What goes on mentally during a game of golf is just as important as what’s happening on the green. To play golf well, you have to train your muscles and practice your shots. But, you also have to train your mind. It’s just as important to keep your focus during a golf game. Here are some ideas for keeping your mind on your game.
Develop A Pre-Shot Routine
A pre-shot routine helps you clear your mind and remove distractions before you take your swing. Pros always recommend developing a pre-shot routine, and there are as many different routines as there are players.
Here’s an example: align your body to set up the swing, tighten your grip on the club, look at the target and take a mental picture of it, focus and imagine the ball heading for the hole. This is just an example; of course, you should come up with your own routine that suits you. But, the idea is to have a routine that you go through before each shot to clear your mind and help you focus.
Focus On The Matter-At-Hand
When it’s time to make your shot, you need to focus. This means that you shouldn’t be thinking of your next shot or your last shot. Jumping ahead and planning your next move can be counter-productive. Be “in the moment!”
Also, don’t worry about the final score when you’re making a shot. Think about the shot you’re making now.
The Power Of Positive Thinking
Keep negative thoughts at bay. It’s amazing how a little negativity can destroy your concentration. Going into the game thinking (knowing) that you’re going to play well produces good results. If you focus on success rather than failure, it’ll pay you.
It’s also all-too-easy to dwell on a bad shot. Even the pros miss perfectly good shots. You just have to put it behind you and move on to the next. It doesn’t help to dwell on your mistakes.
Or even better, use your mistakes to learn. When you have a bad shot, figure out what went wrong so that you don’t repeat it. Failure is an opportunity to learn!
Take It Easy
In all sports, but especially golf, you need to relax in order to play well. Too much tension will destroy your swing every time. Golf requires finesse. You have to keep your movements loose and fluid.
Make It Go Where You Want It
Many golf pros have sworn by “creative visualization.” This means that if you imagine the ball going into the hole, it will go there. The reason why this works is that it motivates you and builds up your confidence. Also, studies have shown that when athletes visualize, it sharpens their muscles. It’s a little like mental practice.
Focus on your target, even if you’re just trying to get close to a hole. Don’t shoot for the general direction, but pick a spot where you want the ball to land. If you focus in this way, it’ll strengthen your game and help you practice getting the ball where you want it.
There are lots of ways to improve your game through practice and technique, but the mental game is just as important as the physical.