One of the most important components of playing well is controlling your emotions and your mental game. How much time and energy do you put into this EXTREMELY important element of the game?
How many times have you had a good round going only to make a bunch of bogies near the end the round. Your good round has once again turned into just another average round. We have all done this, but why does it happen and what are you going to do to stop it from happening again?
This tends to happen when you start to get out of “The Moment” and start thinking about the end result. We have all heard about getting into “The Zone” and being super focused. This is simply focusing all of your thoughts and energy on the shot at hand. If you are still thinking about how you bogied the first few holes or missed a couple of short putts, you are focusing on the past. If you are trying to calculate what you could shoot, and you are thinking that this could be your best round ever, you are focusing on the future. Either way your thoughts are not in the present where they need to be.
It is important to come up with a plan so when your mind starts to get out of the present, you can bring yourself back and get focused on what you are doing. Having a clear mind before you execute your shot is pivotal if you want to perform your best. Start with a deep breath and a vision of how you are going to play your next shot. Take a practice swing with the same feel that you will need for the shot you are about to hit. Step into the shot and just let it go – totally trust that your body knows what to do . To keep it simple – Relax, See it, Feel it, Trust it.
I talk about the mental game a lot with the Penn team. We work on playing one shot at a time and staying in “The Moment”. You can only hit one shot at a time, so to start thinking about the end of your round when you are standing in the 14th fairway is really a waste of your time and causes you to lose focus. Get focused on the shot you are facing and execute that shot with 100% confidence. If you can do that on EVERY shot, you will be on your way to playing your best round very soon!
I will be offering mental game sessions for my students this year. If you want to take your game to the next level, sign up for a mental game session today!
Have fun and play well!