How do Tiger Woods and other PGA tour players perform so well when the spotlight is on them? They seem to confidently manage fear and distraction so much easier than the rest of us, so what is their secret to golf confidence?
There’s no doubt that if you could better manage or even eliminate some of these distractions, your golf would be much better and you’d be having a lot more fun right?
When you think about it there are three possible solutions; one is giving up golf and taking up another sport (an aweful idea), the second is to keep doing what you’re doing (another aweful idea), and the third one is to learn some simple effective mental strategies to eliminate the problem.
Have you noticed that the things that you do easily and well require very little thought and effort? Why should hitting a putt that is only three feet from the cup be such a problem? The length of the stroke is literally only inches long and yet for many golfers it’s more difficult to perform than hitting a drive from the tee box.
The things that create mental angst are more than likely associated with the fear of producing an undesirable result or embarrassing yourself. Now even though fear is just a word, like the word choking, for many golfers it represents itself in your mind as a very definite problem. For some it’s represented as negative self-talk, for others it’s represented as negative feelings, and for still others it’s negative images or a combination.
The secret is to change how you represent the problem to yourself. For instance you can listen to the negative chatter that’s going on inside your head, or you can change the volume. Turn it down until you can no longer hear it anymore, or change the tone to an upbeat happy tempo like circus music.
"You will notice that when you change the structure of your experience you change how you represent it to yourself."
If the problem is represented as a negative feeling in your body, how would you describe the feeling? If it’s strong in intensity, reduce the intensity by moving it away from you. If the problem is represented visually, how do you see it? Is it dark, gloomy, black and white, and small or is it large, bright and overwhelming? Alter its structure to change how you experience it.
Use your internal confidence controls, which are just like the controls you use on your television to improve the quality of the picture. When you change the structure of your problem you can change its meaning to you. When you do this you will discover that you can easily overcome even the most challenging mental problem and dramatically improve your golf confidence.