For me golf is a 100% mental and a 100% physical or in other words, for us to play our best both of these components need to be in place. In truth I consider these one and the same, the mind and the body work together. If one of these areas is not functioning effectively it is certainly means the other will be ineffective also.
When it comes to the mental side of sport, golf provides a thorough examination. One of the biggest tests is still being able to produce or exceed your typical level of play when we face greater pressure or adversity. It may be that we aware that we are building a good score in a competition or playing in a team match or even that we are playing with strangers and feel a little intimidated.
It’s no surprise that the great golfers like Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus & Tiger Woods to name just a few, all possessed great mental skills, but have all stated it something they had to work on. Here are some of the mental traits they all shared.
The ability to focus on things they can control
A willingness to accept any circumstances presented
Control over their emotions
Confidence in their swings
A positive attitude in all situations
Here are a few things to consider:
The ability to focus on things you can control – This is achieved by focusing on the process and not the outcome.
A willingness to accept any circumstances presented – Accept the fact that at some point in golf we are going to face things we don’t like, bad weather, a poor lie or just bad luck.
Control your emotions – The key here is not to let any extreme emotion like anger or excitement drift into the following shot. Not easy but it can be achieved.
Confidence in your swing – Swings are about movement that create energy they should have rhythm and they should flow in balance when they are at their most effective. For example if you typically slice the ball don’t try to rely on drawing the ball on a crucial shot, play what you know. If you’re not happy with your technique work on it at the right time. Let your unconscious control most of your game.
A positive attitude in all situations – If you watch a post round interview on TV with top players they always talk about positives even if they have just had a bad round. Here’s something you can try out on the course, any bad shot you hit try to pick out at least one positive thing about the shot. For example you may have pulled your approach shot left of the green but you may have struck the ball well. It doesn’t change the outcome but it helps to keep your mind positive.
Appointments with Paul for golf lessons in Wicklow can be booked via Powerscourt Golf Club Reception: Tel (01) 204 6033 or the Golf Shop Tel (01) 204 6031. Read more about lessons from Paul Thompson by visiting the Powerscourt Golf Club Website.