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"The more I practice the luckier I get"

Gary Player

Focus & Concentration

Focus & Relaxation

 

Route Planning!

"As long as I am prepared, I always expect to win"

Jack Nicklaus

How's your Pre-Shot Routine?

 

Failing to PLAN is planning to fail !!

 

Golf

Golf has become one of the most popular sports world wide and especially in the UK, it also one where the mental contribution to performance is widely acknowledged. There are sport specific psychological elements of a golfer's game that can make important contributions to higher and more consistent play, regardless of level of competition or professional or amateur status. There is also a good track record for golfers using sport psychologists. One UK golf professional told me after a three hour group session....."You have opened my eyes, I hadn't realised how rigid I had become in my thinking and not suprisingly how rigid I had become in my stroke play." Professor Linda Bunker (USA) is a sport psychologist specialising in attention says "The player's mind and ability to concentrate, attend to relative stimuli and focus on the task in hand becomes an enormous challenge." (2006)

These abilities can be learnt and are essential for high performance golf. Award yourself a C.B.E. ! Control, Behavior, Emotion for golf performance. Blocking and appraising emotional responses to shots, change thinking, create relaxation techniques and play more positively. These are the kind of approaches a sport psycholgist may help you to improve. The difficulty for the golfer is that golf can be a lonely place when you are out on the green and can be lonely off it too! Having someone to positively, honestly and confidentially give you feedback, alongside emotional and technical support can improve performance significantly and increase satisfaction enormously.

EXCELLENCE IN GOLF

These are the elements professional golfers have identified as necessary for excellence in golf performance:

1. Total Commitment 2. Quality in practice 3. Clearly defined goals 4. Imagery practice daily 5. Focus totally on one shot at a time.. 6. Dealing with pressure by Recognising it and preparaing to cope with it. 7. Preparing practice and tournament plans 8. Tournament focus plan 9. Distraction control strategies 10. Post-tournament evaluations. (Orlick 1989)

ATTENTION & FOCUS

There is a form attentional control which allows for all the elements required for golf, incorporated in the guide of Lie: Distance: Trajectory or LDT. It helps players to know when to focus in and focus out. For more assistance with these kind of problems send an email. In learning attentional control, staying in the moment, eliminating distraction, dealing with 'down-time' are all areas a sport psychologist can help with. Arousal is another factor in performance preparation. Are you 'buzzed-up' at the right level. Too much, too little and you may well under or over play.

CONFIDENCE

is the big one! Goal setting will help to establish realistic objectives so that you do not plan to fail, but in in reality many golfer do plan to fail wihtout relaising it. Having someone other than a coach who may also have heightened expectations will more than likely give that balance and objective assessment. A variety of mental skills training, known as 'self-talk'; imagery; reframing and self-belief reflections and goal setting are crucial elements. Psychologists have a deep understanding of these processes and whilst Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and hypnotism used by none qualified sport psychologists can have impact, crucial knowledge of personality, learning modes, negative life events and even mental health issues are in my view more supported by qualified sport psychologists registered with the British Psychological Society or BASES.

Phil Johnson has a wider knowledge beyond mental skills training which enables him to understand the 'drivers' for human motivation as well as the 'drivers' golfers may choose! Confidence is both simple and complex and the underlying understanding of it's constituent parts will help propel struggling golfers to achieve better life and sport performance.