When this happens, I call it the Dark Side. If thats what it is; I guess the dark side shows up a lot, Randy said. Randy is an 11 handicap and when the dark side shows up he is plagued by the negativity that affects his game. When things dont go the way I want them to I can feel the negativity coming on. My mind focuses on negative things and I become very critical and judgmental Randy says.
Even the best players in the world struggle to find the delicate balance between the dark side and what I call the light side during a competitive round of golf. When the negative forces of the dark side become intense enough the inner war begins and playing your best becomes difficult.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you found yourself waging an inner battle to control negativity, nerves, poor attitudes, tension, unreasonable expectations, etc.? This inner battle is the reason many athletes develop strong mental and emotional skills so they can learn to use these forces to raise their game to even higher levels.
It seems as if this stuff is just sitting there waiting to attack me! Randy said. It feels like Im working so hard just to avoid that negativity that it becomes hard to play good golf. This is the classic battle between the dark side and the light side and its not a pleasant experience.
Here are some suggestions to turn the dark side into the light side.
Acknowledge the Dark Side
The battle you experience takes place because you resist the dark side when it shows up. No resistance; no battle. Heres an example; place your palms against each other in front of your chest and apply equal force pushing one palm against the other. What happens? The two forces create tension and your hands stay pretty much in the same place. This is what happens when you resist the negative forces.
Focus on the Big picture
A round of golf contains many possibilities and opportunities for you to express your talents and recover from undesirable situations. When we narrow our focus on one event, especially a negative one we lose sight of the opportunities ahead. Broaden your focus and you can reduce the negative effects of a single situation that doesnt go your way.
Breathing has a direct correlation to both positive and negative forces within you. When you learn how important proper breathing really is; and apply it, you can transform negative energy into positive energy. Slow and deep breathing triggers a positive energy flow which triggers a calmer mind and improved rhythm and power. The Dark Side and the Light Side are both intense forms of energy. Breathing properly will shift you toward the powerful energy of the Light Side.