The Negativity Factor

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Negativity is one of the great enemies of good golf. Ive seen many golfers who possess a good golf swing under perform because of the effect that negativity has on their game. Golfers express negativity in any number of ways some very obvious and some very subtle. When you play well and achieve the zone state we call this being in the flow. Notice the language being used here. Why do we use the word flow? If we say flow then by logic we are describing something that must be flowing! Something is flowing and its called energy.
 
Imagine a stream flowing beautifully down a mountainside. When there is nothing blocking the stream of water it flows with power and rhythm. What happens when you put some obstacle in the way? When a rock, a piece of wood or any other obstacle is in the way; the water loses its rhythm, force and power and it is no longer in the flow.
 
The same thing occurs within us as well. When the mind, body and emotions are in synch they are in the flow. When this happens there are no obstacles interfering with the flow and the affect is improved play. What happens when this flow is interrupted? When something interrupts this flow our performance is negatively affected.
 
Negativity interrupts the flow of energy in the following ways:
 
1. Poor Body Language
 
When we slump our shoulders, drop the chin and walk with a down presence this is being caused by negative energy flowing through our systems. When negativity flows it causes the body to slow down and shoulders will droop. Straighten yourself up, lift your chin and begin to walk in a firm, aggressive manner. Doing this can shift the blocked energy into a flowing energy.
 
2. Memories / Images
 
When you focus on negative memories (I messed up on this hole last time out) you introduce another obstacle in the rhythmical energy flow. Negative images and memories cause a distress in the body and emotions. This distress causes the body to tighten up and emotions become stressed and edgy. When you notice negative images or memories, immediately switch the pictures to something that is exciting or optimistic (I cant wait to hit this shot and hit it well). This will turn negative energy into positive energy.
 
3. Watch Your Words!
 
This is one of the subtle forms of negative energy. It may seem subtle at the time but any words that convey doubt or lack of clarity are like dropping rocks in the flow of water down the stream. Your natural flow is blocked. Words and phrases like dont know if I can hit this shot but or I hope to hit this shot or I cant hit this shot and I didnt hit this shot last week and so on are all forms of negative messages being dropped into the system. Instead, your words must be spoken in a more positive, clear and intentional way such as I used to have trouble with this shot or I intend to hit this shot Your words will either throw obstacles in the flow or open it up so it moves more freely.
 
Think back to those times when you were in the zone. Can you remember what words/phrases you were using at that time? Im sure they were more positive and optimistic. In addition, pay attention to the words you use when you describe yourself or your game. Many clients, without realizing it, use self-deprecating language out of habit. Be very aware of your own language and anytime you catch it stop yourself and turn it around. To Your Best Golf!
 
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    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed Wired To Win presentations/speaking programs for business/sales professionals and athletic organizations to help people perform at the top of their game!. His approach helps people make real change! 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). Contact: David Breslow 847.681.1698 Email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net. For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.