Golf - A Game of Emotions (Thrones!)
Posted on 27th September 2019 at 15:37
Have you ever been in such a state on the golf course where you could have broken your club over your knee, threw the club in the lake (just like Rory!) or got so angry you swore like a trooper? Well most people when playing golf or any other sport can get so frustrated with themselves that their behaviour becomes filled with negative emotions. In fact, most of my golf and other sport’s clients seek my services due to not being able to control their emotions before, during and after their chosen sporting event.
“the secret to the mental game is the ability to instantly
recall past success and let go of failure” Tiger Woods
So, what is emotion – well the dictionary states that ‘emotion is an effective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate or the like is experienced’. As our bodies are made up of matter and energy then emotion is a form of positive or negative energy moving within our body – positive or negative. Also, as everything in life is a choice – we either choose to do or not do (there is no try - remember Yoda!) with the things we have control over and where we don’t then we choose how to react!
The other thing to remember is that if we begin to act negatively on a regular basis when we don’t pull off a good shot we get emotional and have a good old swear, get angry, our pulse races and blood pressure rises and out comes the negative behaviour, which in turn becomes habitual. And that is where the following key actions are needed to break the negative emotional habits:
• Choose to be positive or at worst neutral when things don’t go according to plan – it just is!
• Always use the two-box routine and remember to deeply inhale and exhale as you step over the imaginary dividing line between the strategy box and execution box
• Anchor positive emotional feelings of a past sporting success i.e. hole in one, winning a match or competition, and eagle
• Visualise playing the game the night before in perfect conditions and playing to your handicap or one or two shots better
• Between shots hold your head high and keep focus on the top of the flag as you walk towards the green
• Use the 4:4:4 breathing technique – inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds and exhale for four seconds
All the above techniques are easy to do and easy not to do! So, take a leaf out of Jeff Olsen’s book ‘The Slight Edge’ and do the easy things and see your handicap move in the right direction.
Another technique that My Golf Mind uses when a client has serious negative emotions and it’s impacting the progress in their sport is, I get the client to simply hold a pencil tightly in their hand and ask them if they could simply let go of it. They all say yes, so I then ask them to let go of the pencil, which they do. I then get them to do the same exercise again but instead of tightly holding on to a pencil, they are holding onto a negative emotion and repeat the above instruction. Some get the metaphor straight away and begin to change their negative emotions to neutral and positive behaviour. Those that don’t let go need further work to release them of their poor habitual behaviour on the course!
Until next week - keep it on the fairway ...
Remember that My Golf Mind carries out 1-2-1 and group sports master mind-factor coaching sessions, either face-to-face, Skype / FaceTime or telephone if you want to improve your mental tenacity. My Golf Mind also offers a free session if you book (six sessions for the price of five) onto the gold performance coaching programme.
Do give My Golf Mind a call on 07973 614969 or fill out the form below if you have any questions or would like to challenge what I've said.
Northamptonshire’s First Sports Master Mind-Factor Coach
PS ... My Golf Mind also delivers a two-hour 'Spring Clean Your Mind; Spring Clean Your Game’ seminar if you or your golf club are interested! And now everyone gets a free gift for attending that is guaranteed to improve your mental tenacity and golf, so get in touch right away ...
PPS … As Christmas is getting closer golf widows / widowers can now purchase a MY Golf Mind Christmas Voucher for their loved one, so get in touch now …