Golf Shot Control...a fantasy?
So many golfers get this feeling that their golf game is out of control; that they have no idea where their ball will end up on any swing. At the same time, they feel they have excellent control of other parts of their life, especially career. This is an illusion. Once the golfer understands that having control in golf isn't even necessary, the shots will start happening.
I'm often asked about how to get "control" of emotions when on the course. Along with this is the desire by many golfers to want "control" of their swing and where the ball will end up. These misguided desires are probably the biggest destroyers of confidence and a fluid swing. Instead of wanting "control," the golfer would be better served to think of wanting such positive mental attitudes as: "release" and "carefree" and "loose."
Just the word "control" itself tightens up your muscles when you think or say it.
I've heard golfers say that they have trouble with their emotions on the course and yet, at the office, they are able to remain cool, calm and collected in order to do their job well.
Let's look at a typical business negotiation and compare it to being on the course with regard to the meaning of "control."
Many high-performing business types are absolute masters of making a deal happen because they feel in control, and yet, they go out on the course and end up throwing clubs soon after. It doesn't have to be like that.
Feeling like you have "control" or not is completely all in your mind.
For instance,In a business negotiation, any number of things could happen that are completely out of your control such as:
1. The client could get an emergency phone call at any moment taking him out of your meeting,
2. He could have a heart attack or stroke right there in the meeting
3. He could be in a bad mood from some unsettling business or personal news before the meeting that makes it all but impossible for him to focus on your pitch/idea.
4. He could have some sort of prejudice against you (race, age, etc.) before you even begin negotiations
5.He has some sort of psychological problem that overrides logic and reasoning at times. These issues and more easily could be in play and you have absolutely no control of these kinds of things.
Any one of these for the other person can derail any successful business outcome before you even have a chance. Even with all of that, most businesspeople would agree with you that they feel they still have a great deal of control, which is why they can be successful. And that is a good thing!Now, let's compare to golf, where, you control everything!You swing the clubs, you are in control of your own mind, you choose everything about how you decide to play the game. The only thing you don't ultimately control in playing golf is the weather and course conditions but even there, you can observe them and make adjustments for them.
So, objectively, you really have MORE control in golf than you do in a business negotiation setting because golf is usually played as an individual sport. You depend on nobody but yourself.
In the final analysis, I know what you mean when you say it feels like the golfer is not in control of his shots because I've been there. However, it's all in how you look at it, your internal representation (an NLP term) of the situation. If you look at your golf game with the idea that you feel you have no control over the situation, then you don't. And it will be even more difficult to succeed just as it would be if a businessperson had that same thought going into negotiations.
Starting to get the picture now?Even successful business people don't succeed in closing every sale or in getting everything they want out of a deal. But, they sure go in thinking that THEY CAN! That's the same way of thinking we have to have with regard to control in our golf game.
Yes we stumble and fail (plenty!) , but, if we BELIEVE we have as much control over golf as we do in business, then we will succeed at golf even more than we have in businesss! Everything is relative and it all starts with how we represent a situation in our brain that is most influencing in an outcome. And if we know in advance that getting angry and frustrated will hinder our achieving our golf goal (just like it would in a business deal), then we can use that same skill we put to use in business to help us achieve that outcome. It's really no different except in how we think about it.
Perfectionism is not a bad thing either in my opinion. The desire to want to be perfect, to perform flawlessly is a driving force toward achievement and is useful. However, it's the EXPECTATIONS that get us into trouble. Strive for perfection, but be glad for everything is the secret to emotional control and success on the course.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Craig Sigl is a Certified Trainer and Master of Hypnotherapy, Time Line techniques and NLP. He plays golf to a 5 handicap using the methods that he teaches to others all over the world. Visit his Golf Instruction Tip Website for a free ebook on the mental game and articles by Golf Legends and Gurus.