Moving on After Mistakes
Are you a golfer who gets down on yourself after a bad shot? Well, you are not alone!
Golf is a challenging game and every course has a unique design of bunkers, water hazards, trees, and other features.
With all the challenges… slices, duffs, bogeys and other mistakes are evident over the course of 18 holes. No wonder golf is referred to as an imperfect game.
Being positive throughout an entire round of golf is unrealistic. No golfer is excited when they see their tee shot land among the trees. No golfer is happy when they miss an easy 2-foot putt. No golfer is psyched after two consecutive bogeys.
Sometimes, we trip ourselves up with the notion of positivity. We think we need to be positive after a bad golf shot, feel good to be our best. We think positive and negative are the only emotional responses after a bad shot.
We know what positive feels like, happy, excited, energized. We wonder how it is possible to feel these feelings after the ball landed in the bunker. And we believe we NEED to be positive to play our best.
This is not true, there is another thought process or different mindset that is more important… neutrality. Neutrality is the middle ground. Neutrality is not being too high or too low. Neutrality is focusing on what needs to be done.
When mistakes happen, you should find a way to recover mentally and get back on track quickly. Think of it in the same way as a recovery shot… A recovery shot is when you play a shot from a difficult lie, such as a hazard, and bring the ball back into a more favorable position.
You can apply this same “recovery” concept to your mental game. After a bad shot, it is important to mentally “recover” as quick as possible to change your focus to a more favorable mindset.
A more favorable mindset does not necessarily mean a positive mindset. A neutral mindset will help you switch gears and divert your attention away from negative thinking and negative emotions.
When your mindset is neutral after a good or bad shot, your focus is on how to play the next shot. The neutral mindset helps maintain an even keel or emotional balance.
A neutral mindset helped Collin Morikawa stay focused and maintain an even keel through three playoff holes en route to winning the 2020 Workday Charity Open.
Morikawa won his second PGA victory after rallying back late in the round.
COLLIN MORIKAWA: “I’m a pretty neutral guy. I like to stay on that positive side… If I have a bad hole, move on to the next. You can’t do anything about what has happened. You did it, learn from it. It’s all about learning, and then go on to the next shot and hit a great approach shot, go make a putt, do whatever.”
Negative reactions are normal, but how quickly you can move on from the negativity impacts your overall score.
Developing a Neutral Mindset
Combine a ‘what if’ strategy with visualization. Think of a likely scenario that usually throws you off your game. Create an ‘if-then statement for example, “If I land in the rough, I will… focus on getting the ball back into play or on the green”
Rehearse yourself recovering mentally from a bad shot and play out a mental recovery in your mind.
Remember that your reaction is a choice. If you can make the right mental choice, you will improve your golf score.
Learn Proven Strategies to Perform with Confidence!
Do you suffer from fragile self-confidence after missed hits, playing with strict or high expectations that undermine confidence or the inability to play freely and relaxed on the course?
If you suffer from lack of focus, low self-confidence or other mental game obstacles on the course, you cant reach your true golf potential…
Successful golfers have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in competition, so we’ve developed The Golfer’s Mental Edge Workbook and CD program to help you do this!
The Golfer’s Mental Edge program includes the top 8 mental training sessions I do with my personal students to help them boost their mental game and improve consistency on the course.
The Golfer’s Mental Edge program includes 8 confidence-boosting CDs, MP3 audio recordings and an 8-session golfer’s mental edge workbook.
The Golfer’s Mental Edge: An 8-Week Plan for Ultimate Confidence
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“To play well, you have to believe you can play well. Confidence goes a long way in golf. Patrick has developed a great system for helping me improve confidence and my overall mental approach to golf.”*
~Brian Watts, 11-time Winner on the PGA Japan Tour
“The mental side is everything in golf—the
ability to see your shot or line and trust that you can hit that shot
or putt. Dr. Cohn has helped me trust my game and putting stroke.”*
~Frank Lickliter, PGA Tour, Nike Tour Winner