A confident golfer is one who thinks in a positive manner and focused on what he/she wants to have the ball do. Example: “I want the ball to land on that tiny patch of slightly darker grass in the left-hand half of the fairway and run out from there.”
A golfer lacking in confidence is going to be thinking about their shortcomings, inadequacies and what they don’t want the ball to do. Example: “I can’t afford to slice the ball here, or it is going to be in the river!”
I am just going to throw something in here, out of place on purpose, because I want it to work around in your mind and be accepted while we discuss other things. Confidence comes before playing well. Confidence can and should be made by the player regardless of how they are playing and not waited for as a result of playing well.
There is no doubt that confidence has a significant effect on our mind and body performance. If you took two players, and one was a little more skilled than the other, but suffering a confidence problem, I’d take the lesser experienced golfer who is playing with confidence.
If you are suffering a confidence problem remember this: at a base level, you only need to be confident for the time that it takes to go through your pre-shot routine and swing the club. That takes between 20 and 30 seconds max for the entire routine, and the actual swing is only 2-3 seconds of that. So you could even say that you only need to feel confident for 3 seconds on every swing.
What makes you feel unconfident? It’s the fear of failure. The fear that the result of the shot will be wrong. Think about it this way. If you knew you could not fail and the result would be okay, wouldn’t you swing with confidence, secure in the knowledge that the result would be right? Of course, you would. So fear of failure in the future (because you have not made the shot yet) is what causes anxiety and a lack of confidence in the present.
What would happen if you were not thinking about the future and were not concerned with the result of the shot? Wouldn’t you swing away confidently? If you have no fear of the future, then you will commit to the shot and swing with the confidence of a golfer in the zone. The zone is when you are so fully absorbed in the present moment that no past thoughts of poor shots creep into your thinking, and there is no worry over the possibility of a bad shot that has not even happened.
Worrying about the possibility of an adverse outcome of your shot is predicting the future in a negative manner. It’s a recipe for disaster, and you deserve to get poor results from that thinking.
To help you stay in the present, you must become fully focussed on your target. Pick a spot where you want the ball to go and imagine it going exactly where you envisioned. Hold this image in your mind as you swing or focus entirely on the back of the ball and see if you can notice the club striking it. The more you practice techniques to get your mind focused, the better you will get at it.
You will know you are doing well when you have no thoughts about the result. If you do have concerns about the direction of the ball, or the outcome of the shot while swinging, then it is feedback that you must get mentally stronger.
Developing the ability to play one shot at a time and remain fully in the present moment is vital if you desire to play your best golf game as consistent a basis as humanly possible.
Wishing you FIR’s, GIR’s & Blue Skies.
The disciplines in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) are incredibly powerful for developing confidence and ability to play in the Zone. They are the most powerful techniques I know and are real and natural techniques that produce amazing results. If you don’t know anything about NLP techniques, you can find out more at my site http://www.golfmindshop.com and read more of the “Featured Product.” Every golfer’s guide to the development and mastery of the inner game if you want to learn to play golf at a different level.