Did You Hear What You Said


Are you aware of the things you say to yourself during a round of golf? Are the comments you make complimentary or judgmental?
The words you say to yourself are very important. Most of the comments we make toward ourselves are done with lightning speed out of sheer habit. Often, were not aware of them because they happen so fast.
Marcia has a 14 handicap and says she experiences a lot of negativity on the golf course. Even when shes playing well she says she can be pretty demanding of herself. She says shes a perfectionist and expects a lot of herself when she plays. As a result she has a lot to say on almost every shot. She spends the majority of her time judging her game rather than complimenting it. Although Marcia knows her self-talk is important she didnt realize the power that words really have on her game.
Like Marcia, the challenge for many golfers is realizing:
  1. The mind, body and emotions are linked together and are always communicating with each other.

  3. The words we repeat influence the communication process; affecting how we feel and what we do.
Your words have power. Your subconscious mind doesnt know the difference between a positive word or a negative word. It simply accepts them both and sends the message to the rest of your body. Are you aware of the words or phrases you tend to repeat? Here are some of the negative words Marcia repeated to herself throughout one round of golf:
  • Youre so terrible!
  • What are you doing?
  • I hope I hit this well.
  • Its about time!
  • I usually have trouble with this shot.
  • I cant make this.
  • This better go where I want it to.
    When I showed her these phrases she wasnt even aware she was saying them. This is how subtle words can be. We repeat them so often that the mind simply replays the tape without our awareness.
    ON-COURSE EXERCISE: Heres a simple exercise you can do to raise your awareness of the subtle negative self-talk that pops up on the course the next time you play.
    1. Make a small mark on your scorecard for every negative comment you make to yourself or about yourself.

    3. Do this again on the next round and notice if you have fewer marks on your card.

    5. Write a list of positive words/phrases on a 3 x 5 card and put it in your pocket. When you notice any negative words/phrases, replace them with one of the words / phrases on your card.
    What often happens is that simply being aware of the negative words or phrases helps to reduce how often they occur.
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