Program Your Play With The Energy Of Excellence Using Hypnosis For Golf
By: Peter C. Siegel, R.H.
You say you know you can golf better than you've been, but can't seem to get the feeling going that you know lets you play at your peak when you golf? You say you've tried the sports psychologist's visualization "prescription" but only experience slight, if any tangible results?
You say you know you've got ability which only comes out "sometimes" on the golf course, but feel there's some block preventing it from being expressed all the time? You say that you try to concentrate, try to focus, try to be truly confident...but you just "can't" seem to control the mental part of your golf game?
This needn't be the case. Through target mental training you can effectively use your mind to improve your golf game and lower your score. And this month, I'll give you a solid, easy to use strategy which will help you begin mastering your inner game of golf.
This strategy is not the typical "close your eyes and see yourself hitting the golf ball" method sports psychologists tell you will 'best' help you master your mental game (you've already tried this approach, with mixed results at best). No, this strategy has been developed from over 22 years working with PGA golf pros, whose livelihoods depend on them playing at their best...consistently.
It affords you a direct connection with your subconscious power - the level within you where your capacity for excellence resides. Just read through the article and apply it as outlined. As you do, you'll begin experiencing true inner confidence directing each shot you play — instinctive, empowering confidence enabling you to play golf at the level you know you're capable of, shot after shot. Let's begin!
Honestly think about how you usually feel as you set foot on the golf course and feel the grass beneath your feet and you walk up onto the first tee. Nervous? Uptight? Pressured? Tense? Where is that loose, fluid sense of control you know lies within you?
And as you play golf through your shots on the first 4 or 5 holes, do you find you say to yourself, "Okay now, I naturally play a smooth, fluid stroke and follow though here." Or, do you more-so give yourself commands like, "C'mon now, take it easy and try to relax," or "C'mon, take it easy -- get your focus now, calm down; e-a-s-y now, try to swing relaxed. C'mon... relax!"
As you continue playing with a sense of uneasy tension, your performance is calculated and choppy at best. And with each shot, it's like you're thinking too much and trying too hard.
THE "ALL OF A SUDDEN" SHIFT
Then, all of a sudden, for some strange reason, you start to loosen up. For no discernable reason, you just naturally start to play your game—the way you know you can. Now as you play on, a feeling of comfortable composure flows within you, and you're finally playing golf, in the groove.
Then you find yourself thinking, "Why can't I get it going like that right from the start? I don't understand it. I practice all the time but it still takes me 4 holes to get it going right on the inside. What gives?"
THE TRANSITION INTO CONFIDENCE
Regardless of your current playing level, you've experienced the preceding and its bogey / double bogey inducing effect. The problem I find most golfers make is they place their exclusive focus on not being anxious, tense, or jumbled, etc. This only serves to magnify the condition they're trying to neutralize.
The objective isn't to prevent being anxious, but to become an emotionally smooth, efficient performer. The key? You must link wholly positive feelings and expectations to your thoughts about playing. A sense of easy confidence must become your natural feeling response to your playing involvement.
Structuring a success encouraging feeling connection to fuel your tee shot at the first, and then on through your entire round is the answer. Can you do this? Yes! Is it overly complicated to do? No! Will doing it help improve your game? Well, think how you'd play if fear dissolved and was replaced with a true sense of control and capability within you.
The following will help you link smooth, easy confidence to your thoughts and actions on the golf course. And I'll give you easy to apply applications to use the night before you play, before you begin your round, and before each shot.
THE NIGHT BEFORE YOU PLAY GOLF: EASY CONFIDENCE PROGRAMMING
This aspect contains 2 programming phases. First, you'll easily establish a confidence activation anchor. Second, you'll use this state to pre-program golfing feelings and behaviors of excellence.
I recommend you perform this aspect in bed before you retire for the night (especially on the nights before you'll be playing).
1.) Easy Relaxation To Reach The Control Level Of Your Mind
Lying comfortably on your back, close your eyelids and take 3 long, deep breaths, inhaling through your nostrils and exhaling slowly through your mouth.
Next, envision yourself slowly descending a staircase of 7 steps. With each step you easily descend, mentally/silently repeat the word "d-o-w-n" to yourself, allowing yourself to progressively physically let loose, and feel more thoroughly mentally/physically relaxed. When you've comfortably reached the bottom at step #1, shift your awareness to become thoroughly involved with the next phase.
2.) Establishing Your Confidence Activation "Trigger"
Now, lying comfortably and relaxing deeply, recall the very last time your on course shot-to-shot consistency clearly demonstrated you were reflecting masterful levels of focus, control, and absolute confidence.
Perhaps it was a time when, because of the striking quality of your effort, you labeled your performance as either exceptional, or your best. Or, maybe it was a time when even before you pulled your club from your bag, you knew your shot would be perfect. Your actual stroke and follow through became the exact physical equivalent of this mentally assumed perfection. Or, perhaps it was that time when your touch was the type and quality that you'd like to express every time you play.
In any case, clearly recall this specific time when your performance was what you'd call personal excellence exemplified.
When you've mentally isolated this moment, then make this picture brighter, and imaginatively bring it closer to you. Then, make it even brighter, and bring it even closer to you, so it's as if it's right in front of your face, as if this scenario is your life right then and there.
Now, instead of just watching this scenario, imaginatively step into the picture, and into your body. And as you've now connected with this maximum you:
• See exactly what you see, exactly the way you see it.
• Feel exactly what you feel, exactly the way you feel it.
• Think the exact thoughts you think, exactly the way you think them.
• Mentally say to yourself, using the exact words and voice tonality that you use, exactly what you say to yourself when you're playing golf at this masterful level of confidence.
• Breathe exactly the way you breathe when you're demonstrating this quality of confidence and performance excellence.
As you're reflecting the preceding, pinch your right thumb and index finger together firmly. Keep holding your fingers pinched for 20 seconds as you continue to see, feel, think, inwardly "talk" to yourself, and breathe exactly as you do when you're playing at your naturally confident best.
3.) Your Excellence Activating Key Word
Next, still keeping your fingers pinched, mentally choose 1 specific word you feel represents yourself as the embodiment of this performance excellence. For example, your word here might be "Focus", "Fluid", "Precision", or "Control".
Once you've chosen this word, still keeping your fingers tightly pinched, mentally/silently exclaim it to yourself 3 times — feeling it fill you as you repeat it within.
You've now established a confidence activation trigger. The act of pinching your fingers, breathing as performance excellence, and mentally repeating your key word sends an activation signal to your brain. This signal stimulates your brain to generate and fill you with the exact feeling state that exists within you during your peak playing efforts. It literally is the state directly fueling behaviors of excellence as you play.
FORMING YOUR NEXT ROUND of Golf
CONFIDENCE/EXCELLENCE PLAYING FOUNDATION
Now you'll pre-program the tendency to reflect feelings and behaviors of excellence in your next round. So continuing to keep your fingers pinched, clearly experience the following in 3-D, graphic detail:
Envision yourself as the embodiment of smooth, confident efficiency — arriving at your golf course loose, enthused and totally positive.
Experience yourself approaching the driving or putting range, and then executing your practice warm-ups. With each shot, sense, and f-e-e-l yourself reflecting a locked-in, confident focus, exactly the way you possess it as the embodiment of truly confident excellence.
Next, experience yourself approaching your drive on the first tee, continuing to sense thorough confidence and focus flowing through you.
Go ahead and mentally play the shot, experiencing the exact outcome you naturally sense you would fueled by your inner state of confidence. And then finish playing through each shot of the hole. Continuing on, play through the second hole in the exact same way.
Then, for the next few moments, richly savor the good and positive feeling you're experiencing. Finally, s-l-o-w-l-y unpinch your fingers, and allow yourself to then easily drift off into a restful sleep.
This night-before-your-round of golf process should take about 10-14 minutes to complete. The key is that when you mentally project your "tomorrow's success scenarios", you experience them as if you are actually out on the course, physically executing your projections of excellence. This is how to condition yourself to feel as you want and need to, so you can naturally play at your best.
Each time you perform this aspect's anchoring process, you'll find the act of pinching your right thumb and index finger together, breathing as performance excellence, and inwardly repeating your key word will more decisively stimulate the confidence/excellence state within you.
After 5-6 consecutive times of performing the full anchoring process (step #'s 2-3), you'll have set the confidence/excellence trigger within you. Then, when you're aware that pinching your fingers, breathing as performance excellence and repeating your key word activate the desired feeling, you do not have to continue performing the entire step #2 and 3 process.
Instead, after relaxing to reach the control level of your mind (step #1), simply pinch your right thumb and index finger together firmly, breathe as performance excellence breathes, and mentally repeat your key word 3 times. Having this activate the feeling of confidence, then go right into performing the "Forming Your Next Round Confidence/Excellence Playing Foundation" section.
Five to six consecutive days to effectively set your confidence activation anchor place in place is the norm. However, if necessary, continue with the process (step #'s 2-3) until you sense the trigger is automatically set within you.
PRIMING YOURSELF WITH CONFIDENCE BEFORE YOUR ACTUAL ROUND of golf
Now you're at your golf course, you've limbered up and you're ready to take some warm-up shots. Before you do, perform the following mental warm-up.
Fire your confidence/excellence trigger (pinch your right thumb and index finger together firmly, breathe as performance excellence, and mentally say your key word 3 consecutive times). This will spontaneously activate feelings of smooth performance confidence to flow through you. Close your eyelids and, continuing to hold your fingers pinched, imaginatively project a mini scenario of yourself comfortably, successfully progressing through the first hole — hitting a straight, solid drive, approach shot, and then smoothly putting the ball into cup, etc.
After about 3 minutes of this mental pre-priming, slowly unpinch your fingers, let your eyelids open, and proceed to engage your actual warm-up shots.
After your warm-ups, but before you tee off at the first, you can re-fire your confidence/excellence trigger and hold your fingers pinched together while you inwardly consider your shot. This will help you further connect the feeling of smooth, easy confidence to your identity as a player, and your affinity to perform.
YOUR GOLF PRE-SHOT SUCCESS FEELING strategy
Now that you've laid the foundation for confidence the night before, and reinforced it before your practice shots and tee-off, the following strategy will help you sustain this inner state of excellence throughout your round.
Before you set up for each shot, do the following:
1. Fire your inner-success state trigger to induce the feeling of confidence/excellence (i.e., pinch your right thumb and index finger together, breathe as performance excellence, and mentally exclaim your key word once).
2. Holding your fingers pinched, determine a specific outcome point for your shot. Look down the fairway or along the green and envision a large, red spot where you want your shot to carry to.
3. Still holding your fingers pinched, close your eyelids momentarily, and envision a brief 3-dimensional portrayal of your intended stroke, follow through, and the ball naturally moving from its strike position to your specific outcome point.
4. Then, let your eyelids open, s-l-o-w-l-y unpinch your fingers, feel the ground beneath your feet, and set up and execute (practice swings first, then your actual shot).
This entire pre-shot process should take 6-8 seconds to perform. And I'm not asking a lot of you here; the performance impact you'll enjoy will more than justify you applying this strategy.
I encourage you to keep performing each of the steps I've outlined until you sense demonstrable feelings of confidence and easiness naturally filling you from your first tee shot, right on through to your final putt at 18.
Then, use each aspect - night before, pre-round and pre-shot - as you either want to and/or feel you need to.
You practice your drives, approach shots and putts continually to develop increased physical proficiency. Now you're practicing your emotional proficiency, so you ensure a state of smooth, easy confidence remains predominant and fuels you from within.
The more you perform each outlined aspect, the more powerful and enriching its effects will become and the more it will work for you on the golf course. So go ahead and now use your capacity to mentally enhance your performance; program your feelings with confidence so, with each shot, they're exactly what you want!
Note from Chris Cady:
Nationally prominent self help author, seminar leader, and personal change specialist, Peter C. Siegel was America's foremost sports and peak performance hypnotherapist. Unfortunately Peter has passed away but his work and his spirit live on.
You can review his acclaimed self help - personal success development - mega-confidence building programs at www.incrediblechange.com, or you can call 775-425-5847 to order programs or speak with his protegee, sports hypnotherapist Chris Cady
The unique, results guaranteed assurance Siegel attaches to each of his programs…continues to stand the test of time!