Lessons, lessons, lessons…practice, practice, practice… It’s not only about lessons and practice or how much time is put into learning and rehearsing; it’s about first changing the self image in order to grow toward what you want for your game.
What image of a golfer are you declaring for yourself?
The Hacker: I can’t hit it straight, far or sometimes even at all. I’ve tried everything, including thousands of dollars on lessons and hundreds of hours of practice. None of it has worked. No matter what I do, I am still a Hacker! Or do you call yourself “The Slicer” or do you declare you have “the yips” or always “three putt”?
These uttered confessions made in frustration are based entirely upon past errors. When I begin to work with students new to the Academy they commonly share stories about apprehension of embarrassment during corporate outings, dreading the next posted score at their club events, and underlying anger after the first mishit shot that escalates hole after hole. An abundance of talent cannot trump self defeating banter which undermines and destroys confidence leaving the plausible feeling of fear.
All I need is that missing tip or secret hand-shake that those playing pros on TV posses that I don’t. Could there be secrets to playing this game with effortless power and precision?
I have the privilege of coaching high performance golfers. Once these players embraced the power of self image, they advanced swiftly and with greater enjoyment. Perusing my lesson journal, here are my top five best “secrets” you will want to incorporate into your winning thoughts, feelings and actions as you pursue your playing goals for 2013:
Become aware of what you are saying about yourself, to yourself. Get rid of any perception of you that is less than the excellent golfer you desire to be. That old image is now outdated. Keep your self-talk in check during practice, play and at the conclusion of each lesson to be sure it matches your new image. Choose a player you can model in order to get an image of what you want your golf swing to look like. Study this swing in slow motion and at full speed on a daily basis to impress it upon your mind. In front of a mirror, rehearse this swing in slow and even super slow motion. Through repetition this image soon manifests into action. A shot is neither good nor bad unless you compare it to another shot. Impressing bad memories into conditioned feelings will only get you more of what you don’t want. Learn to celebrate the good shots and release the rest; for what you give energy to will grow. Our amazing bodies are governed by two frequencies: Love or Fear. It is not possible to play your best when you are fearful, and it is not possible to be afraid of making an error when you are in love with what you are doing. This is also how my mentor Arnold Palmer claimed 63 PGA championships, by seizing the moments and playing fearlessly.
Find the bright spots in playing the game. Embrace the challenge that each and every shot and situation provides. Enjoy the camaraderie of fellow playing partners. Admire the beauty of a well-groomed course and all of nature’s gifts.
Setting goals in golf, business and in all aspects of life begins with an image of what you want. As soon as you plant that new image of your golfing self in your mind, you are instantly moving in the direction of your goals and will soon be enjoying the journey towards better golf!
A Top 100 Teacher by Golf Magazine and PGA class-A Professional, Brad successfully competed on the Austral-Asian PGA Tour and Hogan/Nike Tours, developed the training curriculum for high-performance juniors at Saddlebrooke Preparatory and applies these experiences to his teaching and coaching at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando. Brad was awarded the North Florida PGA Teacher of the Year and Junior Golf Leader of the Year, Edwin Watts Golf Top Instructor Award, along with the honor of Top 50 Instructor in Florida by Golf Digest.