consistent and when they are not you are out of balance and inconsistency is an automatic byproduct. It is that simple!
Strategy: Consistency is a product of consistent thoughts, feelings and actions. Do you know what these are for you? Inconsistency is also a byproduct of this formula when it is negatively used. Poor thinking, negative feelings and inconsistent actions will result in inconsistent play. Once again, this has more to do with your mind and emotions than your mechanics. They lead the way to your actions. Your underlying thoughts, beliefs and attitudes will reveal themselves on the golf course more than your words will.
No. 10 -- My results dont seem to match the time/effort I put into the game
95% of the golfers Ive polled report that their results do NOT match the time/effort theyve put into their game. Why would that be? If this is the case with you it is important to take an honest look at what you are doing and how you are doing it. The first Performance Principle I review with clients is: The more honest you are with yourself; the quicker you get what you want. Its amazing to me how often people will complain that their results dont match their effort/time and yet continue to do the same things theyve always done. Somehow they are surprised when their results are the same too!
Suggestion: Changes can come your way when you are willing to be honest with yourself about what you are doing and the way youre doing it. If youre going to do the same thing you cannot be surprised when your results are the same. Are you willing to see that some of what you are doing is not working? If so, you can begin to see that you may need to do something different. Do you only work on your mechanics? Do you talk about improving the other 2 legs of your stool but dont take action on it? If you take action on it; is it the most effective action? Take an honest self-evaluation. This can be a difficult thing to do for some but I can tell you from experience that if you do it; you can clear away what is not working and begin doing what does.
If you have any questions please feel free to email David at David@theflowzone.net.
To Your Best Golf!