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  • Writer's pictureCarol Alford

Remove the Doubt

Do you find yourself second guessing or doubting what to do? Lacking commitment in sport or life will cause your mind to go into over-drive, second-guess and over-analyse. The more time you take, the greater the options, making it difficult to decide which strategy to take. I regularly get asked "How can I stop the nagging doubt when I'm standing over the ball finding it difficult to commit to the shot?" Bob Rotella a sport psychologist famously said "Golf is a game of confidence." Being indecisive affects our confidence when playing golf, the lack of commitment and trust in the shot creates doubt in our abilities. When our commitment dwindles our mind reacts by over-thinking, taking more time to way up the options. Sadly the more time we take the greater the doubt and angst we experience. As we begin questioning our shot selection and ability to execute it. Being indecisive, opens our mind to a host of thought distractions that will impact our performance in a bad way. Doubting our shot selection changes our physiology, throwing our swing mechanics and tempo out of kilter. Committing to the shot is critical and like anything else we need to master it takes PRACTICE!!!! That's right every time we practice on the course or at the range we need to practice the art of committing to the shot. If you're find this difficult to recall when practicing, how can you expect this skill to miraculously appear when the pressure is on in the heat of competition? The decision-making process for every shot is important and should not be rushed. Once you've factored in distance, obstacles, slope, greens, wind, weather, etc., you should identify your strategy, commit to that strategy and focus on your pre-shot routine. Making this part of your practice will over time become second nature to you. This process will build both your commitment and trust in the decisions you've made, removing any doubt in your choice. Completing all your analysis before you step into the shot, will free you up to pull the trigger with confidence and full commitment. For those who can't get out to play at the moment do this exercise at home using mental imagery. Picture yourself playing the first few holes, visualising yourself going through the decision-making process before taking the shot. Your mind does not know the difference between real-life and imaginary, so why not take the opportunity during lockdown to practice this routine. You'll be amazed next time you go out to play how more committed you will be to each shot.

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