Mental Blocks

Mental Blocks

We all know that playing the game is not just a physical challenge but a synergy between the way we process things in our brain and our technical proficiencies. In order to play your best golf on a consistent basis, you will have to get your mind in the right place to perform under pressure. One of the definitions of pressure I came up on described it as:

A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances:

Some of these demanding circumstances are heightened in our own heads so much so that we create mental blocks or barriers without knowing it. For example, a golfer who normally scores around the mid to high 80’s but on occasion has scored low 80’s but has never scored in the 70’s. This goal now gets built up inside the golfers mind to a point that as the round goes on the golfer becomes too aware of the possibilities to break the 80 mark and subsequently tightens up and fails to get over this blockage. Another example of this may be a particular hole on a course that a golfer fails to play well because of the same mental barrier they create for themselves. A common way to describe this is that we are in our own way.

Golf Powerscourt

Lose yourself in the Process not the Outcome

It may sound like one of the most common clichés that you here but take it one shot at a time is by far the best way of going about this. Have a solid routine and follow it, develop tools for staying in or bringing yourself back to the present – Focusing on your breathing is probably one of the more common ways of doing this. It takes practice as well, just like any other part of your game so you will need to work at it. Having no barriers sounds like an ideal way to play but in truth these challenges are really what a large part of this game is all about so we should try and enjoy the mental trials we face. Frustrating as it can be, perhaps golf would not be the special game it is without the challenge.

Paul Thompson has been the Fellow PGA Professional at Powerscourt Golf Club in Wicklow since 1995. In addition to providing coaching on-site he also is a coach with The Golfing Union of Ireland. Appointments with Paul 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.

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