Archive for NLP

Have you made your New Years resolutions for your golf improvement – using golf psychology, perhaps? Well, even if you haven’t, I’m sure that many of you are excited about starting fresh, turning your life around and in some cases doing something about playing better golf. That’s fantastic! I know that 2010 is going to be an exciting year. I’m excited already, after completing my new book, The Secrets of Hypnotic Golf, over the holiday period. I’ve been talking about it for long enough and now its written, formatted and with the publisher, ready for launch late January or early February – Woo-hoo!

Coming back to those New Year’s resolutions, have you made your ones yet? No, don’t tell me what they are, that’s supposed to be unlucky. It’s enough that you’re clear about what you would like to change in your life and your golf in 2010? You know what you’d like to accomplish and where you want your life to go. That’s enough, isn’t it?

Well, I’ve got some bad news and some good news for you. Which would you like first? Okay, let’s start with the bad news. The bad news is that New Year’s resolutions generally don’t work …
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The ability to learn from your bad shots and release them from your mind is one of the keys to winning golf. You only have to look at the world’s greatest ever golfers to see this. I don’t ever recall seeing the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo dwelling for any length of time over a bad shot or allow one to affect a subsequent shot they had to play. They certainly got over it before they played their next shot and just went back to their regular routine.

One of the key techniques in the application of golf hypnosis is the use of metaphor to communicate a concept that may be rejected or over analysed by the conscious mind. As an example, if I wanted someone to swing their golf club naturally and unconsciously, I might talk to them about the way they throw a ball of paper into a wastepaper basket or skim a stone across a pond – without any conscious thought.

So I’m always on the lookout for a good metaphor …
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What impact does luck have on your game of golf? By that I mean do you treat good luck and bad luck as two sides of the same coin? Statistically, our golfing luck is going to even out over the long term. If you keep tossing a coin, you may get long runs of heads or tails, but I’m sure that deep down we all know that every time there’s an equal chance of one or the other. Luck’s been a part of golf for a long time and the earliest golfer’s defined good luck and bad luck as "Rub of the Green."

So how do you feel if you hit a really good drive down the middle of the fairway only to see it bounce off unexpectedly into a bunker or end up in a divot? Does it make you angry and affect your next shot or even the rest of the round? Did you see Lee Westwood’s tee shot on the 72nd hole when he was in contention to win the Open Championship at Turnberry? He hit it perfectly only to see it roll on and on before veering off into a bunker and leaving him with a seemingly impossible shot to the green. Would your shoulder’s "drop"? Would you feel the world was against you? Or would you just treat it as just one of those things and, like Lee Westwood, just accept the new challenge and hit the best possible shot from where the ball lay under the face of the bunker? …
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I’ve been writing a lot lately about the negative and positive golf psychology of fear on the golf course. While I’ve been thinking all about golf fear consciously, it seems that my unconscious mind has been quietly working away on the question of how we actual do this "fear" thing in our golf minds. Using a post-shot routine was the answer – to the problem, not the question.

Now in NLP and golf hypnosis, we have many ways of managing a person’s fears. If it’s a full blown phobia, we can deal with that easily. If it’s a habit or belief that’s blown out of all proportion, we can help there too using techniques like the NLP Swish Pattern. If we need a skill that someone else has we can use modelling and Richard Bandler’s "Stealing a Skill" technique. If the fear is doubt related and, as we might say colloquially, there’s a part of me that wants to play a risky shot and another part that’s saying it’s too dangerous, then we’ve got the NLP Visual Squash parts integration technique. And there are many more NLP tools we can use before we even start looking at golf hypnosis.

So why not use one of these techniques to manage or eliminate fear? Well, you can use these techniques and if they are really deep-seated fears, you may need them. But what about nipping the fears in the bud …
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There’s a danger we treat fear completely as a bad thing in golf psychology. Now I know this goes against a lot of what I’ve been saying, but I’m talking hear about the thin end of fear – nervousness. For many people, nervousness is the buzz of competition, whether we’re competing with other people, ourselves or the golf course we happen to be playing.

For many people the buzz is part of the enjoyment. Perhaps that’s what Mark Twain was referring to when he wrote that "Golf is a good walk spoiled" and HRH Princess Anne meant when she said “Golf seems to be an arduous way to go for a walk. I prefer to take the dogs out."

Personally, I feel that if I’m not nervously shaking when I get near the end of a seriously good scoring round or close game of match play then I might as well give up golf and go and do something else that excites and inspires me. Jack Nicklaus knew that if you didn’t feel nervous at the end of a tournament you’re trying to win then there’s something wrong with you – he thrived on it …
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Fear on the golf course can come in many shapes and sizes and it can result in a multitude of problems ranging from lack of enjoyment, through poor scoring and frustration to outright anger. Most golfers will have experienced fear on the golf course, either personally or from watching a playing partner.

As an amateur golfer, although my golf is very important to me, my livelihood does not depend directly on my ability to score well. However, I can think of many times, especially in my younger days, when I was uncomfortable, nervous, scared and downright terrified on the golf course.

Those of you who subscribed to my Golf Hypnotist Ezine will have read in a recent post about my nerves on the first tee in the Golf Illustrated Junior Vase at Hexham in the early 70s. When the starter announced on the loud speaker system that they were expecting great things from me after my hole in one there the previous day, I could hardly stand up, let alone hit a good drive down the middle …
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Have you noticed how good some of the leading professionals are at grinding out a good score, even if they are swinging the club below their best or downright badly. It’s interesting to note that the real greats like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus always seem to be able to do this, however they’re playing, and whatever the “rub of the green throws” at them when they get to the last nine holes of a championship.

If I look back to my early years in golf, before I had any thoughts about golf hypnosis or golf psychology in general, I was lucky to have a fair amount of natural ability. At the same time, I was rather too inconsistent for my liking. It seemed that if I started out a round playing really well, but not scoring that brilliantly, then my golf would gradually go from good to bad to worse and I’d have a frustratingly high score. On the other hand, if I started off playing relatively badly, but scoring ok, then my golf would often improve as the round went on and I’d have a bewilderingly good score. What was really odd was that my score after 6 to 9 holes in these two types of round was often similar …
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Just a brief post today as it’s half-term and my wife and I are baby-sitting. More specifically, we are just heading off for a day’s adventure with our two lovely granddaughters.

So moving from the balance of my life to the balance of the golf swing, I was intrigued to read recently about how many people view this as a key element of a successful golf swing. Now you know that I never comment on the mechanics of the swing as I’m neither a golf professional nor a swing coach. However, I do believe that balance is a key component of golf psychology and that psychological balance contributes significantly to balance in the golf mind and the golf swing. It also works wonders for your putting stroke …
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There’s a lovely lady hypnotherapist called Ellie Blunt who has a really interesting blog called The Transparent Hypnotist. She posts 7 days a week on a broad range of topics – “All about hypnosis, NLP, positive thinking, suggestion work and the reality of it all.”

Every week, Ellie posts a standard questionnaire based interview with a hypnotist somewhere in the world and last week, it was my turn to provide the answers for “…
10 Questions with Andrew Fogg.” As her questions are quite direct, my answers go well beyond the information on the About the Golf Hypnotist page on my website and I felt it appropriate to share it with you here Click here to read the full post »

Yesterday, in Part 1 of this article, I tackled the first 5 of someone’s web-based list of the top ten mental mistakes golfers make and how to correct them instantly.  Today I tackle the last 5 and as I disagree with much of his “how to correct them instantly “advice, I’ve again included my suggestions as to how address them with NLP and Golf Hypnosis …
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