Golf is as much a mental game as it is physical and developing mental toughness should be a core part of your golf training. Guest writer Michael Dehoyos shares his advice
Golf is as much a mental game as it is physical and developing mental toughness should be a core part of your golf training. Not only will it help you to overcome anxiety, lack of confidence and negative thinking, but it will help to improve your physical game too.
Here are 5 techniques for improving your mental golf game.
Develop A Routine
One of the most important things you can do to improve your mental golf game is to spend some time creating your own pre-shot routine. With practice, your pre-shot routine will help to build your confidence and trust in your own skills and abilities.
Each golfer’s pre-shot routine will vary slightly. The key is to establish what works for you. Take some time to consider what makes you feel confident. Try to identify whether it’s a particular number of practice swings, taking a set number of deep breaths or even glancing at the target three or four times.
You’ll find that by working on your routine, you’ll not only be getting yourself ready to execute the shot to the best of your ability, but you’ll also be so focused on the routine itself, that you won’t have time to engage in negativity or doubt. Focus simply on each individual shot as you play it, remaining present all the way from the preparation, through to the completion of the shot itself.
Visualisation is a brilliant technique for helping you develop and improve your mental golf game.
“Visualisation stimulates the same areas of the brain that you use when you physically perform an action,” explains Wendy Benoit, a golf writer at Britstudent and Nextcoursework. “Visualise each detail of every individual shot as clearly as you can, from the very feel of the ball as you hit it, through to the ball hitting the desired target. When you engage in this kind of visualization technique, you’re helping to lay the foundations of success in your subconscious.”
Experiment With Different Shots And Clubs
Part of the pressure of golf can come from using different clubs and making different shots. During your practice sessions, unleash your creativity and experiment making different shots with different clubs. A good opportunity to do this is at the driving range. Try to mix up your alignment and grip position too and find out what works best for you.
Set An Objective
It’s essential to learn how to control your nerves and the stress of playing a game of golf, even when you’re practicing. The closer you can get to simulating the real experience, the better prepared you will be.
“Set yourself an objective for each practice session,” says Erica Kellum, a lifestyle blogger at Australia2Write and Write My X. “This not only helps to focus your practice session and give you measurable milestones for improvement, but it raises the stakes of your practice. In turn, this will help you to develop strategies to cope with pressure and stress when you play your next game. Remember that whilst you want to set yourself challenging goals, they shouldn’t be so difficult that you can’t achieve them at all.”
Overcome Negative Thinking
Learning how to overcome a bad shot is one of the biggest mental obstacles you should endeavor to master. The key is not to allow your emotions to cloud your forthcoming shots. Avoid stewing on a bad shot. Instead, give yourself permission to be upset with a bad shot for a limited time and then reset and move on. Whether you decide to do some deep breathing, pace out your frustration over a set number of steps or simply push it aside when you replace the club in your bag, find a way to deal with poor shots which works for you.
Give yourself the best chance of success. Spend time training your mind by creating a pre-shot routine, visualising each shot before you take it and challenging yourself each time. Above all, develop a positive mindset and stay present to each individual moment. Not only will you improve your game, but you will also enjoy the experience of playing golf much more.
About Michael Dehoyos
Michael Dehoyos is a professional editor and content marketer at PhDKingdom and Academic Brits. He works closely with a range of companies, supporting them to develop and improve their marketing strategy concepts. Michael regularly writes articles for Assignment Help, as well as having contributed to numerous other websites and publications. In his spare time Michael enjoys playing golf and exploring different golf courses when on holiday.