Jack Nicklaus once said, “Keeping the head still is golf’s one universal, unarguable fundamental.” Of course, this is easier said than done. But what if I told you there’s a way to calm your mind and enhance your game in the process? Well, there is: mindfulness. While your local golf pro can help you correct your grip and keep your hips level throughout your swing, mindfulness offers a different yet equally important part of golf success. Here’s what you need to know to master your mental game.
A growing body of research points to the importance of mindfulness for everything from boosting immune function to reducing depression.
Mindfulness is not a product, but a process. In order to truly harness the full power of mindfulness, practice is required. This may include any number of proven meditation techniques — from deep belly breathing and visualization to positive affirmations and negative thought stopping.
While the expression “imagine it and it will be,” may sound like a platitude, it’s grounded in research indicating that positive thinking leads to everything from better performance to quicker post-injury recovery.
As part of my hypnotherapy practice, I regularly work with golfers trying to improve their game. One step on the way to success? Create a mental picture of every shot, allowing your intuitive mind to fully absorb the moment. By visualizing yourself hitting the target, you set your subconscious up for success.
Conversely, allowing yourself to let thoughts of failure even enter the picture is self-sabotage — particularly when it comes to your last thought before the shot. If you think, “Don’t sink the ball in the bunker,” your subconscious just may hear “Sink the ball in the bunker”.
Another important step in mastering your mental game? Always acknowledge the things you’ve done right. Not only will doing so build you up, but it also positions you for more of the same.
But it’s not just your own negative thoughts that matter. Judgement imposed by others can also get inside your head and your game, so be conscious of the seeping in of both internal and external negativity.
Set Your Intentions
Setting intentions and sticking to them is an important part of mastering mindfulness. Is your goal to learn? Have fun? Achieve a personal best? Analyzing and understanding your intentions can help you follow through with confidence.
The Importance of Being Present
Ultimately, golf is about the conscious mind and physical body working together. In order to achieve true success, it’s important to stay in the moment. After all, while your mind’s thoughts can jump ahead and back, your body is stuck in the moment.
If you’re preoccupied with thoughts of your last bad shot or what your game score will be if you sink the next one, you’ll undoubtedly be out of sync. By remaining in the here and now, you ensure a symbiotic relationship between body and mind.
Being present can also give you heightened awareness if something doesn’t feel right. If you’re truly in the moment, you can pause and make a correction.
My clients are delighted by the ways in which mindful meditation and hypnotherapy have helped them take their game to the next level. To learn more about what my proven TrueHypnosis for Golf program can do for you, call 843-252-0573 or contact me at my office in downtown Charleston.