Many golfers that have come to me for help improving their game have a similar issue: they can’t shut off their mind at the crucial time to swing. Regardless of how skillful you are, to play at your highest level you must have confidence. The key to playing your best golf is to combine physical skill with the feeling of confidence that comes from the inner workings of your mind. Because of the nature of the mind, every thought creates a physical response in the body. Try it yourself. Think about a time in the past that you were scolded or caught doing something wrong. Notice how that thought makes you feel. The old feeling may come right back to you even though it is not happening now. Now, think about something you did that gave you a special recognition for an accomplishment and notice how that feels. Although they are just thoughts, feelings immediately occur. The thought is conscious and the feelings are from unconscious mind. This unwanted feeling and negative thoughts are often called the Yips. This must be what Yogi Berra meant when he said, “90% of the game is 50% mental. “ These thoughts are called “self-talk.” Practice positive thinking. Monitoring and changing your self-talk is the first step in improving your golf game.
The second step is to completely eliminate 4 words from your self-talk:
#1 Try: When you tell yourself you are going to try something, your unconscious mind knows you have already decided to fail. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be trying, you’d be doing! For example you may tell yourself, “Try to keep your head down.” Nike says it best, “Just do it! “
#2 Don’t: You should never say “don’t” during any of your shots. The unconscious mind cannot process that command and only registers the part you are trying to stop. “Don’t bend your elbow” is heard as, “bend your elbow.”
#3 Hope: Hope means that you don’t believe it will happen but you “wish” it will. How would you like it if your babysitter said, “ I hope the kids will be ok when you leave.” Does that inspire confidence? Change hope to faith that “ Instead of, I hope I putt well,” “I putt well!”
#4 If: How many times have you told yourself that if this, then that? “If” is a word that sets you up for failure. It puts the conditions of your success dependent on some event. “If I can relax and shut off my mind, I can hit well.” Again, just do it!
Practice, is the best way to acquire skill but many of my clients report that they do better during practice than in a competition. Remember, a competition is really just practice for the next competition. They are all practice!
I’ve read that the average person has over 50,000 thoughts a day and that 60% of them are negative. Because of the strong mind-body connection your thoughts definitely affect your performance. Tiger Woods did not forget how to play golf when his game tanked a few years ago, he lost control over his thoughts. Hypnosis is the fastest, most effective way to control those unwanted thoughts and create the positive thoughts and habits you desire.