Are you constantly improving or have you hit the proverbial glass ceiling? Any golfer with reasonable eye/hand co-ordination can score in the eighties consistently on a regulation length golf course.
How can I make the above statement with any confidence?
I’ve met over 11,000 students during the past 32 years of teaching the game for a living. The skill levels ranged from rank beginner to twenty year veteran. The majority progressed steadily for the first five years, then the rate of improvement either slowed down or stopped altogether.
On the practice range, their skill level is so far beyond their actual handicap, that it seemed like two different people. The goal in this series is to help you consistently transfer the skills you already have, from the practice range to the golf course.
How many golfers do you know that have the skill set to play bogey golf or better, but struggle for years to break ninety?
An awareness of these (unconscious) beliefs will help you achieve optimize results from your current skill level, by changing the way you feel. As we all know, golf is a game of feel.
Belief # 1: Focusing on Mistakes Will Lead To Improvement
Have you ever hit a perfect shot? Of course you have. Can you recall what you were thinking? I’ll bet you weren’t thinking about swing mechanics; left elbow straight, shift the weight, delay the wrist release, lead with the hips and so on…
Golfers are conditioned to focus on mistakes. Does the habit of continually looking for swing flaws help you feel better? I doubt it. It perpetuates the feeling that you will never master a consistent swing.
So what’s the alternative?
Train yourself to lock in the feeling of the good shots. This is easier said than done. The majority of high-handicap golfers automatically start berating themselves after one poor shot; they obsess over the poor shots and take the good shots for granted. You must learn how to reverse the process.
Get excited over the good shots. How you feel is based on your memories. Memories are linked to emotion. Positive emotion instantly recalls memories of success which improves your chances of re-creating the results.
Take five minutes a day to mentally replay your best shots. Recall as much detail as possible; the more vivid the memory, the quicker it will be recalled when needed. Eventually, you will develop the habit of instantly replacing the memories of poor shots with successful ones.
You may not have the physical skill to hit three-hundred yard drives like the Tour professionals, but any golfer can develop the mental beliefs that keep you on the path to constant improvement.
In Part II, we look at the belief that you can consciously change your swing.
Go out, have fun and just hit the damn ball!
Feel free to send any comments to: email@example.com.