This distinction is an important one. If you are of the mindset that your round is made up of shots all linked together to create a final score, I invite you to consider a different perspective. I invite you to consider that your round consists of a series of individual moments, each with its own separate beginning, middle and end point. Many players say they have trouble letting go of negative emotions and negative outcomes during a round. One of the reasons for this may stem from a simple philosophy about how shots relate to each other during a round. The golfer who sees all their shots connected together has what I call the Lumpy Mindset. With this mindset there is no real gap between shots in which the mind and emotions are able to separate. In other words, the mind doesnt let go of the previous shot or shots and the emotions are still activated from the previous shot or shots. In this way, shots are lumped together.
What would happen if you were able to see each shot as a single entity in and of itself? How would your experience on the course change if you had what I call the String Of Pearls Mindset? This approach allows each shot to have its own life cycle. The truth is, each shot does have a beginning, middle and end point. If you begin to take this view, you will create the necessary gap in between shots where you have the opportunity to clear your mind and emotions of any negativity or wasted energy. Its a metaphor for a mindset that allows you to give your golf shots the connection in the same way pearls connect on a necklace. Each pearl is a single pear with its own brilliance, its own shine and is its own separate entity even though they are connected together by the chain they sit on. During your round each golf shot has the same kind of relationship as the pearls on a string. Before you hit it, each shot has the opportunity to shine, have its own brilliance and is its own separate entity. The connection comes on the string we call a scorecard.
Heres an example of the difference between the 'Lumpy' and 'String Of Pearls' Mindsets. (The symbol 0 = 1 shot.)
The 'Lumpy Mindset' looks like this:
00000000000000000000000000000 = final score
Notice there is no space between shots. This views all shots as being lumped: together with mental and emotional residue moving forward from shot to shot. This view can cause negativity to roll forward from one shot into another creating what some term a train wreck to appear. When this happens you give away strokes unnecessarily.
How often do you apply the Lumpy Mindset when you approach things in life as well? Past hurts, attitudes or perceptions carried forward tend to taint the present moment with old pictures and feelings. This limits our ability to see the reality of what is right in front of our eyes and creates a narrow and limited vision based on the past and not on the present.
The 'String of Pearls Mindset' looks like this:
0'0'0'0'0'0'0'0'0'0'0'0'0'0'0'0'0 = final score
Notice the line in between each shot. This line represents the gap and allows each shot to have its own beginning, middle and end point. This is the place where you can redirect your mental, emotional, and physical energy allowing you to recover and see each shot as a fresh opportunity to begin again.
Seeing your round as a string of pearls offers the opportunity to see the moment for what it is: a separate entity all its own. When players talk about focusing on the present moment, this is what is happening. A new shot equals a new moment equals a present time focus! Each pearl reflects a moment in time on the golf course or a moment in time in life. This mindset allows you to get clear and refocus on what is in front of you right here and right now. Golfers often forget the great things theyve done during a round because they continually lump forward one bad hole or poor putt. When we carry negative moments around during and after a round, this is lumpy thinking. Your rounds and your life are made up of so much more and it is important to separate these moments in order to see the brilliance of it all.
On Course Exercise: Try playing your next round with a String Of Pearls perspective and notice what happens to your ability to rebalance yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. Take note of when Lumpy thinking begins to creep into the picture and remind yourself, Each shot has its own separate opportunity to excel
This week's article text is an excerpt from my new upcoming book.
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: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715