What one mental technique will help with several mental barriers in golf?

 In Professional & Olympic Athletes

I am gonna tell in just a minute what will alleviate all of these barriers to your golf game but first, before you can develop the plan you need to develop good awareness around what happens mentally in your golf game. When are you negatively effected? What things negatively effects you? How do you generally respond? How long does that response stick with you; how long are you effected by the mental or emotional obstacle?

After the initial awareness you must go deeper

Once you have a good initial sense of what gets you negatively tangled up the second thing you want to do is become really aware of what’s happening when it’s happening. Not after the game or the next day but in that moment. Why? You can’t really change a pattern unless you are able to recognize it when it’s happening. Please don’t try this in match play. Try this during practice.

How can you develop focus and awareness

Here is an exercise that’s worked with many of my clients. This exercise has helped golfers gain a deeper awareness around when they lose focus which in turn helps them to not spiral out of control. Have you ever driven in your car for several miles and wonder how you’ve gotten there? My music exercise can help hone your focus skills.

  1. Choose a song that you know and like; one that you can sing along to. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to realize when you’ve lost your focus.
  2. The first time you listen to this song see how far you get into the music before you lose focus.
  3. Once you notice you’ve lost focus gently bring it back and stop the exercise for that day.
  4. The next time try to go further into the song.
  5. I want you to do this until you get through the entire song.

What did you learn from this experience?

This has helped golfers and other athletes develop an awareness of lost focus, that they can bring their focus back and it can also help identify the static and the clutter that may be going through your head.

One technique that will wrap it all up

After you develop a deeper awareness you can now choose to do something about it. What one technique will help you focus, organize, let go of the should have’s & the what if’s and alleviate anxiety in golf? A pre-shot routine!

A pre-shot routine helps with all of these things and more. It can include several things but what it includes depends on each individual golfer. Here are some elements a pre-shot routine can include: deep breath, positive word or phrase, 1 or 2 practice swings, a couple seconds of imaging the shot, addressing the ball, etc.

If you are focusing on your pre-shot routine you aren’t focusing on what shouldn’t be focusing on; which is basically everything else.

If you want help putting your pre-shot routine together contact me: drmichelle@drmichellecleere.com

Happy Wednesday!

Dr. Michelle

Photo by ihtatho


Dr. Michelle Cleere
In her own private practice as an elite performance expert, Dr. Michelle Cleere helps top athletes, musicians, and executives in competitive fields unlock the power of the mind and create the mental toughness to be the best. Dr. Michelle’s extensive academic background, which includes a PhD in Clinical Psychology and a Masters in Sports Psychology, allows her to help clients deal with performance anxiety, gain more confidence, and build resilience. In addition to personal coaching, Dr. Michelle takes on many roles – a best-selling author, athlete, and teacher. Dr. Michelle’s bestseller line, Beating the Demons, helps clients develop practical skills to gain more control over competitive environments and mitigate the interruption in play to overcome intense odds and defeat adversity. As a 15-year USAT Coach, she developed simple and effective tools to mentally train her athletes, and they are used by coaches around the world. She is a professor at John F. Kennedy University where she teacher her students to use the mind as an ally to improve performance.
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