Mental Tips To Declutter Your Mind For Better Golf
Guest Post by Mental Coach Wade Pearse
As golfer’s we can all agree that controlling our thoughts while we play is THE greatest challenge in the game. Certainly there are swing elements and physical demands, yet your mind will be the main determinant in your scoring ability over the course of a full round of golf.
There is so much downtime in golf that our minds have excessive time to wander and fret and worry. Even in the moments when it’s time to make a shot our mind is racing around. So what do you do to alleviate this? Or more accurately, what can be done to direct the mind so you benefit from its tremendous power?
Fortunately there are many things that can be done. Yet not in the sense of adding more clutter to our thinking in the form of conscious thought. In other words, we don’t want more things to “think about” while we play, do we? No. What we want is to reduce the amount of thoughts we think and to allow an inner stillness, calm and clarity to replace our conscious mind clutter.
Too Many Tips Spoil The Broth
One of the major causes of mind clutter is the ever-increasing generation of new swing tips, fixes and cures. These seemingly helpful tools become more mind clutter that take you out of your “flow”. Flow should be your aim.
Playing the game too much from your left brain, filled with tips and swing keys, cuts off your connection with your own flow. You want to maintain and enhance your natural connection with your subconscious. It is your right brain that is the doorway to your subconscious and it is your imagination that is the key to that opens the door.
Your subconscious has every swing you’ve ever made. It has every nuance within every swing in your personal history all filed away for your use. It simply awaits your request!
But if you keep relying mainly on your conscious thinking or more left brained “concepts”, you aren’t communicating with your subconscious at all. You’re in fact telling the subconscious to remain buried and that what matters to you is what your conscious mind is telling/asking you to do.
The relationship between your subconscious and conscious mind is this: the conscious mind selects a target and the subconscious delivers the swing that will get the ball there. Yet for 99% of all golfers this natural relationship has been severed, either by not knowing it exists or because of excessive left brain, conscious mind golf habits.
I can not stress this enough. If you truly want to play high level golf and hit shots you know you are capable of, you must learn to tap and trust your unconscious mind. This is done by becoming increasingly connected to your target. What does this mean? Learn to build an intense awareness between the ball and your desired target. Here is how the process works:
• Your eyes assess the situation – you must learn to trust your eyes.
• You then feel your swing inside and sense how best to get the ball to your desired target.
• Visualize the ball flight, or the roll if it’s a putt, and see it land on your target. Be it the fairway or the fat of the green, the bottom of the cup, or wherever you have selected your target.
• Take dead aim
Thinking Isn’t the Answer – Stillness Is
The above process is the essence of what playing your best golf is all about. Getting in the flow and allowing your natural abilities to show up in your game. The heights of your skills don’t reside in your conscious mind! Claude Harmon, the older Harmon, talked a lot about target awareness and stressed its importance in being able to score well.
Do you think Lee Trevino thought about his swing as he played? Or is it more likely he tapped his imagination and “played shots” as he saw them in his mind’s eye? From reading his material I know it is the latter. A noted sports psychologist calls it – See, Feel, Do. Notice you don’t see the word “think” in there…
The depth of your abilities, memories of personal excellence and feelings of confidence, all rest peacefully within your subconscious. These inner resources are stimulated into action by using your conscious mind properly. I have a saying in my book that goes: use your mind as it is designed. This occurs when we understand the relationship between our conscious and subconscious mind.
The understanding of how all of this works might seem complex but the actual experience of it is not. It is the most natural way to play, which is why you perform better this way! Emptying your conscious mind clutter and playing in the flow can become a habit just like any other. It just takes the right understanding and a few simple exercises to make it all happen for you.
By learning to focus and commit to a definite target for EVERY shot, you are directing the conscious mind properly and this immediately calls your subconscious into action. It then does what it is designed to do: scan your enormous database of resources and produce the right swing for the demands of the shot.
Your conscious mind asks while your subconscious answers. Sounds like a great relationship, don’t you think? Develop this natural relationship between your conscious and subconscious mind and the useless mind clutter you play with will become a distant memory.
If you’re looking for a mental program to improve your golf game, I strongly recommend Wade Pearse’s Mental Golf Program.