How We Send Mixed Messages

By David BreslowNovember 27, 2006, 5:00 pm
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Now on with this week's article....Your body is a walking communication mechanism. Thats right! You send yourself messages all the time both on and off the golf course. The things you think about, the words you say and the images you have in your head all send messages to your mind, emotions and body.
 
Whats most interesting is how we mess up this system by sending mixed messages that cause us to hesitate, lack trust and doubt our own abilities.
 
HOW WE CONFUSE OURSELVES
The following are the messages Ive found to be the most common. These mixed messages cause a lack of confidence, lower our faith and cause confusion and lack of clarity. We want to be intense but we also want to let it go to play our best. Too many messages from too many people and the result is generally confusion! Here are some of the most common mixed messages we send ourselves See if any of these look familiar.
 
PERFORMANCE RELATED MIXED MESSAGES:
Be Intenseand Let it go
Be Aggressive and Dont take silly risks
Fight for everything and Stop trying so hard
Dont make errors and Errors are part of the game
Dont let em see your emotions and Play with passion
Think, Think, Think! and Dont thinkjust play
Think about what youre doing and Stop analyzing so much
Do what (fill in blank) does! and Play your own game
 
PERSONAL MIXED MESSAGES:
I can do this! and No you cant!
Im a winner and Im a loser
I want to win more and Im afraid to play my best and still lose
I want to play with no fear and Im afraid to make mistakes
 
Is it any wonder we feel so confused? Are these helping you create opportunities to feel confident and powerful or confused and frustrated? Think of a cell phone line. Imagine youre on a call passing someone information and a third party comes on the line saying exactly the opposite of what you are saying. Imagine how this must sound to the person youre talking to when you say, Ill meet you at Sears at 4pm and the other voice comes on and says, Ill meet you at Burger King at 4pm. The person listening to you will be very confused and not sure what to do or where to go. As ridiculous as this sounds, this is exactly what we do to ourselves when we send mixed messages to ourselves. The body does not know what to do so your actions will be hesitant and your outcomes will be below your true talent level.
 
Unfortunately, too often, instead of sending clear messages we send mixed messages causing us to experience doubt, lack confidence we do not enjoy ourselves as much as wed like.
 
Here are some helpful ways to discover whether youre sending mixed messages or not:
  • Pay close attention to what you say to yourself prior to hitting the ball such as, Ive got to have this/relax or cmon focus, focus/take it easy slow down.

  • Become aware of certain thoughts that seem to pop up out of habit and notice whether they create a mixed message or a clear message.

  • Use a journal to record the kinds of mixed messages you may be sending yourself and write down how your play is affected when you do. Start sending ONE clear message and see what happens.
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  • Getty Images

    Woods on firing shot into crowd: 'I kept moving them back'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It added up to another even-par round, but Tiger Woods had an eventful Friday at The Open.

    His adventure started on the second hole, when he wiped a drive into the right rough. Standing awkwardly on the side of a mound, he prepared for a quick hook but instead fired one into the crowd that was hovering near the rope line.

    “I kept moving them back,” he said. “I moved them back about 40 yards. I was trying to play for the grass to wrap the shaft around there and hit it left, and I was just trying to hold the face open as much as I possibly could. It grabbed the shaft and smothered it.

    “I was very, very fortunate that I got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green.”

    Woods bogeyed the hole, one of four on the day, and carded four birdies in his round of 71 at Carnoustie. When he walked off the course, he was in a tie for 30th, six shots off the clubhouse lead.

    It’s the first time in five years – since the 2013 Open – that Woods has opened a major with consecutive rounds of par or better. He went on to tie for sixth that year at Muirfield.

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

    By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Tiger Woods shot his second consecutive 70 on Friday at Carnoustie and enters weekend play at even par for the championship, still in contention for major No. 15.


    Getty Images

    Scott and Sunesson a one-week partnership

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 2:13 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Adam Scott has been in between caddies for the last month and went with a bold stand-in for this week’s Open Championship, coaxing veteran looper Fanny Sunesson out of retirement to work for him at Carnoustie.

    Sunesson caddied for Nick Faldo in his prime, as the duo won four major titles together. She also worked for Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia before a back injury forced her to retire.

    But for this week’s championship, Scott convinced the Swede to return to the caddie corps. The results have been impressive, with the Australian following an opening 71 with a second-round 70 for a tie for 16th place.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It's been going great. Fanny is, obviously, a fantastic caddie, and to be able to have that experience out there with me is certainly comforting,” Scott said. “We've gotten along really well. She's picked up on my game quickly, and I think we think about things in a very similar way.”

    Scott was also asked about a potential long-term partnership between the duo, but he didn’t sound hopeful.

    “It's just for this week,” he said. “It would be up to her, but I don't think she's making plans of a comeback. I was being a bit opportunistic in contacting her and coaxing her out of retirement, I guess. But I think she's having a good week. We'll just take it one week at the moment.”

    Getty Images

    After tense Augusta Sunday, Rory ready to be aggressive

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 1:51 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy temporarily lost his superpowers during the Masters.  

    In one of the most surprising rounds of the year, he played tentatively and carefully during the final day. Squaring off against the major-less Patrick Reed, on the brink of history, with the backing of nearly the entire crowd, it was McIlroy who shrank in the moment, who looked like the one searching for validation. He shot a joyless 74 and wound up six shots behind Reed.

    No, the final round was nowhere near as dispiriting as the finale in 2011, but McIlroy still sulked the following week. He binge-watched TV shows. Devoured a few books. Guzzled a couple of bottles of wine. His pity party lasted a few days, until his wife, Erica, finally dragged him out of the house for a walk.

    Some deeper introspection was required, and McIlroy revealed a healthier self-analysis Friday at Carnoustie. He diagnosed what went wrong at Augusta, and then again two months later at the U.S. Open, where he blew himself out of the tournament with an opening 80.

    “I was worrying too much about the result, not focusing on the process,” he said. “Sunday at Augusta was a big learning curve for me because, even if I hadn’t won that tournament, but I went down swinging and aggressive and committing to every shot, I would have walked away a lot happier.”


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    And so McIlroy has a new mantra this week at The Open.

    Let it go.

    Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about the repercussions. Don’t play scared.

    “I’m committed to making sure, even if I don’t play my best golf and don’t shoot the scores I want, I’m going to go down swinging, and I’m going to go down giving my best,” he said. “The result is the byproduct of all the little things you do to lead up to that. Sometimes I’ve forgotten that, and I just need to get back in that mindset.”

    It’s worked through two rounds, even after the cool, damp conditions led McIlroy to abandon his ultra-aggressive strategy. He offset a few mistakes with four birdies, shooting a second consecutive 69 to sit just a couple of shots off the lead.

    During a sun-splashed first round, McIlroy gleefully banged driver on almost every hole, flying or skirting the bunkers that dot these baked-out, undulating fairways. He wasn’t particularly accurate, but he also didn’t need to be, as the thin, wispy rough enabled every player to at least advance their approach shots near the green.

    Friday’s weather presented a different challenge. A steady morning rain took some of the fire out of parched fairways, but the cooler temperatures also reduced much of the bombers’ hang time. Suddenly, all of the bunkers were in play, and McIlroy needed to adjust his driver-heavy approach (he hit only six) on the fly.

    “It just wasn’t worth it,” he said.

    McIlroy hit a few “skanky” shots, in his words, but even his bigger misses – on the sixth and 17th holes – were on the proper side, allowing him to scramble for par and keep the round going.

    It’s the fifth time in his career that he’s opened a major with back-to-back rounds in the 60s. He’s gone on to win three of the previous four – the lone exception that disastrous final round (80) at Augusta in 2011.

    “I don’t want to say easy,” he said, “but it’s felt comfortable.”

    The weekend gets uncomfortable for everyone, apparently even four-time major winners who, when in form, ooze confidence and swagger.

    Once again McIlroy has that look at a major.

    The only thing left to do?

    Let it go.