Hitting great golf shots and playing in the zone requires the ability to move from thinking to doing. This most often occurs when you have a relaxed and positive mind-set. To ensure that this is the case you must be careful of what you are thinking.
Limiting Thoughts (LT) such as, “I always struggle on this course”, “this hole is really tight”, “I don’t like playing with so and so”, and the list goes on, raise anxiety, cause doubt and leave you at the mercy of a busy mind. Contrast that to the player who only allows Empowering Thoughts (ET), “I love this course because…”, I know I can play well”, “I love competition”, and you see the different mind set. Do you want to experience the consequences of LT’s? Or enjoy the benefits and resulting freedom that ensues from ET’s and a more positive mind-set?
The next time you play, carry a small notebook with you on the course. Each time you experience an LT, jot it down and forget about it. After the round, find a quiet place and review your list. Replace each LT with an ET. Now, practice using imagery to recreate the situation on the course where the LT came up and use your ET to create your new mind-set.
If you want to enter the zone more consistently, you must first quiet your mind. Learning to experience only ET’s is the first step in building an effective Mental Pre-shot Routine (MPR). Move from thinking behind the ball to doing over it. Have fun!
Doug Hodges developed his expertise as a Performance Coach while at the La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, CA. He now offers ThinkWorkPlay programs at the Heritage Golf Club in Wake Forest and The Grandover Resort in Greensboro. All golfers, from the Tour Player to Novice, now have the opportunity to develop the tools to unlock their potential, have more fun, and lower their scores. Visit www.thinkworkplay.com to learn more.