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Are You Hitting Your Targets

When you stand at the tee box do you pick out a target area in the fairway? When you are hitting an approach shot do you choose a target area for your ball to land on the green? When you putt, do you track a clear line toward the hole?
Much of golf is all about picking a target and hitting the ball to that target. However, it doesnt happen all the time does it? The original target can be very different from where the ball actually winds up. There are many techniques that can help you improve your targeting skills but for the moment I want to address a subtle mindset that influences your results on the golf course.
There are three common target mindsets that cause golfers to misfire and that can effect the rhythm and consistency of your golf swing. While we know targeting is beneficial to your game, we often dont catch the subtle messages we send ourselves prior to hitting these shots. Without realizing it, these messages influence our golf swing and if we dont like the results; its easy to become frustrated. We know where the target is. We even visualized the target yet somehow our results didnt match up!
See if any of the following subtle messages sound familiar to you.
The I hope to get it there message
This occurs when the golfer picks a target and then sends the message I hope I can get the ball there I hope sends a very weak and negative message to the nervous system and the muscular system. The subtle underlying message is usually something like Im not sure I can but Ill give it a try. Not the most confident way to approach a golf shot as this affects your trust level.
The I better get it there message
Many times this creates unnecessary tension and stress in the golf swing. The body tightens up with intense expectation about what is supposed to happen. Pressure builds up prior to the shot which can cause the swing to be less fluid while the focus is on the outcome and not the process. The I better get it there mindset has a consequence to it. It is usually followed by a very subtle or else! This subtle threat can add pressure, tension and anxiety to the golf shot.
The I NEED to get it there mindset
This golfer creates tremendous mental, physical and emotional tension with this mindset. Needing a particular outcome can cause emotional tension and anxiety/frustration. It also produces physical tension in all the fine motor muscles and mental tension by creating negative thoughts/pressure to perform. Some golfers use this mindset in their favor, but others set up conditions to perform poorly. This mindset creates an even more subtle threat that produces a heightened sense of pressure, tension and anxiety
For those of you who have been reading my articles, you know I often refer to the mind/body/emotions and the laws and principles by which they function are completely connected to each other. Your mindset over targets will send subtle messages to your nervous system and muscular system and they will respond in accordance with this. Check it out for yourself on the course. Take note of the subtle messages you are sending yourself. Are hoping or needing to hit your targets or are you confidently intending to hit your targets?


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    David Breslow is a National Speaker, Author and Performance Consultant. His book, Wired To Win is available at 888.280.7715. David works with clients all over the world via telephone so it doesnt matter where you live, work or play! His clients include professional athletes (PGA, LPGA and other sports), juniors and all amateurs. He also works with Businesses of all sizes. He brings a fresh, direct, no-nonsense revolutionary approach to Human Performance, helping people make quicker and more powerful shifts in attitude, behavior and action. David is the weekly Mental Game Columnist for Golf Channel where his articles are read by over 4000,000 people. For more info please visit:, email: or call: 847.681.0247