What is the secret to improving your game? Technique certainly helps, but perhaps more importantly, the mental side of the sport. Spending hours on the driving range and taking lessons may appear to improve your game. However, once you hit that first bad shot, the lack of confidence starts and mental frustration can ruin the round. So here are a few tricks to consider next time you’re on the course
Secret #1: Getting in The Zone
First off, what is the zone? The zone is a state of focus and balance allowing you to perform at a high level. Basically everything seems to effortlessly flow and feel automatic. It would be great if things were like that all the time, right? But a BIG mistake most golfers make is trying to stay in the zone for the entire round (4-5 hours on average). It isn’t humanly possible to stay tuned in for that long. Technically you are only swinging for 25 minutes per round according to Dan Candell, a high performance golf coach. So don’t worry about staying focused the entire time, ONLY when you need to.
Let your mind wonder between shots and think about or discuss with playing partners a topic that is not related to golf. This can also help you leave those bad shots in the rearview mirror and not let them poison the remainder of the round.
Here are a couple methods to try and help you not carry bad shots in your mind.
Method one: count trees. I know this sounds ridiculous, but this can help distract your mind. Too many golfers carry bad shots with them, so give this a try if you tend to replay your mistakes over and over again.
Method two: play a movie in your mind, a funny movie. This is called a pattern interrupt. Feel free to smile and laugh, it will make your brain happy and your golf game happy too.
Secret #2: Eliminate Expectations
Getting out of the perfection mindset can help you shave strokes. Don't think like an amateur, Think more like a professional. Here are a few tips in eliminating expectations.
Tip One: Try to take some focus off your handicap and stay in the present. Go in the round free of expectations, you will notice yourself free of anxiety, and those expectations to shot a certain score.
Tip Two: Focus on the fun of the game rather than the final outcome.
Secret #3: Shift Your Focus
Most golfers take lessons after lessons trying to improve their technique, but sometimes it isn't the technique you need to focus on. Try addressing mental components. For example, think positive to boost up your confidence. Mental and physical relaxation can help every golfer. Don’t let tension be a hindrance to your game.
Now you know a few secrets to try the next time you go out on the course. Boost your confidence, increase your focus, eliminate danger, get in the zone, and most importantly, maintain your mental toughness! Why? Because you are a golf champion!
If you have any mental tips or tricks to use on the course let us know in the comments below!