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  • Writer's pictureCarol Alford

Thoughts don't make a shot

How often have you stood over a shot with a negative thought inside your head and continued to take the shot, only to then blame your thought for the poor outcome? I hear this all the time from golfers. But here's the reality the thought you had is not to blame. What??? I hear many of you now shouting, of course the thought is to blame, it ruined my shot. Well actually it didn't, the thought is not to blame for the consequence, its how you reacted to your thought that caused the damage. Throughout the day our brains are super active with millions of thoughts popping up, some of which we pay no attention to. They flutter in and out just like a butterfly, without any impact on what we are doing at the time. It's only when we give attention to our thought, that it can cause us to react in a positive or negative way. Let me give you an example, take a moment to think about a time when you felt happy. It could be meeting the love of your life or having fun with friends. As you consider that thought become aware of how your body reacts, the sensations it creates within. This is your body reacting to that thought. Now think of a time when you felt frustrated or annoyed. Many golfers I coach have issues with a certain hole on the course or feel nervous/anxious on the first tee. As you consider that thought, become aware of how this affects your body. For many it will be a feeling of tightness in the stomach, chest or arms. Take a few minutes to recreate that thought and really tap into how your body reacts. Don't try to rush this, take your time to recreate the scenario and thought. Doing this exercise will help you become more aware of how you react to your thoughts, which is key to taking back control of your game. With practice you can eliminate the hold your thoughts currently have over you. Just like improving your putting, you have to practice regularly to make this happen. The good news is that you can do this anywhere, you don't have to be on the course to practice this. Simply find somewhere with no distractions and recreate the thought that has been holding you back. As your thought appears, let it just sit there and become aware of where it sits within your body. By not reacting to it and just letting it come and go, eventually it will become one of those butterfly thoughts that flits in and out without any impact. Practice this daily for a few days and you will be surprised how quickly your body releases the hold that previously held you back. Give it a go this weekend and let me know how you get on. If your would like more information on these techniques please contact me to arrange a session

Hope you found this blog interesting, if you would like to learn more about mental toughness please visit our website and get in touch. Drop me an email and let me know what you think, I would love to hear from you. Visit our website and check out our other blogs, there's something in there for everyone.


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