How can mental training help someone learn to enjoy the adversity and challenges inherent in the sport of golf? Mental training is as simple as helping you to understand the strengths of your thought patterns and perceptions, your attitudes, expectations, fears, the preprogramming of past life experiences, and how they affect your present day circumstances. All of those areas help to mold and influence your days to come.
As you look at the game of golf, you will see that it parallels life in being 90% mental. If the game carries such a huge mental aspect to it, you would think you could find a lot of information on how to change the mental side of the game. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
There seems to be a lack of available information on how to truly change the mental side of golf, and ultimately help golfers enjoy the adversity and challenges it brings. As a mental trainer, I take the approach of helping people to change their mental skills in life. Since golf is one of the things they do in life, I encourage people to master their life mental skills which enables them to have mastery over them on the golf course. One way I get people going in that direction is through the use of suggestions or positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations help people focus on beliefs that they can wrap their minds around, to help them gauge where they are right now. They also help people assess where they would like to go with their mindsets in the future. In this article, the suggestion I would like to address is the following:
“I understand there is adversity & challenges in golf. This is one of the things I enjoy about golf.”
I created this suggestion after working with dozens of golfers and hearing more of them complain about their frustrations with the game, rather than enjoyment of its adversities and challenges. More of them complained about problems on the course than those who embraced the challenges as positive learning opportunities. They allowed themselves to be upset about their ‘bad’ shots rather than seeing them as opportunities for growth, strengthen and learn, so as to perfect their skills even more. They got hung up on the negative side of what they initially admired about the game; its adversity and challenges.
Although people recognize that golf is filled with adversity and challenges, every time they face one, they need to see it as an opportunity and not something to complain about. Adversities and challenges give people ways of working on mechanics and pulling all they have learned over the years out of their magic hat. It allows for the opportunity to sharpen and improve their mental skills. Seeing the good in the situation and being open to the lessons, learning and opportunity for growth, is the benefit of mental training with the use a positive affirmations like the one above. It helps to retrain golfers on how they think about things on the course; to see adversity and challenges as good instead of ‘bad.’
So right now, take a look at your mindset. Do you feel you understand and accept that there are adversities and challenges in golf? You may know that they are part of golf, but do you actually accept and welcome them? Welcoming the adversities and challenges is a total shift away from complaining about them and being frustrated by them. A large percentage of golfers are frustrated, they complain and are very negative in their attitudes pertaining to any challenge they face on the course. Do you think they really enjoy the game, if that is how they behave? Do you? If not, would you like to find a way to enjoy the adversity and challenges of golf?
Your first step to welcoming the adversity and challenges of golf is to open your mind and move in the direction of neutralizing your belief that adversity and challenges are bad or problems. You need to make a conscious effort not to think that challenges are wrong or problems that should not happen. Do you ever find yourself saying or thinking: “I should have a perfect game, the perfect mechanics, the best swings and shots”, or: “The ball should always go exactly where I thought it should go”? Maybe you even say: “The course should not have been laid out that way”. Those kinds of thought patterns argue with reality and keep you miserable. They are actually quite insane because to argue with reality is truly a level of insanity.
On a scale of one-to-ten (1-10); 1 being complete unacceptance of any adversity or challenge; 5 being a neutral perspective; 10 being complete acceptance and welcoming of adversity or challenges, and truly believing there is growth to come from them; where do you place yourself right now? Where do you see your particular level of perception and attitude towards adversity and challenges in golf?
As you gauge where you are right now, notice how that particular level of perception and attitude affects your golf game. Make a decision right now to move yourself towards 6, 7, 8 and eventually 9 or 10. I have many products and services that will help you move towards 10. If you practice the skills I teach you, the more welcoming and accepting you will become of all adversities and challenges in golf and life.
My teachings apply to golf and life because I am coaching you in a process of reaching the point of true acceptance. When you reach that place of acceptance, you actually perform better in whatever you do. So when you have a level of acceptance and appreciation for the adversity and challenges coming your way in golf, you take them in stride, enjoy every moment out there and actually have fun in those challenging moments. You will find yourself present in the moments instead of rehashing the missed shots or problems, or complaining and completely missing the true experience of golf altogether.
It is possible to get there, no matter where you fall on the scale of 1-10. It is possible to get to the place of truly having fun again. If you think back to when you first started playing golf, you probably felt that way in the beginning. As we get older our experiences accumulate in our memory banks; we reflect upon them, but unfortunately our social programming has us focusing on them in a negative way. So we have compounded, negative perceptions and numerous ‘negative’ experiences built up over time, that give us evidence of the possible problems that can occur. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of those experiences, I would like you to reverse all of that now and build up positive, good thoughts as you consider those same situations and scenarios. Build up your positive perceptions of life and golf, and get ready to have fun and enjoy the adversity and challenges.
You can go out and enjoy golf again, no matter what adversity or challenges happen in the game. It starts with neutralizing some of those negative thought patterns, as you state the positive affirmation I talked about here: ‘I understand there is adversity and challenges in golf. This is one of those things I enjoy about golf.’ If you want quicker success in this area, I suggest you change the statement to: ‘I understand there is adversity and challenges in life. This is one of the things I enjoy about life.’
If you apply this today, all day long and again tomorrow and the next day, you will begin to master this mindset and level of perception, so that when you are on the golf course, you are not trying to make it your reality. Since it has taken years to create the negative mindsets you have, you cannot take just a few hours a week to try and accept or enjoy adversity and challenges. In time and with practice, you will be training yourself through your life experiences to accept and enjoy all of what is being presented to you. That includes adversity and challenges.
I wish you well in this endeavor, and am here for you if you would like extra assistance in this area. Please practice saying to yourself: “I understand there is adversity & challenges in golf. This is one of the things I enjoy about golf.” You will love the benefits you realize in your life and golf game, as you welcome adversity and challenges. Have an amazing day!
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