Everyone has an area of their game they’d like to improve.
Maybe hitting with a certain club always makes you a little nervous, or if a putt is longer than 5 feet you begin to doubt your ability to sink it in one. That’s all normal. Golf is a tough game with many nuances. Even skilled golfers run into challenges, whether that’s being a bit too tight one day, or facing a tough, new course, but have you thought about what those could do to your golf game? Intrusive worries can cloud your thinking and get in the way of what you really need to focus on, and you run the risk of becoming physically tenser when you have negative thoughts about yourself and your game, which can make it hard to enjoy your rounds.
So, what can you do?
Try using affirmations.
Affirmations are positive thoughts about yourself or your game that reflect what you want to be, phrased as if it’s already true. For example, if long putts are your nemesis, you could create an affirmation by saying to yourself, “I am good at long putts,” or “I remain calm on long putts.” The idea is that we think about what we want to become or do, and then we create a statement that suggests it’s already true. We can create a positive belief that allows us to feel more confident (even if it’s not 100% true), and that allows us to get closer to that truth.
Keep it Personal.
You want affirmations to be about yourself and in the present tense, so instead of “I will be a consistent golfer,” you would say “I am a consistent golfer.” You can even get more specific with “I am consistent with my putts” or “I sink putts.” The language you choose should be meaningful to you.
Keep it Powerful.
Affirmations are strong, and you’ll want to use a confident internal voice when you repeat them. You might be picturing those scenes where people talk to themselves in the mirror.
The language we use is important; there’s no room for vague, wishy-washy words in affirmations. If you don’t normally talk to yourself in this way, think about a fellow golfer or friend who could use this kind of positive and powerful language with you and imagine your pep talk through them; channel that person when you do your affirmations.
Keep it Short.
Think about making these affirmations short and to the point so that you can repeat them quickly when needed and make sure that the ones you choose make you feel more confident and positive.
Keep it Specific.
Lastly, think about creating affirmations for the areas of the game that you want to improve on, and that are the areas that cause you a bit of stress or nervousness. Though general affirmations like “I’m a great golfer” are useful, you might find that the more specific affirmations have more impact on your game, such as “My tee shots are straight and strong.”
Write as many affirmations as you’d like and use them before you start your golf outing to create proactive, positive thinking and use affirmations while you play as a reaction to any negative thoughts or worries. Over time, you’ll hopefully see that affirmations help improve how you think, feel, and play.