Archive for Self Talk

Practice Rounds

Why do golfers talk themselves into playing the shots they don’t want to hit? I’m talking here about saying or thinking to yourself something like, “Now, don’t hit it into the water”. If it wasn’t the water, it could have been the bunker, the trees or the wrong side of the green that they were trying to avoid. If it wasn’t one of those, it could have been about not slicing, hooking, topping, shanking or yipping, for all I know. …
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How much do you listen to the commentators on televised golf? Do you think they’re good for your golf? Well I used to think that watching golf on TV was good golf psychology. Now I’m not so sure.

So what happened? Well after writing my recent article about talking yourself into better golf, I sat down to watch a replay of the television coverage of the World Cup from Mission Hills in China. Now I ‘m always thinking very positively after completing an article, so I was amazed at how quickly I was becoming negative watching the golf and more importantly listening to the negative messages coming from the commentators. Here’s a list of the ones I remember from just 30 minutes of watching and listening …
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Do you talk to yourself when you’re playing golf? Well, if you don’t, you may have a serious problem. It’s called brain death! Self-talk, otherwise known as internal dialogue or intrapersonal communication, is one of the main functions of our conscious mind. It allows us to make sense of our conflicting thoughts and to express our ideas and feelings to ourselves. Most of the time we talk to ourselves internally and sometimes, particularly after a bad shot, we share our self-talk with everyone in earshot. That can be a large distance with some of the golfer’s I’ve played with!

Self talk really comes into its own when we are internally analysing and evaluating complex choices in our lives. A good example is when you are starting your pre-shot routine and deciding on the type of shot you’re going to play. Have you ever had one voice in your head proposing an ambitious shot with a driver and another one encouraging you to make a more conservative shot with an iron? Don’t worry about it. It’s perfectly normal and unlikely to be a symptom of schizophrenia!

Now, I’ve often written about the concept that whatever we consciously think about our unconscious mind does it’s best to deliver. And self-talk is the most powerful and influential mechanism for conscious thought …
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Here’s a brief video with some interesting thoughts on golf psychology of self talk and how it can affect your golf by Dave Stockton. I found it last week when I was looking to find out more about Dave and the putting tip he gave Phil Mickelson the week before his amazing win the Tour Championship at East Lake

I particularly like the concept of sitting in your office or at home rehearsing all the unpleasant things you’re going to say to yourself when you’re out on the golf course. If that sounds utterly ridiculous, then why do so many of us talk to ourselves so badly when we hit a bad shot? If one of our playing partners said the same thing, we’d probable decide then and there not to ever play with them again.

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So praise yourself for every good shot you hit and learn from and release any bad shot before you start getting abusive. You’ll enjoy your golf more and play better.

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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I recently found someone’s list of the top ten mental mistakes golfers make and how to correct them instantly. As I disagree with much of the “how to correct them instantly“ advice, I’ve included his first 5 mental mistakes below with my suggestions as to how address them with NLP and Golf Hypnosis. I’ll continue with his other 5 mental mistakes tomorrow …
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So who’s using hypnosis to improve their golf performance – apart from Tiger Woods and maybe Phil Mickelson? Well, taking first things first, it’s difficult to be sure who’s using hypnosis because most people who do don’t want to let on. Why’s that? Well firstly, they want to keep the competitive edge that golf hypnosis gives them to themselves. Secondly, although it’s becoming acceptable for a top golfer to admit to using a mind coach, their marketing people are still wary of saying they use golf psychology or, worse still, hypnosis – that’s all to “new age.” You only have to look at the comments of Angel Cabrera, a real man’s man, after he won the Masters, “Now I don’t have a sports psychologist and I don’t smoke.”

If a golfer won’t tell you he’s using hypnosis, then what are the signs to look for to know he or she is? Well let’s take Tiger Woods as our first example. I’ve not heard him say that he uses hypnosis or read anything that confirms that he’s admitted it. However, just watch the controlled and methodical series of blinks he makes just before stepping into every shot. If that’s not a hypnotic trigger or anchor …
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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 …
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