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A simple swing thought and a simple repetitive routine, that makes your swing work. You will need to have real awareness of your physical swing to get on top of this. Therefore, a professional coach can help you identify this. Once you know the basic fundamentals, try not to over complicate it. You can train yourself to create a consistent swing.
Then it is a process of resetting after EVERY shot (whether the shot is good or bad) and repeating the simple fundamentals over again.
Too many golfers get caught up in trying to fix what they did wrong, instead of repeating what they do right.
For me, whether I was playing my best or having a tough day, I always maintained one simple set of instructions for my swing; turn – wait – drive was my mantra. (Turn my shoulders, pause at the top of the swing to complete the back swing and then start the down swing with my lower part of my body.)
I self-instructed my body how to perform over and over with exactly the same instruction and this created muscle memory I could rely on under pressure.
It is so important to be aware of how we react to good and poor shots, as we accept the negative and focus on the positive.
After a good shot: watch it longer, stare it down and focus on it. Focus on how it felt too. Visualize that shot, replay the shot in your mind and store it in your memory. Remember there is a reason why you hit good shots - they come from knowing what to do right and not from stopping what you do wrong. Your routine will help with this. Again, after each shot reset.
After a poor shot: Forget it. Dismiss it. Don’t over-analyze. Switch off once you have seen where the ball finishes. Know everyone hit bad shots. Then, reset for the next shot. Remind yourself - what do I need to do in my process to hit a good shot?
A technical or swing coach will say you must understand the technical or fundamental cause of bad shot. Understanding what you did wrong is okay but knowing what you do to keep the bad shots to a minimum is key to consistency and improvement. For example, I swing too fast from the top of my back swing is the fault. Learning to have a slight pause or lag at the end of the back swing will alleviate the swing fault.
Therefore, in my process I must always train myself to pause on the back swing (in my practice swing only).
Nelly Korda. Photo credit Chatchai Somwat
Learn to catch negative thoughts and mentally delete them. You can learn this skill by just monitoring or observing your thoughts throughout the day.
Understand that we will never alleviate negative thoughts, but we can learn to not react to them.
Simply just admitting…oh that was a negative thought, takes away its power.
Then learn to insert a thought that you can choose. Have a toolbox full of positive statements you want to take to golf with you.
You may have to learn some or retrain the way you think.
Some of the ones I use are:
I am a great golfer.
I hit my drives long and straight.
I hit my irons close to the pin.
I have a good short game.
I am a great putter and hole putts under pressure.
How do I train myself to remember these thoughts and use them enough until they become true? I write them down daily over and over. Use the 4
R’s for your thinking too.
Learn to catch your emotions.
We all get nervous, anxious, even fearful. We can all feel disappointment, anger even sadness. We can all get over excited, too confident and even cocky.
Learn to recognise your feelings and PAUSE to give yourself time to understand them.
Understand we can’t stop our emotions; however, we can acknowledge them, and this lessens their effect.
I recognized I got pretty nervous standing on the first tee leading a professional golf tournament with 5,000 people lining the fairways.
The way I dealt with that was to say, ‘okay I am nervous’. Then I’d breathe, slow down and then I would repeat the positive statement. ‘I
play my best golf when I am nervous’. The mind wants to trick you, just trick it back.
For more information on this coaching go to www.mindfulgolfcoaching.com and grab a copy of Jenny’s book Intentional Golfing Success, or contact Jenny on 0402 235639 for a Mindful Coaching session, in person, via Zoom or phone.