As a Mental Trainer®, I work with a lot of golfers, teaching them techniques to overcome the frustrations they experience on the course. One of the main differences between the best golfers and the rest of us is not how far they hit the ball, but how far they carry their anger. Even the best golfers in the world, like Tiger Woods, become frustrated; but they overcome their negative emotional state by using golf sports psychology techniques to get their mind focused back on the shot that matters—the present one.
No golf club can help you play better when you're angry, but I have developed a golf sports psychology technique that can help you rebound from errors and get present, ultimately saving you strokes each round and lowering your handicap. Instead of investing a few hundred dollars on the newest hybrid or wedge to recover from a poor shot, swing on over to Bath and Body Works and buy yourself a bottle of scented hand sanitizer for less than $1.
Follow my instructions and you will turn an ordinary bottle of hand sanitizer into an emotional state of mind cleanser that will get you back into the present and help you let go of the frustrations that have been limiting your performance.
Step 1: Awareness
You must first identify your state of mind before you can let go of past thoughts of frustration. The longer you dwell in the past, the tougher it is to get and stay present. So after you recognize that you have hit a bad shot, ask yourself, "Where is my mind?"
Step 2: Acceptance and Cleansing
Once you have accepted that your frustration is rooted in your thoughts about a shot that has already been played, it's time to pull out the hand sanitizer. Take off your glove, apply a small drop in your hands and rub them together. Recent research has shown that physical cleansing can help metaphorically to remove one's negative emotions about past events.
As you begin to cleanse your hands, cleanse your mind of the past by assessing your mistakes and accepting the fact that you cannot change the shot that angered you. Do not stop rubbing your hands until you commit to letting go of the past and focusing on the next shot—the present one.
Step 3: Deep Breathing
Once you have put the past behind you and you are ready to get present, take a few deep breaths and inhale the aroma of the hand sanitizer. Strong odors used in aromatherapy—such as mint, lemon, or pine—help to boost focus, increase energy, and improve concentration. If you are not familiar with deep breathing, place one hand on your stomach and try to push it out by inhaling with your diaphragm. After a few deep breaths, put your glove back on and enjoy the rest of your round.
Now that you have cleansed your mind and washed away your frustrations, focus on hitting a great recovery shot. All you have left to do is go through your pre-shot routine, swing freely, and hit your ideal shot.
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