When reading golf tips, it is more common to read about what is required from your technique. Today, I am writing about an area of golf that is not spoken or written about enough.
Self-talk is a part of the game that can be taken in a positive or negative aspect. There is a fine line between a positive or negative attitude compared to a positive or negative self-talk.
The difference between self-talk and attitude is, self-talk is about telling yourself what you want to do and how to trigger your thoughts, where attitude is more about the approach you take to your game and the emotional response to positive or negative results.
Attitude is about your emotional control with your game. One example of attitude is, “I am going to go out onto the course and be positive and not worry about anything that may go wrong. I am a good player and I am confident in what I do!”
An example of self-talk is as follows, “This is an important putt. I am nervous. I am going to take my mind into a relaxed place and stroke the ball with the technique I have been working on and be positive.”
An example of negative attitude is as follows, “This is such a hard hole. What chance have I got of making par. I am playing bad as it is, so I might as well take a swipe. Who cares anyway!”
An example of negative self-talk is, “This is such an easy putt, but I better not miss this because my playing partners will laugh at me and make jokes at my expense.”
In the last couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to play in a couple of pro-am events here at Royal Canberra and down at Tura Beach. Due to my commitments, I have not have the opportunity to practice as much as I would expect from myself. I relied on what I work on in my game and I relied on self-belief.
In two of the three competitive rounds, I shot 1 under par. In these two rounds, I was emotionally tired by the end of the round as I was really talking myself trough each shot, regardless of the ease or challenge of each shot. I noticed, that during the round in which I had a couple of poor holes, the reason for the poor shots was that there was little to no thought process. Unfortunately, I was expecting that I was going to play a poor shot rather than working through my routine to ensure I gave myself the best opportunity to play the best shot I can.
When going to play golf, if you walk onto the course thinking that you are playing poor golf because of a couple of bad shots on the range warming up or because of poor form from your previous round, the chances of you playing well are slim.
When you play each shot on any given round, you cannot put an expectation on what should, could or will happen. You need to go through your routine, and talk yourself through the shot about HOW you are going to play the shot rather than close your eyes and hope things will come together.
Self-talk is a commonly used skill that is used by many successful golfers from around the world. Try it on your next round!