Have you ever been to the theater and watched a bad movie? I’m sure we all have, maybe the plot was strange or the transition between scenes just didn’t make sense, but when it was over you were just really glad it was over! Would you go back and pay money to see it again? What would you think of the person who would do that, well you would think they were weird, right?
Now apply this to your golf game. How often have you prepared for a golf shot, checked the lie and wind and pulled a club and just walked up and hit the ball with no mental preparation? Probably a few times until you learned better, that we all need some sort of “movie” or imagery to “see” the shot we want to hit. Maybe it was a high draw, a low fade or aim at the right edge and let it drift back to the middle of the green. Hopefully by now you know this is part of the preparation that all good players go through before hitting their shots.
Now think about your last round at the course and that one awful shot that you hit that just put you in a terrible mood. Maybe it was a par 3 over water and the last time you played you hit it in the drink. What was your movie before you played that same hole and what was your thought process? “Well, I hit it in the water last time so no reason to expect any better this time” is a pretty typical negative process we can fall into.
Now let’s go about this thing the right way. The next time you play that hole or any other shot that makes you cringe, I want you to “see” a good shot. Recall a past shot with that same club that you hit well and “see” the ball fly easily over the water to your target. In other words, let’s use your imagination for the positive! Have you ever hit a good shot before with that club, well of course you have! Check the lie, check the wind, pull the club that will do the job and make a few practice swings then before you approach the ball I want you to see a vivid, clear movie of the ball taking off and flying safely to the target.
Even if you don’t hit a “perfect” shot, and golf is a game of misses, at least you’ve correctly gone through your process and given yourself every possible chance to hit a good shot. Make it a habit to train your mind, not just your golf swing, and good things will start to happen.
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