The notion that positive thinking will help us to perform our best on the course has been in circulation for a long time? But, what does “think positively” actually mean when it comes to playing golf?
Everyone has heard the phrase “Golf is a mind Game” and this is true to a certain extent, especially when it comes to professional or semi-pro performance. But, for most beginners the game is still very much a physical one and without skill and technique, no amount of “positive thinking” is going to put that little ball in that tiny hole 300 yards away. So, psychology alone will not improve your game, you need lots of physical practice.
However, taking the time to train the mind and develop the golfer’s positive perspective can be a major boost to fine-tuning the physical aspects of this game and should be practiced at all proficiency stages.
Rather than merely “being positive” you must stay positive on the tasks and feats at hand. In the following article we will cover a few notes about how envisioning the positive outcomes you hope for can play a key role in improving your golfing skills.
How to Think Positively on the Golf Course
Remember that the brain is not actually designed to understand negatives. Negatives don’t actually exist in the mind and you can prove this with a simple experiment. After reading the phrase “don’t think about pink elephants” the mind will invariably omit the “don’t” and instantly produce a few thoughts on pink elephants.
The same is true the golf course. If you are to think “don’t make this putt to short”, your brains plans out that shortened putt exactly how you have imagined it and prepares to enact what you hope to avoid.
Instead you will want to focus on the positive version of this very thought. Which would sound like “this putt is going to overshoot that hole by a few inches”. This positive potential outcome sets the mind up for a plan to succeed as opposed to a plan to not “not-succeed”.
When you are setting up to tee off is another good time to apply this positive mental reframing. Looking over the lush field ahead of you, it is possible to notice the sand traps, water hazards and other elements you hope to avoid. But by focusing on what you want to avoid, you may actually be increasing your chances of landing in the water or sand trap.
But, stop right there and consider changing your perspective. Rather than imagining the kind of flight path you hope to avoid, take the time to focus on what type of trajectory your ball will need to take to land specifically at the area you want to hit. Replay the scene in your head a few times. Imagine the ball as it flies from your tee to the target area.
Final Notes: Will This Actually Work?
The truth is that this practice has the potential of training the golfer in a very important mental aspects of this game, nothing more, all the positive thinking in the world will not make you a better golfer. But, if you can see your mental attitude as a factor in your golfing success, just like the positioning of your arms, shoulders and hips –– you will be better able to place yourself in the position for a perfect launch and be able to repeat this success more and more in the future.