Mar
12

Self-Talk your way to Golf Improvement like Geoff Ogilvy

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How much do you berate yourself when you play a bad shot at golf? If you’re a typical golfer the answer is pretty badly! In fact, you probably use language that you’d never use in public. It’s a good thing that you save the worst things for expression privately in your head. Just imagine how you would feel if your fourball or foursome partner said the same things to you after you hit a bad shot. You’d be horrified and you’d probably make a mental note never to play with them again.

What’s possibly worse is that many players have similar negative internal dialogue whenever they plan and execute a shot. They recall all the bad shots they’ve ever hit in this situation and focus more on what can go wrong than on what they’re trying to do.

I was surprised to hear Geoff Ogilvy saying that he used to experience negative self talk earlier in his career. In an interview after his recent victory in the World Golf Championship Match Play event, he said that early in his career, he found it almost impossible to suppress any negative feelings he was experiencing. You wouldn’t think that, watching his cool demeanour when playing last week.

After some more research, I found a much older interview where he was talking about how half the Tour talks to themselves badly when they’re out there playing bad. They do it every day and it’s very unconstructive. When asked what he meant, he said

“Yeah, just call yourself useless and what are you doing out here and all sorts of stuff. And I was hopeless. And I’m still not the best out here, but I’m getting a lot better.”

Clearly Geoff has come a long way since then and I’m sure that golf psychology has had a lot to do with it.

With hypnosis and NLP we can do a lot to channel and manage that negative self-talk. One simple approach from NLP is just to give that negative voice in our head a silly or a sexy accent – it would be hard to take the negative self-talk if it came from Donald Duck or a seductive Marilyn Munro. You make up the voice in your head, so it’s yours to do whatever you want with.

Another alternative would be to give that destructive voice a constructive job to do. That’s one of the things I offer clients with my “Your Own Virtual Caddy” golf hypnosis programme. Did I mention that it’s free when you sign up for my Golf Hypnotist ezine? Just enter your name and email address in the form on the right hands side of every page of the Golf Hypnotist website.

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