Mental Golf Moment: Automatic Putting Stroke

August 27, 2014

When you think about your putting stroke, would you say it is automatic or naturally smooth? If not, would you like it to be? In this article, I address a way you can improve your putting stroke by using a self-suggestion from my “Perfect Putting” product. Using a self-suggestion or affirmation is a way of building a belief about something that you have the ability and capability of believing. That is why I have created products and information that will help you in your sport, and why I pull suggestions from them to teach in articles like this.

         Your measure or level of belief around the suggestion on putting, will help you understand how you perceive your putting to be. It will show you whether you believe you perform well in your putting, or not. No matter where your belief system lies, you need to know that the possibility of believing this statement (or not) exists, in this and every moment. Even before reading this article, you have either believed this type of statement about your putting, or you have not. If you have not, then you have been limiting yourself. You limit your performance, based on the energy of your belief system.

       Let’s take a look at this suggestion: “It is now automatic for my putting stroke to have a smooth rhythm and steady, repeating pace, because all putting I do is smooth and repetitive from practice to play. I feel the smooth rhythm from my pre-putt routine through my stroke“. With this suggestion, you are looking to counteract some of the potentially limiting, low energy, negative types of thoughts you have about your putting, whether or not you can perform as well as you practice, or whether your smooth rhythm carries over into your stroke from your putt and all the different ways you play golf.

       If you are an athlete in another sport, this suggestion would relate to specific parts of that sport and whether you feel you have confidence in a particular segment or skill area that you need. Do you believe you play as well as you practice, and have confidence in one mechanical skill set as much as you have confidence in another mechanical skill set? Those are the areas this suggestion is addressing, whether in golf or any other sport you might play.

        Okay, so you say “It is now automatic for my putting stroke to have a smooth rhythm and steady, repeating pace…”. Let’s stop right there. The reason I want you to say it’s now automatic, is because when you doubt yourself, have fear, or think you are inconsistent in playing or performing, you can start to doubt your ability. When doubt creeps in, I have seen the tendency of people trying to make something happen, or make a shot happen. When an athlete tries too hard to make a putt or play and perform in their sport, rarely does it ever go the way he or she hoped. I would say that most, if not all, athletes know what happens when they try too hard to force a particular shot. They cannot just make a good shot happen.

       You want to counteract that with “it is now automatic”, which is believable. When you have spent a lot of time practicing and repeating your skills and mechanics, it becomes like anything else that is habitual and repetitive. It goes into autopilot in the subconscious level of your mind. But it is the conscious level of your mind, or ego, that believes it has to be a part of everything, make things happen, and always be involved. In actuality, that part of your mind gets in the way. It is in your subconscious where the repetitive actions are, and all that you have practiced over and over again.

       Think about being on autopilot. “It is now automatic for my putting stroke to have a smooth rhythm and steady repeating pace”. How often do you say that your putt has a smooth rhythm and a steady repeating pace? It’s more likely that you chew yourself out about putts you miss or don’t hit quite right, and as you practice putting, you have negative stories and repeating phrases in your head. Just like your mechanics become habitual and eventually go on autopilot through repetition; you need to know that your thoughts become habitual and go into autopilot the more you repeat them as well.

       Try to focus on having a “…smooth rhythm and steady repeating pace…” as you practice your mechanics. See and find evidence that it’s true for you and really does exist, and build on that. Repeatedly look for that in your life, golf game and putting. Then move from there to the next part, which says: “…Because all putting I do is smooth and repetitive from practice to play…” This tells you to look for evidence, and acknowledge your need for repetition and reinforcement in thought and action in order to build on a skill to the best of your abilities.

       Including “from practice to play” helps you make the transition from practice to some sort of measured performance, because so many people feel they perform better in practice then in the actual event or competition. Realize the only difference between practice and play is between your ears. You are always, truly, in competition with yourself, building upon your own skills, and it has nothing to do with an opponent. So diffuse any beliefs that play is different from practice, and infuse beliefs that what you practice and do during those practice times are skills that automatically, naturally and easily carry over into your play.

       The next part of this is: “I feel the smooth rhythm from my pre-putt routine through my stroke.” You need to feel the rhythm; look for the smooth rhythm from beginning to end, all the way through the whole sequence of events of your putting stroke. Don’t just look for it to be smooth while you are stroking. Look to feel the smooth rhythm, or flow, from your pre-putt routine right on through your stroke.

       So again, take a look at the level of belief you have around this self-suggestion. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being least and 10 being most, how strongly do you believe this entire statement about yourself right now? How confident are you that “It is now automatic for my putting stroke to have a smooth rhythm and steady, repeating pace because all putting I do is smooth and repetitive from practice to play. I feel the smooth rhythm from my pre-putt routine through my stroke? What number would you rate for yourself at this current moment?

       If you rate yourself a 3 or 4 right now, you need to move up to a 5 or 6 within a few weeks; up to a 7 or 8 in another few weeks; and finally up to a 10. You need to fully believe this, and it is possible to do. Gather your evidence and proof, repeat these thought patterns, look at your putting this way, repeat practicing your putting this way, and then it will become very clear that your reality is this way. You will have changed the lens through which you view your life and your putting, and it will be automatic.

      This exercise should be enough for you to get working on this area of your game, and really see improvement. If you have any questions or would like additional help, please contact me. Just get keep believing that your putting stroke is automatic, smooth and steady, and it will be. Thanks for reading. InJoy your day.

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