How Amnesia Improves Your Game


How often do you allow poor shots or outcomes to linger with you during a round of golf? Do you spend time focusing on, or reacting to shots and situations that happened on the second hole while youre playing the fifth hole or even further down the line?
If so, maybe its time to put amnesia to work for you. More specifically, learning to have selective amnesia can not only help you play more consistent golf but it can help lower your scores as well. By learning to selectively discount or delete certain negative results or situations you can build confidence and reduce wasted energy. Keep in mind that it takes a lot of mental energy to continue thinking about things that have happened in the pasteven if the past was your very last shot. When you keep a negative or undesirable situation floating around in your head it takes energy to do that and the more you pay attention to those things the more they will affect your emotional and physical game.
Selective amnesia is a skill that allows you to focus on what is most important at any given time no matter whats happened in the pasteven if the past was just seconds ago. Selective amnesia can keep you focused in the present more often and allow you to be more committed to the shot at hand. Cornerbacks in the NFL and goaltenders in the NHL must have selective amnesia to be successful. After being burned for a long pass or allowing a goal to be scored these athletes must recover and adapt very quickly. If they allow the previous play to stay with themeven for a split second it will impact their concentration.
Having a short memory is essential to consistent golf. We all know that many different things can happen during a round of golf. There are always things that will happen that can throw us out of balance. We will make poor decisions on club or shot selections from time to time. We will get an unlucky bounce or we might just make a poor golf swing. No matter what the situation, the golfer who learns to have a short memory and selective amnesia is the player who can be more ready and committed to the next shot at hand.
Here are some steps you can take to practice the art of selective amnesia:
1. Hit the Delete Button
The mind and the nervous system store information and instead of storing information that hurts your game you can begin to hit your own delete button to keep negative information away. When you want to remove information from your computer you do the same thing, hit delete and its wiped off the hard drive. Remove a poor shot or poor outcome by simply hitting your own mental delete button by saying to yourself delete.
2. Focus on something in the present
Once youve wiped the hard drive clean it is important that you fill the space with something productive and useful. To do this, find something to focus on that is in the present such as your breathing, talking with playing partners or looking at the surroundings. As soon as your attention moves to something in the present you put yourself back in control and into the moment.
3. Catch yourself doing something right
You can also begin to focus on what IS working for you. This is much easier to do once youve deleted negativity. Focus on the good shots or swings youve been taking or recall them from the past. Either way you will fill the void with positive and pleasing pictures, thoughts and feelings which will impact your body language and energy levels as well.
Have fun with this process of selective amnesia. Youll find that you wont carry around negative baggage as often!
Note: Please contact David directly via email ( to learn more about the Executive Golf program designed to guarantee strokes off your game!
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    Copyright 2004 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers a highly acclaimed Perform In The FlowZone' program for sports and business. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio, etc. For more programs/services/products or sign up for a free newsletter (write newsletter in subject box). Also, review the new series of Performance Training Manuals available online! Contact: David Breslow at 847.681.1698 Email: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715