Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Golf: A Mind Game...

Anybody who has played golf knows the importance of the mental game.  During a golf swing we have a million different things running through our head and that's before you add sand traps, water, and dog legs into the equation.   Second guessing, doubting, and instinct all come in to play whether you are a professional or amateur golfer.
Today’s blog focuses on Graeme McDowell’s way of dealing with the mental element of the game of golf.  He really enforces that it’s not about muting negativity from your mind completely its about moderating it to better help you with your next shot.  McDowell insists negativity is normal. "Accepting the fact that it's human instinct and actually having an internal conversation" is McDowell way of playing through the doubts that occur during a round of golf.. "It's not like I'm crazy or anything. I'm just accepting the fact that negativity is okay."

To retain focus on important strokes, McDowell follows the advice of U.K.-based sports psychologist Karl Morris, who taught the PGA star that, paradoxically, questions were the answer to self-doubt. "You have to ask yourself the right questions," McDowell says. He focuses on three specific queries: "What am I trying to do? Where am I trying to hit this ball? How am I going to get it there?" The key, he adds, it to avoid ever wondering "what can go wrong?"

McDowell's thinking is actually very simple: "Positive questions lead to positive answers. He's not looking for a solution to long term problems." Instead, he's focused narrowly on the task at hand. He says "this is the key for golfers tortured by their psyches." "Ask yourself good questions," he says. "Your mind will respond with the right answers."

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