Golf is GREAT because you never know what you’re going to shoot before you go out.
Golf is BAD because you never know what you’re going to shoot before you go out!
Golf is a funny game… there’s no doubt about that.
You can have a great game one day and a shocker the next.
Although you never know what you’re going to score on any particular day… there are days when you just feel bad before you play. And you know by the way you’re feeling that it’s going to be a tough day.
Often when you feel like this you have a bad first hole and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy for the rest of the game.
But does it have to be this way?
On any given day our body is going to be different from the last. So if you don’t feel too good mentally and/or physically on a particular day that you’ve got a game planned, what are you meant to do… not play?
Well, recently I had such an experience. And it got me thinking about what I could have done differently to get a different outcome, because I didn’t play very good, and I didn’t enjoy the day.
Ironically, this was just one game after a very good game the day before.
Anyway, this article shares my ideas on what I think you can do if you’re going to play a game and you just don’t feel right. You may want to print this out and keep it just in case you wake up and have a game of golf planned and have a million and one negative thoughts going through your head, or you just don’t feel good physically. So let’s go…
1. Move your body DIFFERENTLY
The way you move your body has a HUGE influence on how you feel. If you wake up in the morning and don’t feel good, you still have a choice with how you move your body.
So make a conscious decision to move your body differently to help you feel better. You can do a couple of things for this. For example, you can put a big stupid smile on your face and this will change your body chemistry. This has been scientifically proven to do this. You could do a silly dance. You can stand up as tall as possible and move your body with as much confidence as possible.
This is the first thing I suggest you do to help yourself feel better.
Over the years you would have been listening to music when key events have happened in your life. And with some music this would have given you good associations and other music would have meant negative associations.
To help you change your state to a positive state you need to have a list of music that you know makes you feel good. Then, if you wake up feeling not too good, play this music and it will help to change your state.
3. Do an activity
You will have activities that you just get into and help to take your mind off things. Here’s some ideas of things you could do to make this happen…
a) play a video game
b) watch a movie
c) go for a walk while listening to music
d) do some gardening
e) go for a bike ride
f) do a puzzle
g) read a book
You need to find a few things that will help you to take your mind off the upcoming game of golf. And I’ve read quite often that Tiger Woods plays quite a lot of video games.
4. Have a drink/eat
Eating and drinking can change your state. I wouldn’t directly suggest fatty foods or high sugary foods or alcohol, but you have to find what works best for you. Who knows, having a coffee and donut might help you to play better. There’s no rights and wrongs with this, although protein is supposed to help you become more balanced mentally/emotionally, so perhaps a cheese sandwich could help more than a temporary “feel-good” treat. Just keep it as an option in your “feeling better” arsenal.
5. Breathe DIFFERENTLY
On days when you don’t feel good, your breathing will probably be different than normal. And this will happen without you even knowing it. So to help you get your breathing back to normal you need to do something different. What I suggest to do this is some rhythmic breathing.
So lie down, close your eyes and breathe in through your nose for a count of 4 and then breathe out through your nose for a count of 8. You could change this count to a 3 to 6 count, or a 2 to 4 count, or even a 6 to 12 count. Just experiment and find what helps you to relax and get your mind into a good state. I suggest you do this for 5 to 10 minutes and then you can do some…
If you keep having negative thoughts about your golf game, you can use visualization to get rid of them. You should do this after you are relaxed, which is why this tip is after breathing.
Once you are relaxed, close your eyes and let your thoughts come to you. And if you have negative thoughts about the day, do something creative to get rid of them. For example, you could picture the negative thoughts as smelling really bad and so you put them in a trash can. Or could you picture your negative thoughts as stones and then chucking them off a bridge. You could picture your negative thoughts as helium filled balloons and you just let them go into the atmosphere.
Just come up with some creative ways to let your negative thoughts go. Once you do that you’ll need to fill up your mind with something, which leads me nicely to…
7. Positive Self Talk
The words you say to yourself will have a big effect on how you feel. If you say to yourself that you feel bad and you’re going to play bad, then you most probably will. So you need to consciously speak positively to yourself about your game and yourself.
Give yourself a pep-talk. And to help you do that here’s something very practical you can do.
8. Remember Great Golf Shots
Write down some great shots you’ve hit in the past. Write them out in as much detail as you possibly can and relive the great shots. As you’re writing down the great shots talk to yourself about how you’ve done them once so you can do them again. Then after doing this you need to…
9. Lower Your Expectations
If the game before your current game was a good one, it can mean you place undue pressure on yourself to do it again. That’s a bad place to start a game of golf. You need to start each game of golf anew. To help you do this you need to talk to yourself about your golfing goals for the day and what you hope to achieve.
Naturally you want to shoot a low score for you. But that’s only ever going to happen if you’re in a good mental frame of mind. So instead of focusing on shooting a low score, change your focus to something else. Like doing your mental pre-shot routine for each shot.
And if you don’t have a mental routine you use for each shot, what chance do you ever have of playing consistently great golf?
Very little to none I would have thought. So to help you create a great mental pre-shot routine that helps you to replicate what you did to hit your great golf shots, simply go here to check out this full step-by-step system.