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Focused for Golf

Wayne Chip Glad, Beck PhD

Page i Focused for Golf Wayne Chip Glad, Beck PhD

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Library of Congress Cataloging­in­Publication Data

Focused Glad, Wayne, for golf 1950­ / Wayne Glad. Chip Beck Includesindex. p. cm. 1. II.Title ISBN Golf—Psychological 0­88011­857­1 aspects. I. Beck. Chip. 1956­ GV979.P75G53 796.352'01'9—dc21 1999

CIP 98­40338

Copyright ISBN: 0­88011­857­1 © 1999 by Wayne Glad and Chip Beck

All hereafter of the rights publisher. invented, reserved. including Except for xerography, use in a review. photocopying, the reproduction and recording, or utilization and in of any this information work in any storage form or and by retrieval any electronic, system, mechanical, is forbidden or without other the means, written now permission known or

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Setting Your Course



Preparing to Play



Believing in Your Game









Performing Under Pressure



Thriving on Competition



Reviewing Your Mental Scorecard





About the Authors


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Photo Credits:

Pages 1, 59, 109, 150: ©GOLF Magazine/Sam Greenwood. Pages 2, 4, 8, 23, 24, 37, 47, 53, 71, 74, 88, 98, 105, 116, 132, 153, 154, 181: ©PGA Tour. Pages 29, 138, 148: ©IMG. Pages 48, 69, 115, 147: ©Anthony Neste. Pages 51, 120, 143: courtesy of Golfstock. Pages 97, 131: ©BrianOrmiston. Page 133: ©UPI/Corbis­Bettmann.

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perceive Whenever to I be am mental?" given an The opportunity next question to lecture that I or ask consult is, "How with much groups of your of golfers, training the time very do first you question devote that to the I ask mental is, "What game percentage of golf?" Invariably, of your golf the game second do number you is have training. much no smaller idea Some what than would mental the rather first. training This hit golf comes really balls despite is for and hours how the than plethora they train would of their research go minds about evidence such for only training. that a few shows Once minutes. the this very Others training real do is benefits not undertaken, believe that golfers that typically mental obtain in training conjunction from very works. simple with Still swing others mental lessons, simply skills I the have world. seen the With evidence this type that of this training, methodology coupled with really a willingness works. In my to practice, practice the I have techniques, worked one­on­one players have with shaved some several of the strokes best adult off their professional handicaps and in amateur short order. juniors in Dr. Wayne Glad and Chip Beck have combined to write a book that contains proven tools that will enhance any golfer's ability to use his or her mind to play the game the and more impact slumps, effectively. of etc. these Using At principles: the methods David Developing Leadbetter such as those Golf pre­shot outlined Academies routines; in this (and, training book, for we the that "all­around" have matter, helped at the some athlete; Bollettieri of building our Tennis junior skills golfers Academies technically, and other with mentally, aspiring athletes and to elite rise physically; tennis through players), overcoming the ranks we have to pressure become seen top 10 players nationally and internationally. Although your golf game there are today many regardless books on of sports your handicap psychology or talent and mental level. The training, many Focused anecdotes for throughout Golf stands the out book because illustrate of its the practical effectiveness approach of this which approach can be and integrated also into reinforce important,this the now­recognized reality that mental training in conjunction with golf instruction is the optimal method for achieving your peak golf potential. Perhaps most

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approach is outlined in an easy to understand manner, and encourages a proactive approach to preventing problems on the course before they occur.

struggles There many elite aren't and athletes, many his fixes, golfers including are who among our have juniors the more highlights at credibility the Leadbetter of a thoughtful than Golf Chip Academy and Beck, very both helpful in as Illinois, a person book. qualifies Dr. and Wayne a him professional. to Glad's help you professional Beck's with willingness your training, game whether to and share his you his expertise trials play golf and and daily undertakings, experience or with helping less his frequency. get Focused Ultimately for Golf this and book prepare will to help play you the enjoy best golf your of golf your game life. more, which may be the most valuable gift that Beck and Glad bring to you. I strongly urge you to


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much Faldos, percent It probably scoring Tiger mental comes Woods, improvement and as the no and rest surprise Laura physical can occur to Davies the or by mechanical. frequent of working the world golfer on For the have that amateurs, mental their several game. basic the professional mechanics mental component golfers down have and perhaps most gone amateurs is on not record quite don't. with as important However, their belief as it that it still is playing for may the surprise professional golf is the between amateur since 80 the golfer and Nick 90 how This book was written by two golfers—one of them a pro with 18 years' experience, and the other still very much an amateur. The latter, however, has worked on The which performance amateur directly golfer enhancement apply is to also improving a with licensed many play clinical of on the the best psychologist golf professional, course. who collegiate, has spent the and last high 20­odd school years golfers helping in the people world develop to determine better what skills it in really a variety takes of to life improve areas, a many golf game. of

golfer the We purchase have who come is of seriously together, this book trying a with PGA to a get few tour better. basic golfer golf We and feel lessons, a clinical that golf if you and is have sport a very not psychologist, difficult already game had to lessons. to put play together well. The combination Before what each we even of of us the get knows lessons started, about and our improving the first book suggestion should performance is significantly that you to help accompany help the your play and improve the quality of your experience on the course. We weekends lie, wrong. and all have the ruined "rub seen of by what the a triple green" a poor bogey as round professional on of 18 golf that can players spoiled do to call an a person otherwise it, which who is great the otherwise Murphy's round. seems We Law all very for have golfers—if nice had and to endure stable. something the We stories have can seen go of wrong the thrown putt on that clubs, the should course dogs have or kicked, on dropped, the and shot, whole the it will unfair go

Our goal in this project is not to add yet one more golf improvement book to your shelf but to give you and all golfers a blueprint for golf

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to performance develop their enhancement golf skills to leading play at to a totally level that satisfying makes them golf. Unlike happy, tour that professionals makes it gratifying who may to step not onto be satisfied a golf course until they for three win a to major four tournament, hours of enjoyment. most amateurs want We will have succeeded in our goals if this book becomes for you a mental and physical skill­building resource, a book that you go to when you want to try something and new develop to improve skills. your If golf, it occurs and to return you to as for you help use if the your book game for is golf "going that the south." techniques We hope discussed to remind here you also that apply the main to other goals activities, of the game then should that's a be bonus to help for yourself us. grow We what realize we wanted that our to in goals this for book. the By book the are time lofty, you but have we finished have set reading our sights it, we high hope in most you feel of our the other same life way. areas also, and we believe that we have accomplished much of

world The introduce establishing structure of professional the routines, chapter's of our book boosting golf. "key is Each principle," simple confidence, deals and with which consistent staying an will issue be in throughout. relating control, the focus to performing for mental Each the chapter remainder skills under and begins pressure, performance of the with chapter. coping an anecdote that The with will principles slumps, from be the Chip topic and involve or developing of another that motivation, chapter. prominent positive Then, goal competitiveness. player setting, early that in the each happened importance chapter, in of the we

An players important who comment bonus of on this how book important is that in these addition issues to are drawing in golf on and Chip's how 18 they years deal on with the them PGA on tour, the we tour. have solicited opinions and attitudes of other veteran tour

exercises Each chapter and then drills proceeds to help you with learn our the repertoire skills and of techniques techniques. and Some skills chapters jointly end developed with worksheets by the authors to make for it you easier to learn for you and to master. start working Many chapters on the skills also include right away. Not all golfers have difficulties in all the areas we cover, so after reading the book through once you might want to focus on the

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chapters page and that get started will help on you building most. your Because mental of skills the range for golf! of topics we cover, we're sure there's something here for everyone. OK, that's all we've got here, so turn the

Page 1

Setting Chapter Your 1— Course

Page 1 Setting Chapter Your 1— Course

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Taking Steps to Change Chip Beck When major tournaments I first met with in professional Dr. Glad, I had golf–the a clear U.S. sense Open, of my the wants British and Open, little difficulty the PGA organizing Championship, them and into the specific Masters. goals. I felt First, that I wanted I was more assistance tense before preparing these for the four tournaments gained eluded me considerable at than the majors other experience. tour I often events. played Over I recognized the tight years during on that these the I was tour, tournaments still I had responding developed which to surely confidence the majors contributed during in the way to most poor I of had shot the responded other making, tour poor to events, all course tour but events management, perhaps early in in part my and because career, poor decisions. before victory I had had I hoped some sessions with Dr. Glad would help me develop anxiety management skills during the majors and other pressurized moments on the PGA tour.

the majors and other pressurized moments on the PGA tour. Along fretting with over improving past

Along fretting with over improving past poor shots my play and in worrying the majors, about another difficult goal shots in meeting or holes with ahead. Dr. Glad Sport was psychologists to increase refer my ability to this to as concentrate a on the shot and hole at hand, to stop

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problem with ''staying in the present." It was a problem I had in the present, and I hoped to put it in my past.

learning and In addition to learn how to to to my adjust be performance happier to the in many a goals, high­stress life I changes had occupation. some I was general undergoing Others "life goals" were as to I that approached better I felt, blend if reached, middle my golf age would career and help with more my my than performance family 15 years life (my on overall the wife, PGA and Karen, in tour. tournaments. and I knew I have that four One I needed young goal was to children) adjust my step game plan to mentally try to make and physically, the changes to I take desired into in account my golf my game. age and increasing off­the­course commitments. When I started working with Dr. Glad, I began a step­by­


Making Positive Change "Change" is one of those words that produces a surprisingly large range of responses in different people, and even different reactions in the same person at different times. or opportunity. transition Psychologists that In sport people know and have exercise, that the it greatest is change during opportunity presents times of great adversity to grow, change that develop, that must people be and tackled improve experience and in overcome, the life's most endeavors. stress but it and also Sport distress. presents psychologists We opportunity also know recognize to that reach change it is the during next as both level periods adversity of of change and performance. To make changes and achieve your goals, you need motivation, a key ingredient to any achievement or action.


thoughtfully when A key carried principle constructed, out for with making effort organized, positive and discipline, change and step­by­step is leads developing to successful program a that, change patience, in and golf it performance. always takes In hard most work cases and this commitment change takes to the great plan.

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patience highest Being sufficiently level enough of golf—the to motivated practice PGA regularly to tour—some work and to become frequently, players a better have and golfer trouble patience is waiting only enough the for first to their "overlearn" step first toward win, the change. to skill make that Patience their you first hope is cut, also will or crucial enhance to earn for their your a player tour game. playing desiring It amazes card. golf us improvement: that even at the

Inner Motivation

Chip Beck

us improvement: that even at the Inner Motivation Chip Beck good living. I grew golfers; up

good living. I grew golfers; up playing most golf. went And on to all college the time with I was golf playing, scholarships. I was also I looked looking forward forward to that to playing myself. better But I think and better my biggest golf. As goal I grew was up, getting I was to fortunate the tour and to play playing with golf many for a

To achieve this goal I focused on the mental side of the game and worked hard to stay motivated. Some constant motivators for me are recognizing how much I have learned me so much. more from of Winning these playing opportunities. the golf, tournament how much At was my of first a my huge pee­wee growth thrill has for tournament, me occurred and inspired on for the instance, golf me to course I keep felt or that going. as I a worked result At that of all point golf­related that the summer process experiences, playing was under and and practicing, way. that I continuing had and taken I just the to play enjoyed first golf step the will toward game give my goal.

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When back to I that need first motivation tournament I think to relive of that the tournament moment and and relish picture it all how over I played again. and felt. I can still see that beautiful trophy in my mind. So many times I have taken myself

experience experiences. seeing Another them early as and Once a motivator motivator, what you've they in been though my could life involved do. I was try I think not meeting in to the that put Ryder Raymond was too much when Cup, Floyd pressure I you first always and began on Jack myself want to Nicklaus know to or go that let back. when a I fear wanted Maybe they of not came to one attaining golf to reason for my the it hometown disrupt I rest have of attained my my the game. life. first it Later several year I I was played times motivated is golf. that I I was by use my inspired my Ryder past just Cup I may be fortunate in the area of motivation because I am also motivated by things and people in my life that have value and a tendency to endure. The latest kinds life. motivation of things in my that life last has makes been setting it easier up to the continue Chip Beck to perform, Scholarship even Foundation during temporary and working setbacks. with Motivation the charities has my been family central is involved to the successes with. Being I've motivated had in golf by and these in



• Developa"motivationmeter"

• Set performance goals using "Glad's GUIDES"

Checking Your Motivation Meter Because high motivation is a necessary ingredient for successful change, our first prescription for setting your course is to develop a motivation meter. You can check attention making this meter a to scale to what see of if you motivation you are want thinking something and feeling badly while enough you to are put going out enough through effort various over experiences, a long enough "reading" period your to bring level about of motivation change. You in several check different the meter experiences, by paying and

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something rate out of each this one exercise. that from you 0 would For to 10 instance, least on how want think motivated to about do of the all you things thing would that that be you you to do would can or think experience most of want and mark them. to do that and level give of that motivation level of motivation with a 0. Next, the highest think of number, several a other 10. Next, experiences consider and

better change Now consider gauge will require the the level golf effort, of performance motivation. practice, and If change you patience, rate you your would and motivation you like likely to make for won't attempting and be rate up to your the it. change You motivation may somewhere as for well it on postpone between the scale. this 0 Compare and change 3, it is effort it not with likely and other choose that items you another on will the follow aspect scale through. to of help your you The game and carry to improve. out the change On the effort other hand, and the if your patience motivation to wait for for its the payoff. change effort ranks high (7­10), you can reasonably expect to have the energy and drive to develop

Setting Performance Goals with GUIDES

with setting Once other you and have golfers is followed determined and clients by understanding that we you're have sufficiently developed and awareness, a motivated sequence implementation, to of build activities your disciplined that, golf if skills carried and practice, out, improve assures evaluation, your a serious performance, and, effort finally, at the satisfaction attempting next thing and change. you reward. need The is process a method. begins In our with work goal

GLAD'S GUIDES Goalsetting Understanding and awareness Implementation Disciplinedpractice Evaluation Satisfaction and reward

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changeefforts. Before we discuss how to use GUIDES to gain positive changes, we'll briefly describe each of the six steps, with examples to help you apply the process to your own Goal Setting defined The first goals step in in GUIDES mind. Often is goal they'll setting. say they When wish you "to perform are interested better," in but producing they will change, not have you thought need to through start with exactly clear­cut what goals. they want Many to accomplish. athletes come to us with no specific more What short­term are aspect some of useful goal golf might within goals be, for a set "I golfers? will amount use One my of time. would pre­shot An be example routine to achieve on would every a higher be shot to specified say, during "My today's standard goal is round." to of be proficiency hitting 75% or, of said greens another in regulation way, a specified by the end greater of the skill golf level season." in a A

Short­term Goals should goals be objective are more and specific measurable and generally (e.g., number easier to of reach; successful long­term "up and goals downs"). are broader Even and a subjective often require experience, the successful such as completion golf concentration, of several can short­term be objectified goals. to some every round degree by (e.g., midsummer"). "On a 10­point scale of concentration, with 0 being complete distraction and 10 being 'in the zone,' I want to be at six or above on each hole of

Goal Setting, Slumps, and Burnout Mark Calcavecchia

burnout, Several go straight years lack right of ago interest, or I something, had a or stretch whatever, and where I'm but thinking, I could I was not teeing what have kind it up cared of in shot the less. morning was I made that? and the Are getting mistake you going up of there playing to take on the some this first serious tournaments tee and or what? just when swinging I just I really couldn't away didn't at get it. it want Sometimes together. to be there. the ball Call would it

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Page 8 get I think to be rest one out week here after is important. one

get I think to be rest one out week here after is important. one week You after have one to week. take your Sometimes little breaks you don't here and know there where to get you're yourself at. You remotivated wake up and to come think, out What and want tournament to do well. is this, Life anyway? on the tour can Recently, I have set goals involving schedule management that help me avoid burnout. For one thing, I really do take the "off season" off. I may go to Japan or at Australia Doing all for it this 20 at the to way, 25 end days. I am of the ready I get year, a to good but go in usually break, January. and for Three only then two I weeks practice weeks, off—that's and and play I play usually a little only bit. long up I to enough get the limbered first for week me. up of before December I go over before to Hawaii heading for home. the first Once tournament I get home, of I the don't year. play


For success. all golfers, Here are from some the important novice (but tips serious) when setting golfer to goals the elite for golf: professional player, goal setting is critical to getting any golf change off to a start that has a chance of

1. Begin with short­term goals that build to a longer term and bigger goal.

2. Make your goals specific, measurable, and observable.

3. Develop a method for measuring your progress on all subjective and not easily observable goals, such as motivation or anxiety control.

4. State goals in the positive: "I will use my focusing exercise on every green today" is better than "I will not let my thoughts stray at all today."

5. Self­monitor by keeping records of your goals, starting points, progress, and degree of success.

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6. Never set goals that are incompatible with each other. For instance, don't set a goal to improve your chip shots when you have another goal to improve your anxiety

level on the greens. If you do poorly toward the first goal, it will affect your second goal. your 7. Never goal set "to goals perform where my you imaging can't and understand focusing exactly exercise how before to accomplish every tee shot the in goal. today's For example, round." don't set a goal to "stop being nervous during tee shots." Instead, set

8. Never practice without at least one goal, even if the goal is nothing more than to have fun. Practice without a goal is lowgrade, unfocused exercise. The worksheet on page 10 will help you with your goal setting. Understanding and Awareness

currently The an your important second current and step level element an awareness in of GUIDES the of goal goal of attainment. is behavior. what understanding is occurring Once To acquire this and as is they done, understanding awareness. practice you will a Golfers certain and be able awareness, who skill to monitor are toward trying you your meeting will to accomplish progress need a to goal. develop toward Being their a meeting goals able mechanism to need understand a goal. a for good quantifying understanding the results the of target your of where conscious goal and they identifying are efforts is

Monitoring Your Progress As we've mentioned, once you have established a clear­cut goal, you'll need an understanding of where you are currently so that you can contrast your current level many irons, with your for times instance, desired you hit goal and the level. set fairway a goal This or to makes reached resolve it the possible the green problem, to in monitor three you strokes. will your probably progress. Other times, need Sometimes an it is instructor less understanding easy to to watch establish you your where as current you you hit level long stand is irons currently. easy. and Over give If a you're you week, feedback mis­hittingyourlong you can to count base how your specificgoals

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Figure 1.1 GOAL SETING WORKSHEET (EXAMPLE) andwithinaspecifiedtimeframe.) Describe overall (large) goals. (Remember to
andwithinaspecifiedtimeframe.) Describe overall (large) goals. (Remember to make it as objective as possible
Lower least 3 scoring months. average by 3 strokes within 3 months and maintain for at
possible;specifytimeframes.) Break down large goal into several subgoals. (Make objectives as specific as
Long­term goal: Lower average 3 strokes.
Short­term subgoal A:
Increase number of greens in regulation by 2 in 2 months.
Short­term subgoal B:
Reduce number of putts per round by 2 in 1 month.
scale. Quantify all subgoals and goals including subjective ones. Make up rating
Rating Scales:
Subgoal A: 0­10 0=no success; 10=completely met goal
Subgoal B: 0­10 0=no success; 10=completely met goal
review Decide progress. on frequency of review of progress toward goal. After each month
goal. Decide on reward/reinforcement for success at accomplishing subgoal and
Long­term goal:
The new woods I have wanted
Subgoal A:
The new wedges I have wanted
Subgoal B:
The new putter I have wanted

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upon. Obviously, a goal to "quit slicing my long irons" will get you nowhere! monitor record Developing card" a round a to method increase by a typical for your self­recording 10­handicap awareness your of golfer. where behaviors you are and and progress what's is happening critical for as meeting you practice. your goals. The sample To help of with this this, card, we shown have developed on pages 12 a "peak and 13, performance would help you The card "peak that helps performance you record round the record" objective is useful events for of identifying the round (e.g., golf problems where each through shot went, self­monitoring. where the putt In the was example made from, shown, and you where would shots use were both picked the upper up part or lost) of the and the lower part, which allows you to record important mental game changes hole by hole. Implementation

never Will Rogers seriously used pursued. to say, One "I will of never the things be impressed most evident by what in our you several say you years are of going helping to do." golfers Most change efforts has at been change their are curious like New resistance Year's resolutions—well to the first two steps intended in but measurable to goal GUIDES. acquire setting new Because terms, and golf increasing as of skills shown this or resistance, understanding behaviors. in Figure many 1.3 In and on other golfers page awareness, words, 14 who in you an say the implementation develop they implementation want your to change plan plan step of for never action. is improving simple. even Generally, During get your to the this it's concentration third a step good step, you idea decide implementation. on to the write which course. down activities this If you plan are have in necessary very done concrete, a for good you job in order on During golfing. this At first, implementation the changes stage, might small be too changes small to will recognize, begin to but occur as additional in your thought, changes feeling, occur and they behavior will eventually patterns. "add These up" changes to a new will skill. be Once stored this and skill used has while been you're acquired, final it can be combined with another to produce a larger, more complete "mega­skill" that with further additions begins to take the shape of and function like the

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Page 12 Peak Performance Figure Round 1.2 Record (Practice)

Peak Performance Figure Round 1.2 Record (Practice)

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Page 13 (continued) Figure 1.2

(continued) Figure 1.2

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Figure 1.3 IMPLEMENTATION WORKSHEET (EXAMPLE) Goal and range (or subgoal): of 1 to Improve 5
Goal and range (or subgoal): of 1 to Improve 5 to an average golf course of 6 concentration with range of 4 from to 8 an in average 3 months. of 3
minutes, Practice 6 days relaxation per week exercises for 3 months. 2 times each day for 30 total
40 Practice total minutes, attention/focusing 6 days per week exercises for 3 months. 4 times each day for
for Practice 20 total ''staying minutes, in 6 days present" per exercises week for three 4 times months. each day
Record. Monitor progress on 1–3 above using Peak Performance
Reward 90% or better compliance each week.
Daily: concentration Verbal self­reward program) (e.g., Good job today on
Weekly: Deposit $1 per day toward vacation
Monthly: Dozen new Balatas or equivalent
GoalAchieved: New golf bag or equipment

desired goal. Of course, before all of this occurs, you need to follow through with the fourth GUIDES step of regular and disciplined practice. Disciplined Practice

rewards gradually newness Implementing for of begin the progress the exercise to change look may more disappears program help like keep the is and you desired part the motivated of grind the goal battle, of behaviors. to the carry but day­to­day we out Psychologists all the know work project, how on call it the often is this the project we've process disciplined becomes started of triggering the practice tiresome process behavioral of and of the making boring. thoughts, responses Although a change feelings, only the or daily, behaviors to have weekly, it fade that and over away even time as monthly the

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"shaping." demonstrate that resemble We progress, the gradually target to goal shape keep behavior a the practice swing "successive record or the that putting approximations allows stroke for to easily look of the identifying and goal," feel more and progress the like gradual the and goal recognizing change swing of or the putting periods responses stroke, where in and no the progress, it direction is important, or of even the both behavior backsliding, for motivation we call is and to occurring. This is where we move into evaluation, the fifth step in GUIDES. Evaluation Using agolfer'sanxiety­reduction a practice record helps program. you easily evaluate your progress toward your goal behavior. We have included on page 16 an example of a practice record kept during

going. compliance As you can see, with there's your implementation nothing magical plan about will the work practice fine for record evaluation. form shown The important in Figure point 1.4. Any is that type evaluative of form record on which keeping you can is necessary assess your to keep progress a change and your program Satisfaction and Reward the Finally, previous the last steps crucial probably step in aren't the GUIDES enough to is keep satisfaction a change and program reward. going. Without Satisfying adequate rewards rewards should for be skills built you in accomplish at each phase as of you the progress change process, toward your with goal, an all of research improvement. emphasis on on change rewarding clearly implementation indicates the and need regular for regularly disciplined rewarding practice. your Even "subgoals" if you think (the that small a step steps toward toward reaching the ultimate your goal) goal should to supplement be rewarding the intrinsic enough rewards in itself, of

Rewards adequate incentives can be small and or rewards large, concrete for yourself or more is your abstract, own creativity, personal or so impersonal, use your imagination and they are and appropriate come up with for every some new effort ways or outcome. to treat yourself. The only I limit knew to one constructing golfer who rewarded himself by asking friends out to lunch. If he showed no progress, he had to eat alone that week!

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Page 16 Golf Good Practice Figure Record 1.4 (Example)

Golf Good Practice Figure Record 1.4 (Example)

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Taking It to the Course All GUIDES this theory to help is nice, bring but about it's not change. useful We unless called you the can program see how the to "Beck apply Growth it, or "take Project." it to the As course." we describe We'll the now program, show you we'll in detail break one down way each we used step to the show steps how in it applied to Chip's unique situation. Chip's Goals

subgoals Chip had falling a clear under sense a of main his goals, objective so we of had improving no problem his scoring organizing in PGA them tournaments into "golf­related in general goals" and, and more "semigolf­related specifically, improving goals." his Chip's scoring specific in the goals major were tournaments. actually It the consecutive was other clear tournaments, that tournaments in the majors Chip or when identified Chip he was was a struggling different playing problem, a with tournament his which tension he was didn't level maintaining and particularly confidence a consistent enjoy. that he level could, of in good fact, concentration, ''get over the hump" particularly and win when his he first had major. played In many some of

progression" affect Chip's the other immediate goals into the were task future, to at strengthen hand. and to block his ability out concerns, to stay in conflicts, the present or difficulties and concentrate on and on off the the shot course at hand, so that to they avoid did "thought not intrude regression" into his into focus the and past concentration and "thought and

Chip's Understanding and Self­Awareness

other subgoals I was personal surprised toward characteristics how increasing well Chip awareness. indicated understood an However, extremely where he like high was everyone starting "emotional else, from intelligence," Chip and did what benefit he which would from resulted need the use to in do of little to self­monitoring reach need the to record goals to he his help had status him in or mind. see starting his His progress emotional levels in toward several sensitivity the of subgoals the and and the larger and broader golf and life goals.

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his Imonitored well progress as his feelings Chip's toward progress about his goals how myself both much verbally as he well, was in and benefiting two in ways. written from First, summaries. them. we agreed Our These meetings that reports when also he would gave was me at include home the opportunity his in Illinois frequency we to evaluate of would practice meet Chip's of at the presentation my exercises office, where that during we he our had would sessions. agreed report on, For on as some tournaments gains. plan for of Also, our his subgoals, because work he played, together. we I could as were we evaluate going felt this to would his be working level give of us progress toward a chance several from to evaluate that different behavior his goals, efforts sample. some and Second, more progress golf­related Chip and and then I than adjust agreed others, the that programs we some realized of our and we work exercises needed should a as fairly needed be done specific to at make the game

chose major We decided not tournaments to to play do a the tour held work event. in the that We United could also be States agreed done (the that off Masters, site some (e.g., of U.S. the mental work Open, skills would and training) PGA best Championship). be while accomplished Chip was on at home, site; I would either between attend his tournaments tournaments or with during him, weeks including when the he three

We joint viewed felt projects—would this that period the three­part of his be life effective approach and career toward to our as developing involvement—mental a time of readjustment. a strong business skills He expected assistance relationship a temporary at that tournament could downturn significantly sites, mental in golf help skills performance. Chip and during personal He this expected consultation period of to his go assistance career. through Finally, some at home, Chip and significant other areas, changes such as in public his personal speaking. and We family were life. excited At the about same the time, game he plan hoped and to anxious grow and to develop enter the new implementation skills that would phase help of him our on project. and off the course, and in some

Implementing Chip's Program for Change We began by focusing on mental skills that are beneficial for optimal performance in sports. The main targets we chose were

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concentration, primarily work self­confidence, on at tournament anxiety/arousal sites. level, staying in the present, and shot routines. These would be our first orders of business and the ones we would

the Before Beck the Growth first tournament Project. In Chip addition and I to attended extensive together, interviewing we had and worked taking in a the personality office for test, about Chip six completed weeks. During a modified that time version we laid of Thomas out much and of Olders' the groundwork Golf Mental for mental play. Skills These Assessment skills efforts for golf. Questionnaire paid Thus, off with our initial a (1994). third­place efforts He in tested finish this area above at the were the Nissan to 90th sharpen Open percentile and in Los focus on Angeles. all his of mental the Chip scales skills, shot we to seven used, make which under them for indicated maximally a 277, he good beneficial had for no a significantly paycheck for his upcoming of deficient $68,000. tournament areas in his

Disciplined Practice Sessions

easiest. skills Two weeks areas. later, The first at the areas Buick we Invitational, chose were concentration, we set a goal of energy/arousal, having at least and one confidence. mental skills Thanks "practice" to Chip's session recent each third­place day of the tournament finish at the on Nissan, three selected the last area mental was the showing It should in come the Nissan as no surprise was energizing that following and rewarding, a superlative and outing it was in a very their simple sport, elite matter athletes for him generally to replay have that little recent problem tournament with their in his confidence mind to reaffirm level. Chip's recognition strong of his talent skillstraining—a focused level particularly and his replay ability on the of to a holes recent perform that positive at resulted the highest experience in his level best in of shots—the his his imagination, profession. birdies, Thus, recalling successful in working each up stroke and on his downs, of his confidence four drives rounds in level, the at we fairway, the engaged Nissan, sand visualizing in saves, one of and the his so simplest play on. on We forms each did this hole. of mental using We a routine we came to use regularly at tournaments and in my office. To to re­see enhance as Chip's clearly concentration, as he imagined vividly in his mind's eye some of the best shots he had made during his morning practice round. He was also instructed

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possible line and target some as specific the center objects of his and field events of vision. he had As come he focused across earlier down in the the tunnel, day. We he narrowed practiced this his ability field to to include create little "tunnel more vision," than these where targets. he practiced seeing his target

We also had Chip practice diaphragmatic breathing work (where your breathing originates more from your stomach than from your chest), which helps decrease

activity preparation arousal and level energy for is like a specific level. manipulating Most performance. professional the idle Chip of an athletes spent automobile 45 recognize minutes engine. the practicing value The routine of these controlling requires routines. their focus When tension and he sensitivity, was and done, energy but he and it declared can arousal work himself levels. to anyone's relaxed The ability advantage, and to focused; raise especially or he lower felt during this ready to perform.

and I a had big helped tournament. seen Chip him sleep perform When well he the before finished imaging his the rounds. and mental breathing work, exercises Chip returned many times to his in room my office, for a physical but I was workout. impressed His by physical his enthusiasm routines combined and ability well to do with them his on mental the night exercises before

Evaluating Chip's Progress

difficult language. What I saw position I even the next used to make day binoculars confirmed the cut the to for help next me me day. the lip value As read I followed of some my of accompanying Chip his conversations throughout Chip his with on round, tour. his caddie. Chip I observed struggled him throughout very closely. his I round, watched ending his face, up with his expressions, a 73, which put and him his body in a

I saw no evidence in Chip of an emotional reaction to his struggle on the course that day. Although he had been playing well in recent tournaments, it was clear that

Chip attempting had "been to solve there his before," difficulties struggling on the through course. a He round looked without like a letting professional it get to going him emotionally. about his work I saw on no a day evidence when it of was anger indeed and very work! little Despite frustration. the struggle, I saw Chip Chip

appeared to be enjoying himself. It wasn't surprising to me at the end of the day, when we sat down to discuss the day's events, that Chip was still as upbeat and

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prepared shots positive of the as for he day. Friday. had Since been he after was our sitting meeting on 73, the we night both before. knew He he confirmed was going what to have I had a hard observed time making during his the round: cut the he next had day, done but a we good never job of mentioned focusing that. on his Instead, many good we That Mistakes, night bad Chip breaks, did a mental and bad skills shots routine were similar not replayed. to the one he'd done the night before, except this time he imaged replaying the good shots from the first round.

It squeeze paid off in with under a better the cut, round but he Friday. didn't Chip get all made the birdies fewer mistakes, he needed got on fewer the back bad nine breaks, and and wound putted up with better a than round he of had 70. on Thursday. For a while we thought he might

scoring to To make summarize picked the cut. Chip's up during round the on middle Friday: of the he had round, started his energy the day and with enthusiasm high enthusiasm, also rose energy, slightly. and But concentration some of the that extra wavered push diminished little as struggles once he appeared. realized he When was not his going

things given Nowhere him aren't during a B+ going at the the well Friday start for of them. round his round. If did I had I observe His been mental a Chip teacher skills lose grading execution his temper, Chip's increased behave use of rudely, to concentration, an A or for exhibit many energy any of the of and middle the emotion behaviors holes, control, and sometimes he and settled confidence seen back from to techniques, PGA a B+ as tour his golfers I chances would when have of making the cut faded on the last three holes.

many give After us the examples all round day Saturday on of Chip's Friday, to professionalism work Chip signed together. his I He scorecard, would could see have over practiced caught the coming for a flight two months. right hours, away, and That then but night he went over didn't. to dinner work out. he told His me desire he'd to decided practice to after stay in missing La Jolla the until cut Saturday was one of night the to

Despite exceeded the our disappointment goals for the week. of Chip's We missing emphasized the cut, the we positive, learned put and the accomplished negative in perspective, much at Tory and Pines. Because of the extra work time on Saturday, we met or

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prepared to move ahead. I had accompanied Chip at only one tournament, but I could see already why he's known as one of the most positive players on tour. Satisfaction and Rewards After our work at Tory Pines, Chip and I rewarded ourselves for our efforts and progress we had made on our mental skills program. The reward part is important, reward in and the you early system can't stages, neglect always and it. helps anything A program at the you beginning is can much do to more of maintain a change likely the to process, succeed changes as if will it is rewards in help. the It's beginning for no progress big secret that and it's among work most toward difficult psychologists your to maintain goals that self­rewarding are difficult established changes. your and New carried changes, behaviors out. even An are when external fragile they are small, is the easiest and best way to help change continue as you move toward attaining your ultimate goal.

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Preparing Chapter 2— to Play

Page 23 Preparing Chapter 2— to Play

Page 24

Preparation and Routines Kenny Perry

Page 24 Preparation and Routines Kenny Perry I prepare the same way for every tournament. Obviously

I prepare the same way for every tournament. Obviously the majors are worth much more money, but I put lots of time into all my tournaments. Some guys might not

them. prepare I need as much to put for in Bayhill the time. or the I've Houston been out Open here over as they 11 would years, for but Augusta, I still feel but that to I me need they to put are in all two major practice tournaments, rounds and and to I'm get going out and to put work 110% the into greens. preparing for In what my you opinion, have course to do—give management yourself is opportunities everything. It's to make not how it happen. far you Whether hit it. It's it's not Augusta how good or your Bayhill, putt I is. do It's the where same you thing put week it to after give week. yourself I play an opportunity. practice rounds That's on

Tuesday and pro ams on Wednesday. I always make sure to get a good feel for the greens. It's crucial for me to know what the greens are doing.

I notice that when I'm in the "zone," when I'm playing really good golf, I hear nothing. I hear no cars, no people, no nothing. I'm so focused, so tuned in, and it's so

easy. the shot But with if I'm conviction, a little off with sync, one I'll shot. back This off until is the I shot can go I'm into going my to routine. play. I'm You going sit out there and make a routine, and you approach each shot the same way. I approach

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to thinking, stick with no, this you shot need and to turn that's it the over shot and I'm knock going it down to hit. a And little if bit. I pull You it off, should great. never If I fight don't, yourself at least I'm over not a golf up over shot. the If I ball just and stick indecisive. with one shot, At the I'm last okay. minute And I'm if my not concentration and made." relax. I'll just is off, relax that's and when let my I go body to my relax. routine, I relax when and tell I sit myself, and work "Try on not the to practice overhit range. the shot. I've Just got execute. to start Trust over. I your back routine. off, get Make regrouped, the swing and you've just take always my time


Make It Routine If someone followed you around with a video camera all day and then played the tape back for you later, you'd see many examples of your unique behavioral routines. bathroom same The first way. one and You've might push done the be your door them "getting open, so often flick out that the of bed" you light don't routine. switch, even and The think look particular about into the them. way mirror you If you swing and question rub one your leg how eyes. and automatic then All of the these other these movements over habits the have side you become, of might the bed replay repeat and daily in step your down, in head nearly walk all the the to exact the movements automatically. lessefficient. you If use you to thought perform about a common each movement routine such as you as brushing performed your it, teeth. the movement This "simple" as well task as actually the task consists would become of many self­conscious, complex maneuvers, less natural, all of which and probably you do

KEY PRINCIPLE: DEVELOP A ROUTINE single Building most good effective shot and technique other preparation to improve routines your game. for golf Good is the constructed positive routines playing are routines the essence experience, that of incorporate performance and preparation your consistency. practice to play experience, will Carefully lead to past consistently better scoring.

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make some Routines movements) a goal are easier sets of sequentially to behaviors accomplish. organized organized into to move steps you toward toward performing your goal—in complex this actions. case playing A pre­round the tournament or pre­shot or hitting routine a shot. consists The of primary small behaviors purpose of (some the routine thoughts, is to Gradually, the repetitive execution of the step­by­step behaviors within a routine "melt" into a smooth and fluid execution of a larger behavior. This new behavior is a transmission. In composite the beginning of the Recall you many the had smaller difficulty to think ones your you smoothed first way had through out, in organizing melted this complicated together, and coordinating and series made of movements, the largely sequence automatic. and of behaviors for As a while an example, necessary the end think result to work of probably the the first clutch, time made the you for gas drove a jerky pedal, a ride car and with full the of a gearshift. manual abrupt stops more and smoothly. starts. As However, your new as your skill developed nervous system over days began and to weeks, combine your the nervous individual system smaller continued behaviors to combine into a composite, your hand larger and foot one, movements you were able into to a drive coordinated the car sequence that ultimately resulted in your ability to drive with ease and confidence. If movements you want to involved see how in routine working and the automatic clutch, the driving gas pedal, a "stick" and the has gearshift. become for Tell you, yourself the next what time you you're are going driving to do in a next safe before place, try you to do think it. Notice your way how through rough and all the uncoordinated your movements become. You're back to that jerky ride you started with before your movements turned automatic. Good very specific, golf preparation and they routines prepare your "set up" mind your and nervous body to system carry out to carry the familiar out the thoughts behaviors and desired. actions. Routines Thus, good alert your preparation nervous routines system lead that to you both want consistency to do something and familiarity. thinking, your mind you're is They engaged able are to also in focus carrying critical your for out attention concentration a sequence on just of and a few blocking critical out triggering negatives. thoughts, Because movements, routines allow or even you sensations, to perform greatly complex simplifying sequences execution of many of behaviors the task. without And if

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off­course frequently or repeated contaminate mental them activities, with performance­affecting it is much more likely negative to stay on activity. track and not be deterred by negative thoughts or worries breaking in to knock your thoughts One of the most important aspects of developing routines is that with regular practice they do, in fact, become automatic and somewhat unconscious. The an turns you of overlearning us. accident, take. I Driving took You or that of to suddenly the too your work things would routines is find a I similar passed, have yourself is happened what automatic I must at makes your not automatically. routine. destination them have automatic. been Sometimes without aware—I We remembering you gave could get an so have example engrossed hit how something. you earlier in got your of there. But brushing thoughts they Sometimes were your that you aware. teeth this don't and worries If during see how the people. automatic the streets drive They you're that there think, routine passing had if I been has can't or become notice a remember need the to for avoid turns most the It's ''kick of in" great and benefit carry them for golfers through to develop automatically. a pre­round Because preparation routines alert routine, your a nervous pre­shot system preparation to initiate routine, a desired and even sequenced a post­shot behavior, and post­round you can focus review on one routine key that aspect will of the situation at hand, such as correct torso movement during your swing. Developing routines can significantly elevate your level of play.


• Organize your mental and physical preparation activities into an

easy­to­remember acronym

andgetmaximumlearningfromtheroundplayed • Develop post­play routines to help you benefit from the shot itself

Organizing Your Routine In "crystallize"themintoa the talks and workshops we've given over the years, we've recognized that golfers and other athletes benefit most from mental skill techniques when they can

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simple to become set of automatic skills—a and routine—that carried out they without can easily much remember. thought. Out The of routine the many should labels include for preperformance the main elements activities, of mental we picked and physical the easy­to­remember preparation, and acronym it should be able CHECKS, confidence which and the includes mental the and first behavioral letter of skills the most that important produce and mental maintain and physical it; health skills and to the combine routines into necessary a pre­performance to maintain a activity readiness or routine. to perform; The emotion CHECKS and are

consistently strategies energy control including high and levels the game of activities performance. plan and necessary routines, to the develop organizing and maintain and sequencing this control; of the concentration physical and mental and its preparation component activities skills; knowledge into pre­performance including play patterns experience; that lead and to The tool which, CHECKS when should carried be out, organized identifies into one a practice or more routine of the that CHECKS allows that for the might consistent be deficient. repetition Once of an the area necessary is identified skills. as The lacking, routine the should golfer is also in serve a good as position a diagnostic to "step up" practice activities to bolster the deficient skill area. There are several advantages to organizing your mental and physical preparation activities into a routine such as CHECKS. A routine will make it easier to

• practice your confidence­buildingexercises,

• carry out your physical activities to prepare your body for play,

• check your emotional control and energy level,

• check your level of concentration,

• review your knowledge base for the tournament, and

• review how well you have combined these activities into pretournament and pre­shot strategies to prepare yourself to hit the individual shot you want or to play the

course the way you want for the entire tournament. We've intended seen preparation many instances of players with good intentions preparing for play. However, in their anxiousness to get started, or in the heat of battle, they fail to do their

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activities. them up to Many proper golfers performance use the CHECKS levels, and system, then "checking or a similar them one, off" to before go through proceeding the preparation to the next activities CHECK. one We at a have time, found identifying it is easy those to do that this are in deficient, preparation bringing for a round particular ordering or of tournament, ordering the steps, of something and preparation even in like preparation activities CSEHKC, into for CHECKS, and individual if they except can shots. remember We that do the want acronym the steps to emphasize makes that way, it easier that more we to power don't remember believe to them! the there's steps. anything Some golfers inherently might better prefer about a different our

Pre­Tournament Routine Chip Beck

about a different our Pre­Tournament Routine Chip Beck I like to arrive at a PGA tournament

I like to arrive at a PGA tournament by late Monday afternoon, and if I can get some chipping and putting in, I feel that's a good starting point for the week. It

I'll removes usually the try feel a few from long the putts previous to get week a feel and for gets the speed me ready of the for greens. a fresh Next, set of I greens. chip around I start the by greens getting to a "read" get acquainted on the greens—how with the different much rough they break and pin and placements. which way. If

I can start chipping on Monday afternoon, I consider that a bonus. On Monday night I start preparing my body

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need physically. to keep I do limber, push­ups, so I always sit­ups, finish and my the stretching routine. routine. Sometimes my body fights the stretching, especially if I've had a couple of weeks off, but I know that I On Tuesday, I like to play a practice round, by myself if possible, so that I can chip and putt and go at my own pace. I also usually practice an area of my game that game course, should for prove I like as long to helpful continue as I for can the my around week, preparation each whether green by it doing without be a wedge some holding chipping from up 60 play. around to 70 yards the greens in, just and driving doing the a lot ball, of or putting maybe from hitting different some pin medium positions. to long Finally, irons. I Then, practice on my the short the of Sometimes imaginable bunkers I'll are chip play deep, shot just I'll 9 that practice holes might and getting be spend necessary the a lot ball of that up time quickly week. chipping Often to make and you rolling sure can tell I can the by ball get the it around size up out of the the of greens the green bunker. and and the hitting I make depth all sure of kinds the my bunkers of technique sand shots, what is chip good seven shots and iron that will chips, the be or club required. any face kind if is get shot opening a is feel often up. for I required, the check different aspects and types I'll of try my of to grasses. swing figure that out For apply what's instance, to best bunker in for Florida, getting play. where If up the and grass most down is of soft from the or grass 10 the feet. is soil pretty muddy, tough the (Bermuda club face grass might is be very slowed difficult down to significantly, deal with), a certain so I try style to

considerable I'm most effective time "seeing" when I practice the ball short go in game the hole. work This that helps requires my confidence significant concentration. and gets me mentally While practicing prepared for the the mechanical days ahead. parts of my game, I'll also spend Although was missing I may or that vary the my week pre­tournament hadn't begun routine properly. a little each time, it always contains these same basic ingredients. If I tried skipping the routine, I'd feel that something


Post­Play Routines CHECKS is an excellent routine to practice before a round and individual shots, but post­play review routines are also quite

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occurred useful. To during maximally the shot. benefit Similarly, from each you shot, should you develop should a develop post­round a post­shot routine routine to get maximum in which you learning evaluate and benefit the decisions from the and round movements just played. that preceded the shot and



probably what just had took a place positive is worthy outcome of storing (unless in it hit your a sprinkler memory head!), for replay. and it is deserving of a positive reward for yourself. The reward will alert your nervous system that

If the shot only roughly approximates the imaged shot, or has only components of the imagined shot and others quite different and considerably less desirable than the

imagined review of shot, the shot you might should reveal replay, what and went reward, wrong. only If the so, there positive is something parts of the to execution learn from and the ignore shot and the this others. insight If the should shot in be no stored. way If resembles the review the yields imagined no information shot, a quick

about what went wrong, it's best to put the shot behind you and forget you ever hit it. and If you it should do your include post­shot only reviews the positive during elements the round, from you the should round—those later be successful able to replay shots the that round matched stroke­by­stroke their pre­shot in images your imagination. and the parts This of is other your shots post­round that were routine, performed as you intended, even if the shot itself fell short of your desires. Using CHECKS as Your Pre­Round Routine

developing their pre­round routines for preparation, PGA Tour players will invest more time and energy than what we're suggesting here, but the routine we'll a nonprofessional golfer who enjoys the game a great deal and wants to play it as well as possible.

describe is realistic in terms of the amount of time and investment that an average player can make in preparing to play golf. This abbreviated routine might be used by


post­shot a shot that routine we like, should a shot include that closely a quick resembles evaluation the to one determine we had whether envisioned you in can our learn pre­shot anything routine. positive If the from shot the matched shot. There's well with always that preshot something routine positive image, to get it out

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specific more As you than develop place two and or CHECKS three time, CHECKS and as even your a at specific pre­round a time, pattern and routine, you of should practice, you need try will to to dedicate decide make it where, at more least likely when, 20 minutes that and the how to practice each. often If you're will you occur. spend going At to at the practice least start, 40 each minutes the steps. practice a In day, the session this beginning, means should you'd having include work a no on these at least you'll two want of to the devote CHECKS more daily, time and resulting energy in (without each step neglecting getting attention the others). twice per week. Expect to have difficulty with at least one or two of the steps, and it's to

We'll now summarize each of the CHECKS steps and briefly explain how it can bolster your game.

BECK'S CHECKS Confidence Health Emotionandenergycontrol Concentration Knowledge Strategy

We have included a worksheet for your pre­round preparation routine on page 33. Confidence

based reviews Confidence on (self­evaluations a healthy is a belief ego in and your or positive others' own evaluations capacities self­concept. and of you), This a reliance base positive is on bolstered your own by abilities. supporting For an positive aspiring input golfer, including self­confidence past successes, can be positive seen as feedback a complex from of internal others, positive events

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Page 33 Pre­Round Figure Preparation 2.1 Routine

Pre­Round Figure Preparation 2.1 Routine

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yourself­concept be self­images. self­statements bolstered Since through concerning and confidence the basic practice value ego is derived structure and of mental worth, from are exercises and transformed. both positive positive that self­images. are personality gradually The traits absorbed last and two a into positive refer and to both adopted history performance­related of by experience your psyche. and As and regular these nonperformance­related positive practices feedback, are absorbed your self­statements confidence and adopted, can and One the other of the CHECKS first things steps serious with golfers enthusiasm. should do is attend to their level of confidence. If you work on your confidence early, you'll be more ready to progress through

opposite work Most people on is lowering true think (that that your confidence the confidence more is confidence too level. low), but they you have, should the better—but, go into your in confidence fact, sometimes check confidence with a clear levels mind, are open too to high the possibility for optimal that performance. you may actually More often need the to

youmightthink. preparation Once your current and of actual level of competition. confidence Practiced has been identified frequently (see enough, chapter confidence­altering 3), you need to choose exercises activities will affect either your to raise precompetition or lower the confidence level to match level the more reality quickly of your than Health You need to check your level of health, or physical preparedness, to make sure you're physically ready to perform. We won't go into physical preparation here, as your stiffness there ability are or hundreds soreness) to assess of your that books might current out require there state to of a tell modification physical you how readiness. to in physically the other Building steps prepare this of step your for your into routine your chosen or routine in activity. your will performance. The keep main you attuned point For instance, is to that the you slight if need a minor variations to work pinched in within your nerve body your in your (e.g., routine back mild on is bothering body might you, be telling you will probably need to adapt your concentration level to overcome the distraction. This step is the time to check for anything out of the ordinary your

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you. proceed It might to step be three. as minor as a mild hunger (eat a granola bar) or as major as a chest pain (see a doctor), but whatever it is, you'll need to take care of it before you

Emotion and Energy Control

nervous, Your emotion excited, and angry, energy depressed, control lethargic, involves your relaxed—or state of autonomic, some of these neural, plus emotional, others all at and once. cognitive Emotion activity. and energy What does control this involves mean? It your means emotional you might state, be your anxious, experiences predispositions thoughts and (your feelings, and learning your and learning your history) physiological history. might For make activity instance, you respond (such you as might in your a certain be heart predisposed rate, way blood to a poor by pressure, your shot genetics or and a round's muscle to exaggerated worth tension). of bad It emotional is breaks. influenced responses by both to your stress. inherited Or your past For another most might golfers, perform an intermediate better when level unusually of internal subdued, activity, but or as emotion, a rule you is best want for to performance. keep an even In keel. rare cases, a golfer might thrive on a high level of emotion, while

Techniquesusedforloweringyourenergylevelincludediaphragmaticbreathingexercises,imagery,positiveandcalmingself­statements, progressive muscle statements, concentration. relaxation, and and Techniques hypnosis. progressive Several used muscle for of raising tensing. these techniques your energy reduce level emotional include "pumping reactivity up" and through improve "chest" impulse or "backward" control, while breathing elevating exercises, mood and competitive improving imaging confidence and self­ and emotion Once you level have to assessed its optimal your state emotion before level, you you progress can modify to the next it fairly step. easily through the techniques just mentioned (also see chapter 4). You will want to get your Concentration In mechanics our context, effortlessly, to concentrate without means thought. to Like exclude confidence all other and incoming emotion stimuli, level, concentration focus your attention can be on your target, and develop your target line so you can execute your

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too low to permit optimal performance or too high to be sustained through 18 holes of golf. Concentration can be disrupted in many ways. In some cases, it is influenced by negative thoughts or images that intrude into your consciousness. In other cases, it is "picture," possibly affected by leading making unusual to it a difficult success neglect or to of an focus important emotion on the information level truly that important is such too high. stimuli as course Low involved or knowledge poorly in execution. directed or changes concentration Low in concentration wind speed can interfere or can direction. result with in performance losing track of by your complicating performance your or stimulus game plan,

identify One way when to improve you have low become concentration distracted is through and allows self­observation you to refocus and on carrying what is important an ongoing to dialogue maintain with good yourself. performance. Talking to yourself about the task at hand helps you routine, round The main of shot golf. problem execution, Sometimes with concentration and it works post­shot to "turn being routine. down" too high your is that level it can of concentration be extremely when fatiguing; you are it may in between be impossible strokes, for as you this to conserves maintain high your concentration energy for your over pre­shot a whole For more on improving your concentration level, see chapter 5. Routines, Confidence, and Concentration Mike Reid I hit believe it. I think very if strongly your approach in a pre­shot is erratic routine. and inconsistent, I think that's your a real game key to is going consistency. to be that If you're way as making well, because a routine your approach brain never to the quite ball, knows I think when your brain the ball knows is going when to to be struck. Someone his bag until who he had hit the watched shot. It Nicklaus was rarely en route 12 seconds, to winning and it the was 1986 rarely Masters 14. Nicklaus told me is that a type it had A taken personality, Nicklaus granted, exactly but 13 I seconds think even from golfers the time who his aren't club came out of

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type and they A—guys own it. like Trevino and Lanny Watkins, who stand up and just hit it—if you watch their routine, it's the same thing every time. Their routine is their signature,

the same thing every time. Their routine is their signature, should I think you be pretty

should I think you be pretty have to much find the something same every in your time. pre­shot A good routine pre­shot to help routine you gives focus you in on one the less shot. thing This to gives think about your brain on the a chance course. to know when you're going to hit the ball. It Sometimes sloppy habits work their way into your pre­shot routine. When this happens, I think you can usually find a wealth of things that you've gotten away from. Sometimes They're not you're just physical not concentrating things you do, on the although right things these can in the be right very order, important and and that can can throw throw off you your off. game, I remember but also I was psychological. in a slump one Your time thinking because can I was get askew. taking three sounds general looks at hard again. the target to I believe, played instead poorly but of I two. was for comfortable When a whole I looked month with at because two what looks, I of was that not doing, extra three. I look. found Once that I my went first back look to was looking general, only my twice, second my look game was came specific back just and like my third that. I look know was that Confidence comingofftheclubface, and concentration are vital parts of the pre­shot routine. I started golf when I was four or five years old, and the joy I had was the feeling of a well­hit shot

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you're straight, the way not the head capable grass down. smelled, of remembering I didn't and really the way a know great the much deal, ball bounced but of what you are when that capable meant. it hit and of My seeing rolled dad started it on in the 3­D me green before on the or up you game near hit very it. the hole. simply I wasn't and worked capable on of only saying a few to fundamentals. myself, left arm At that age, air, Unfortunately, what it feels you like can coming get away off the from face, that and as what you get it looks older, like and bouncing then you on have the to green relearn and how rolling to close do that. to How the hole. to stand behind the ball and see what it looks like in the That's the essence of concentration. And, to me, confidence is encapsulated in the effort. And it is effort! It is a mental muscle up there. Visualization is closely tied to behind on, confidence, if you it and can't and say, see I think ''Yeah, it, it if is you that's going can what to see be it very your looks difficult shot, like you it ought to can hit hit it to properly. do" it. And and some get You comfortable can shots, stand whether out with there on that, driving until you're you're ranges, never blue in going in different the to face hit wind it with right. directions, 100 Once balls, you no but can matter until do you that, what can though, you're stand working back life mind confidence becomes ought and to irrelevant be concentration thinking because about suddenly it what isn't the it aren't looks most an like, important issue. feels You're like, shot and, in golfing your for auditory life—it's the shot, learners, the and only all that what shot. crap it It's sounds that just commentators as like. important If you're as say into the about first that, shot this then being you all of hit the a that sudden most day important confidence or the last shot shot. and of Your your concentration trulygetwhatyouthink. aren't issues any more. It's just a matter of following that image, and as Chuck Hogan taught me, you're re­creating something you've already seen. You

didn't I what know you take that need a physically great to work revelation and on mechanically is for between me to your figure I've ears. gotten that out. about Once as you far as get I'm to the going level to go. where Any you improvement understand I'm the going concepts to make of the now swing is going and what to be makes from the it go shoulders well enough, up. It

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Knowledge Reviewing your knowledge, or your experience base, is the fifth step of your CHECKS routine. This review includes drawing on your playing experience, the accomplish outing. should importance review It is of also them. the important during This tournament review this aspects step you're should that of the you playing, help course, might you the to the choose type focus factors and to on review needed level what's of the most for competition goals shot important, selection and subgoals you and have, and in you've construction, this and regard, a review chosen it and will of for how the help the performance competition you've your concentration been ahead playing cues you and as to have well. the help ways chosen set expectations. in which for this you particular You hope to Strategy golfer, putt. The last you step should of your have CHECKS several preparation strategies or routine routines involves to run through several run­throughs, that you perform or rehearsals, in any competition of specific before strategies every stroke, that you whether use regularly. it be a drive, If you're an an approach, experienced or a

The better and more consistently you can perform the six steps of your CHECKS preparation routine, the more ready you'll be to handle any course or competition shot preparation. that you routine come that We up includes have against. outlined preparation No matter the critical how as well talented steps as to performance take you are, toward and of good no the matter shot. preparation. how much In the you section practice, that there's follows absolutely we'll show nothing you in more more important detail how to to success apply than a complete good Taking It to the Course A disposal good shot to make routine your should shot the include shot abbreviated you have imagined elements it of should some be. of We the CHECKS have along with activities that set you up to swing the golf club, using everything at your

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of developed your desired a seven­step shots. pre­shot routine that will give you an advantage over many opponents who don't use it. This routine should help you execute a high percentage The Seven­Step Pre­Shot Routine Our seven­step pre­shot routine builds upon a routine that Chip has developed over his many years on the tour. We have added two components to capitalize on effectivelyusethem. included what behavioral a figure scientists showing our know seven­step about preparation pre­shot routine and performance to make it easy and about for you how to follow the body along works with in our terms description of performance. of its steps, At the their end purpose, of the chapter, and how we to have most Your shot actually begins as you approach the ball. Whether the ball is in the tee box, on the fairway, or on the green, as you approach it your body and mind should talent, the begin moment a your sequence swing (conditions of practice, activities include your that both "play essentially internal history," builds conditions your a mental shot such for attitude as you. fatigue The and shot level, overall that and mental is external built game should conditions at be the easy moment, such to execute as your the weather because analysis conditions it of will the be shot a and combination to be your hit, place and of the on your conditions the natural leader of board).

Breathe Step 1:— to Control Tension As you approach the ball, start adjusting your energy and tension level. Usually this involves systematic breathing to take your arousal down a notch, as most players get the of breathing, first excited step or in called nervous your diaphragmatic routine in anticipation will also breathing, involve of hitting breathing, the involves ball. If but extending you it will play be "flat" your a pattern abdomen (i.e., your of breathing as arousal you inhale, that level arouses is and low), then you and contracting physiologically you find it your difficult abdominal rather to than get up muscles relaxes for the you. as shot if The you're or the relaxing blowing round, pattern then up a balloon, as you exhale. (We describe these breathing patterns in detail in chapter 4.) A few deep diaphragmatic breaths calm

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coming physical you at this next, actions very particularly important that your when nervous stage what's of your system coming shot. has They is blended familiar also over signal and time practiced. your into nervous one long system "megaresponse." that what's coming It's very is a important familiar and to cue frequently your body practiced in this way sequence to alert of it mental to what's and Remember that if you play flat (with low arousal), you'll want to pump up your body at this time instead of relaxing it. In this case, another breathing pattern, often your into called your chest "backward" system, and stomach raise or "chest" your contract, heart breathing, similar rate, contract should to "chest occur your out, muscles, at stomach the beginning and in" while make of your standing you feel shot a at routine. little attention stronger In in this the momentarily. pattern, military. you A inhale few Unless pump­up by you're expanding "reps" one who your done is chest too this tense way and exhale will off the push by tee, adrenaline letting a few pump­up reps when particularly flat or when trying to get a few extra yards will work to your advantage. Step Analyze 2:— the Situation

enter including While your your the shot body distance, routine. is physically the It's wind, at this changing the point lie, that and in response you your want place to to the on construct diaphragmatic the course the and shot or in you pump­up the want tournament. to breathing hit. The It also process pattern, includes it's includes time identifying for focusing your your brain—more on internal the external conditions—your specifically, conditions your affecting energy left brain—to level the shot, or fatigue,confidencelevel,concentrationlevel,andanxietylevel. Step Assess 3:— the Shot At the this questions, point the "Do left I know side of this your shot? brain—the Is this shot analytic, familiar?" logical, and and "Can organizing I hit this side—attempts shot?" If your brain to find can information answer these in its questions "playing in history the affirmative, database," it looking then brings for answers up out of to the database a "copy" of the shot that you intend to hit. This is not unlike accessing a file in your computer. If, however, your brain does not find "yes" answers to these questions, you will have to construct a shot—that is, you'll need to

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piece and feel a shot will together work best, using considering a problem­solving all the factors. process. In this process you sort through various ways that the shot could be made before selecting one that you think

Image Step 4:— the Shot You want the left side of your brain to do only one more thing before it shuts down and gets out of the way for the rest of the shot. You want it to transfer its

information to the right side of your brain, the part that's responsible for emotion and physical performance and which thinks primarily in pictures or images instead of

in words. In as much detail as you can, you want to create a mental picture of the shot to be hit.

A major variable in this process is that some players choose to make the left­to­right brain transfer and subsequent creation of the mental picture of the shot before

executing their practice swing, while others prefer doing it after their practice swing. You should try it both ways to see what works best for you. It's that at has this been point created—a in your shot shot routine you have that some practiced of the many real times magic on happens, the practice as it's tee here and that hit your possibly brain many is capable other times of doing during several your amazing playing things. career—gets The image accessed of the from shot

successes the practice executing and playing the desired experience shot database and transfers and is the made information available to to the you muscles through of your your formation body needed of the to shot carry image. it out. Then your brain takes this copy of previous What you have done is program your body to execute the shot that you planned to hit. This has occurred through bringing into the present past examples of having hit hitting the execution shot that successfully. of shot the successfully, desired If you shot have and to work you no successful with have in included its images preparation in the of hitting image for hitting the the positive shot the in shot, your outcome. even brain's though In database, this you latter have then instance, never you have you hit the created have shot in before! a effect shot given in your your mind's nervous eye, you system have a successful imagined

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Feel Step 5:— the Shot

shot, become The next along a mental kinesthetic with messages action and is even sensory for carrying more one, amazing. the and shot your The out. body right This is side preparing step of is your a drawn­out to brain hit the transfers shot description that the you necessary of have what presented is information known it as with. "feeling to the muscles the shot." of your The picture body needed or image for of execution your shot of has the

Execute Step 6:— the Shot

how Some your golfers body trigger feels as this you execution execute with the stroke, a "swing including thought" your and follow­through, others with a cue and to comparing focus on some it against body both position the shot or sensation. that you The imagined process and begins the sensations with attending that your to you've "store"bothphysicallyandmentally. body has practiced given you and during imagined your doing. many If swings the match on the is very practice close, tee you and have on other likely shots. hit the Here shot you're that you looking want, for and a if close so, it match is a shot between that you'll what want you have to remember just done and and what

Review Step 7:— the Shot Did not aligned the ball in follow such your a way desired that the and correct imagined shot execution target line? would If you send hit the the shot ball you along wanted the desired but did target not hit line. the target line you probably did not set up properly and were

By forces, focusing and the on amount where the of energy ball landed invested and finished, in the shot. you're You're in position also in position to know to whether evaluate you your accurately mental condition constructed during the shot the shot regarding and how club closely selection, you followed external factors your or seven­step shot routine.

also At be thought each want point to of notice again. in the what post­shot you didn't evaluation do well, process, attempt you to want determine to notice what what went you wrong did well, and store store that what information, you did well, and and then reinforce dismiss yourself all negative for having parts of done the shot, it well. never You to

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execution, of The the evaluation execution including of of the the putting quality pre­shot the of routine—all the ball shot on the compared target of this line; with evaluating the the evaluation practiced is nearly of and as the the important correctness ideal; the as the of evaluation the pre­shot constructed of routine the set­up shot itself (the and in game terms the ability plan of its for of potential that this particular set­up benefit to result for shot); improving in and the an desired evaluation your shot performance. Between abbreviated to or using shots your version in game your of round, plan the CHECKS and during shot that routines. to assess "downtime" A how quick you're following review doing of the in how post­shot terms you're of confidence, doing routine on and the emotion prior CHECKS to the and also next energy alerts pre­shot control, you routine, to and when concentration recover you need your to and energy give how yourself and well perform you're a booster sticking an of one or more of them, or, said another way, to keep them more in mind as you continue to play your round. We've included sample worksheets for the pre­shot and post­shot routines, shown on pages 45 and 46.

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Page 45 Seven­Step Figure Pre­Shot 2.2 Routine

Seven­Step Figure Pre­Shot 2.2 Routine

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Page 46 Four­Step Figure Post­Shot 2.3 Routine

Four­Step Figure Post­Shot 2.3 Routine

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Believing Chapter 3— in Your Game

Page 47 Believing Chapter 3— in Your Game

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Confidence, Not Arrogance Tiger Woods

Page 48 Confidence, Not Arrogance Tiger Woods tournaments Woods Not since never jack and missed Nicklaus

tournaments Woods Not since never jack and missed Nicklaus 20 majors a cut has and over there won the been six course someone tour of events, his with career. including the potential the Masters. to completely Nicklaus dominate has predicted the game that of if golf. woods In the stays first healthy 21 events and confident, of his professional he will win career, 100 Tiger breeds Like Jack success Nicklaus, when Tiger you have Woods the is game confident. to back He's it up. not After arrogant, the 1997 he's Western confident. Open, He's so when confident asked if that he it was frightens surprised some I think at other his the play players biggest and his who thing success know is to have that at such confidence the an mindset early age and himself expects the belief in it that to the happen, you same can breath and win guess as every Jack what? tournament. Nicklaus It's happening. and Nicklaus to himself had probably it. Every feeling time he'd like tee he it will up, be he better felt he than was Jack—the going to beat Michael everybody." Jordan Here of golf. is Tiger, Tiger wants at 21, mentioning it to happen, he

on the Tour, Tiger replied, ''I'm not surprised. If I play my normal game I should be able to win out here on


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Confidence Skills self­esteem While we all and experience attitude, crises is a nebulous in our lives, concept we don't that we often seldom think try about to define—we crises in confidence. just wish We we had may more not even of it. recognize We attribute that many we're going of our through poor performances one. Confidence, to a low like people level come of through forget confidence. is for that you We confidence, even might in times know too, of we is crisis. a have type the of skill strokes, that the can skills, be learned, the stamina, practiced, and strengthened, the heart, but and none applied. of these If matter you build much up when a strong confidence enough confidence is low. What base, many it will

KEY PRINCIPLE: SELF­CONFIDENCE Self­confidence that can be acquired is a set by of anyone, learned not thoughts, just a lucky feelings, few who and actions seem to always your a habit. swing, have and it. Confidence when it's practiced must be practiced, frequently, just confidence as you practice becomes

do People some who things are differently rarely confident than they (you do. know Psychologists who you are) have do studied have some the thoughts, different feelings, thoughts and and behaviors feelings from of the those confident who are and confident compared almost them all with the those time, of and the you less also thoughts confident. that The include differences "I can" are instead striking. of "I One can't of and the biggest "I will'' differences instead of "I is won't." in the type For the of thoughts confident, these the focus two kinds is on of succeeding people think. rather Confident than on failing. people think Their confident thoughts The smoothly involve confident expectations through golfer the might of ball success. and say, make "I Their will the make thoughts ball roll this concern smoothly putt," not potential with "I hope the gains, I right don't speed not miss losses, it." and Actually, directly and they on the regard my confident line the to pluses the smart hole," about golfer because the would issue the be or confident more task at likely hand smart to rather say, golfer "I'll than focuses make the minuses. my on stroke execution rather than on outcome.

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obstacles holes desire, Another or practiced shots general or enemies. as rule skills, opportunities is Challenges and that preparation. confident to learn excite people and you If you're grow, rather expect a as than confident chances success elicit to as fear, golfer, stretch opposed and because you your to move hoping skills you in expect and for the raise it. direction success, When your success game of you challenge. likely to occurs, a higher regard As they a level. difficult confident accept Finally, shots it golfer, as although the or holes you inevitable look confident as challenges forward outcome golfers to rather of the are their difficult than not effort,

real afraid opportunities of taking risks on and the golf may course. take a few They more are confident risks than there unconfident will be golfers, another confidence opportunity, is perhaps not about a better risk taking one than per what se, as they confident have at golfers the moment. are patient One and example wait for of that very attempting this is is likely when behind to force Chip hit by a the 20 Beck perfect points tie and "laid shot in a up" the playoff. under beginning at the less He 1993 than was of Masters. confident the perfect fourth conditions. On he quarter the could famous and play He concentrating was par one confident 5 hole at Augusta, at a on time he catching could Chip and birdie make knew up one up the he the basket would hole difference after at be a decreasing laying time. by doing up, and his so. chances then This birdie is of not catching the unlike remaining a Bernard basketball holes, Langer team and by The Masters Lay­Up Chip Beck My decision to "lay up" on the 15th at Augusta National on that Sunday in 1993 came after much consideration. First and foremost, I felt that I was playing really well. give I two knew holes, myself where even the the best if pins I were opportunity were on 17 to and make 18, a and birdie. I felt I needed that I could to take birdie the risk those out holes. of the Even hole 16 to was ensure a good that I pin could for make me. I felt birdie that and on give 15 the myself most a important chance to thing play was the last to

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two down with two to go. I felt if I could birdie the last two, I might be in position to win my first Masters in a playoff.

I might be in position to win my first Masters in a playoff. That was my

That was my plan. I wanted to be in position after that hole to play the tournament out. I was far enough down at that point (three strokes behind Bernard Langer) that

I needed a birdie to give myself a chance. As I approached the shot, I was about 10 yards farther back than I had practiced from with a new wood I was playing that

week. of lacking I had confidence. hit two shots I knew with there a similar was (though no question not quite I was as going strong) to hit wind a good as was shot. blowing It was on just Sunday. a matter I of had positioning hit it well, myself. but I couldn't Also, I clear would the have water. to put It wasn't the ball a matter up in

the air because I was in between two mounds of the fairway. I couldn't keep the ball low and out of the wind. It was a tough decision for me, but I knew that even if I hit a perfect golf shot, I could come up short in the water. That would be throwing away with one shot any

chance I had of winning the tournament. I felt that was not the strategy to take to win the golf tournament. I felt the better decision was to lay up to the left so that I had

play a good all shot the holes into the out. pin. I thought That was that my was strategy, the best and way that's I could what win I went the Masters. with. I was hitting on all cylinders, and it was just a matter of getting myself the best chance to


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There dismissing is always the others, something and tell positive themselves, in a round over of and golf over to feel again, good that about, that one even shot if it's is an only example one shot of out what of they the whole can and day. will Confident do on better golfers days. replay that one shot,

degree, and It is it true is as certainly that more some and a people characteristic more just of our seem basic that more can personality be confident enhanced traits than in are others, anyone. being and recognized But these it does people as take at seem practice. least to partly have genetic. been confident Still, confidence all their lives. is more Confidence a practiced probably skill than is an inherited inherited to trait, some

Practicing Confidence Confidence, of what thoughts just like we're your thinking. golf swing If your or thought your putting is I know stroke, I'm must a good be practiced. golfer, and We you don't have ordinarily this thought think frequently, of practicing you're our thoughts, much more and likely confidence to become is largely a good a golfer matter than if you think you're no good at the game. And through practice you can improve the thoughts you think about yourself. The important key element to repeat of this practice exact is statement the repetition perhaps of specific 50 times and a day clear if you steps want or thoughts. it to register. For instance, As any advertising in reference agent to the will statement tell you, I repetition know I am is the a good key to golfer, remembering. it would be

they confidence Low fail, self­confidence and in naturally golf, it's works important that is the the same information to regularly way. People think registered and with act in low their like self­confidence a mind. golfer Unfortunately, who has routinely more it self­confidence. is tell dangerously themselves easy how If you're to ineffective turn low "I have on and confidence, failed" useless into they this "I are. am means a They failure." practicing focus For on building confidence­ how often building putting. thoughts and confidence­building actions on a regular basis. You need to practice good confidence habits as frequently as you practice driving, chipping, and

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Positive Reinforcements HaleIrwin

Page 53 Positive Reinforcements HaleIrwin You and I was the might nearing efforts be 40, able

You and I was the might nearing efforts be 40, able that and had to set I been didn't up a going know business into how and playing much hire more golf people now of to this were do I a wanted split, lot of 50% it, to but do, to that traveling golf wouldn't and 50% and work playing. to this here. other It was I played venture. getting for Well, really four years 50% old, is so just not I set horribly enough up a golf and to play course ended successfully up design with company, little out to here. show later. for it. The years 1986 through 1989 were terrible years, and that was coming off a win here in 1985 (the Memorial), so it wasn't like it was three or four years

win. doingnow,andIrealizedthatIwasthinkingdifferently. At the I wrote end of down 1989, everything I sat down, I took could out remember. a legal pad, This and started wrote a down positive all reinforcement the tournaments process. I had won. It got I me wrote thinking down back my thoughts to what I and used remarks, to do, to going what back I was to and my wasn't first

This period in my life got me back on a game plan that had worked for me for a long, long time. I had gotten away from it, not so much

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because of my design work, but I had just let things drift away. So, my win at the Open in 1990 and the subsequent win at Westchester were not surprising to me, instinctive took though time, I think but for me, it to came the and golfing back to understand a world, little each it me was. week. again. But Gradually, That I knew took I could a I little played do while it. with I just to more filter had and to in, go but more back I could confidence, and feel find it the coming. and formula that After has again. continued four I years had to on away, go to back where it doesn't to we what sit come was today. back natural Confidence overnight. and is It a buildingprocess. Making Confidence a Habit It's develop important many to positive remember mental that habits when such practiced as the frequently mental steps enough, we go confidence through in becomes solving a a problem. habit, just Because like practice the habit builds of thinking other habits, from such A to B as to regular C and exercise. finally to We D has do been so practiced and "grooved in" we don't consciously have to think of that sequence when solving a problem in our schoolwork or in our business activities. We diagnosed thinking putting have the patterns many with worry negative obsessive/compulsive than out of positive your mental mind. ones, habits Many just disorder. such as people it as seems obsessing, The believe easier tendencies golf particularly to develop is to the obsess most bad on the difficult and habits negative, worry than sport, are good and mentally, very most ones. easy of Think because for us have most of how golfers at people. least often have some At you times so of worry much the it more seems about time minor between easier something characteristics to shots establish and to have worry negative of difficulty people and obsess over the negative. Benefits of Confidence There and excited are many you benefits can get about of confidence your play. that On directly days when apply your to golf. confidence First, confidence is higher, increases your energy level, so the more confident you are, the more enthusiastic

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low gains you'll energy. in have energy more When and energy you enthusiasm, lack on the confidence, course, for both walk your golf and faster, energy life. and level make is quickly quicker sapped. decisions, As your and your confidence decisions improves will likely through be more self­confidence effective. When exercises, you're you'll depressed, see indisputable you have

the happen your Confidence zone imaging to happen you. also abilities improves for you, and but your concentration. if you focus prepare will It likely brings to play improve; mental in all the your sharpness, ways chances we're mental of suggesting finding efficiency, that in "zone" this and book, an you improved you always will ability hear have about done to focus. but all that never As you you experience can work to on set will boosting the increase. circumstances your You confidence, can't for it make to


• Increasesmotivation,enthusiasm,andenergylevel

• Improves concentration and sharpens mental skills

• Makesexperiencingthe"zone"morelikely

• Decreases your fear of taking risks

• Shrinks the tendency to catastrophize

• Increases adherence to practice routines

• Improvesself­discipline and reduces procrastination

reduces • Produces tension a relaxed and focused state of mind and body and

• Reduces slumps and the tendency to choke

A high level of confidence increases your willingness to take reasonable risks when making shot selections and developing course strategy. The key words here are increase Confidence reasonable your risks, willingness as confidence to take doesn't a chance make when you you reckless have adequately or daring to prepared a fault; for big the egos, task. bad You'll judgment, be more and likely poor to impulse "go for control it" when do it's that. truly What a good confidence opportunity. does is

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also one event helps that shrink was your not tendency a success to in "catastrophize" your life. (i.e., to see a failure as a disaster or the beginning of your demise). Rather, you see a failure for what it is—simply

At the professional level, confidence allows tour players to play good golf because, without it, they would not survive the inevitable four or five bad shots they make work, be each a payoff round. particularly from And at practice hard all levels, work, that confidence suffers. keeps us You practicing increases may feel, and compliance what's performing the with point? the practice routines Confidence routines. frequently gives When enough you you the to lose faith ingrain your that confidence them your hard and make work and are them will discouraged, pay a part off, of and us. your it's the motivation sense that for there doing will

As you practice the confidence­building exercises and notice your confidence increasing, you'll see that you're more disciplined, that you behave more responsibly in dedicating their regard tasks to playing done ourselves quickly golf, to and positive and you'll early efforts, find, compared almost and doing to paradoxically, others. hard work. Most that of Finally, us you envy feel believe them good it because and or not, more most we free see humans about that they playing do seem not the like freed game. procrastinating. up Most and happy of us Each feel not to good of have us about knows the tasks positive people hanging routines, who get over all their heads. Confidence will help you manage your time better. You'll no longer put things off out of fear of failing or because they seem too much to take on.

we reduces Yet call another "tension." slumping benefit Because and of choking confidence increased (topics is that confidence we'll it produces discuss helps more a you relaxed in relax, chapter and it focused directly 6). Lack improves state of confidence of mind your and ability is body. often to execute Confidence to blame the for golf directly a slump swing combats getting and focus both started, on the execution. and mental it makes and Finally, physical it harder confidence anxiety to break out and of disruption a slump. occur Although less often choking in confident is usually players. caused by interruptions in concentration and execution routine, confidence also plays a role, as concentration contamination

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• Believe in your preparation

• Remember your successes

• Expect to succeed

Believing in Yourself

Believe.'' and It seems in yourself. nearly All slogans every If you help year don't, inspire some you baseball, may a team, as well but football, this store last your or one basketball clubs in particular now. team sums hits on up a our slogan first principle that it rides for to building success. confidence: "The Pack you is Back." gotta "Three­Peat believe in your Repeat." skills, in "You your Gotta game,

Throughout history it has been demonstrated that humans can do amazing things when they believe in a cause and have faith they can do it. But it's not as easy or as believed game. simple Before as they it sounds could you really to succeed believe have at in anything the yourself. professional to believe In fact, level. several in, your A lot players natural goes into on golf tour cultivating skills have must told a be belief me developed the in largest yourself. and hurdle your For one they game thing, had constructed. to you overcome need The a reason was skills to to that get believe to make the in point up your your that skills game they and develop truly your only words when in golf. you Unless have effectively you learn to practiced trust your and preparation, adequately you prepared can't have yourself confidence to play. and Thus, play you well. must learn to trust your preparation. Belief and trust are important

If most there gifted is any athletes such thing of their as an sport. "equalizer" Learning of to athletes, trust that it your is preparation. preparation Only can preparation give you an can edge give is critical athletes to with building less natural confidence talent and a chance taking to advantage truly compete of what with the confidence can do for you. Remember Your Successes Jack Nicklaus has won more than 70 professional tournaments, but he also has many other golf awards and achievements to draw on

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when he wants to take advantage of past successes (dubbed "Player of the Century" in 1988; PGA Player of the Year in 1967, '72, '73, '75, and '76; U.S. Amateur never champion won in a tournament. 1959 and 1961; We NCAA have to draw champion on significantly in 1961; 18 lesser international successes titles). in golf Most to build of us, our however, confidence. are less Fortunately, like Jack though, Nicklaus we and don't more have like to tour limit players ourselves who to have our your raising golf successes nervous your children, system in order doesn't you to contribute can discriminate re­live to these our between confidence success experiences a recent building. win and and If you let a win them have several had contribute success years to ago. in your your Either overall job, can in feeling physical help raise of activities self­worth confidence. or and sports self­confidence. other than golf, Also, or in remember your home that Expect Success Nothing builds the confidence to expect success as much as successful execution of what you are trying to accomplish. And as we've said already, it doesn't matter practice, too making much the and to shot your it's but one nervous increases that contributes system the chances whether to the that you actual the actually creation shot can execute of be the hit, the desired and action it also shot. or increases imagine Thus, rehearsing executing the confidence the it. To shot that rehearse you the want shot in to your will hit mind be in detailed hit the at least shot imagination on you occasion want to not hit in only the is a beginning contributes form of and to more are practicing, frequently and later many on. other Chip Beck times and during most the other day. tour golfers regularly imagine the shot that they want to hit. They do this during their pre­shot routine, when they

Staying Confident and Playing Loose Lee Janzen

a I think mechanical confidence flaw or is the something, most valuable and they skill anyone can have. Anyone who is extremely confident is going to be tough to beat. They may not even realize that they have

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Page 59 can try to still make win. an Certainly adjustment other in my things confidence

can try to still make win. an Certainly adjustment other in my things confidence are needed, level but right I try away. to recognize What helps if I'm me tentative is that I over try and a shot give or myself if there's a double a shot dose I don't of feel confidence. comfortable I get about. more aggressive When this with happens, my I swing. tentative then your if mind you I've I tend will can got to help to have be just your as that swing passionate sort body at of perform it confident, and with really this better, cocky, don't golf too. swing give passionate Before it as much. I I possibly play attitude It's every very can. before round hard I focus every to I go hit in through a shot, on good a spot then shot a little and you'll when really checklist get you're better zero of doing in pictures questions. on the that. shot. (images), You The I've have first noticed you'll to one go every focus out in the expecting day in past on is, a that "What's better to when do spot, well, great I get and and about today?" things about I want the to day. be excited Maybe about it's a challenge today, every ahead day. of It you, could or be you've raining got and to shoot windy, a just good the score ugliest to make day you've the cut every or to seen, get the but lead. you There's can always always find something a couple of to great be excited anything. you thoughtyounevercould should about. How always And many remind sometimes tournaments yourself when you've of I'm any not won, time playing you how thought well, many I years just your remind you've back was myself been against on of tour, my the accomplishments what wall and place you you're pulled up on through to the this career point, or when money and you you list, accomplished can how go many on and cuts something on. you've You can made. that list you And

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do. youcan—a You should lot more always than remind you probably yourself that do. there was a time when you weren't confident, and you still did it. You've really got to pat yourself on the back as often as


How to Build Confidence

talk to believe, Confidence discover and trust, imagery which is expect a learned drills exercises success, as skill well work that carry as desensitization must best out be for your practiced you, preparation but and be to dismissing become sure program to give habit. techniques, for each The successful of exercises them all of a shot which good in making, this honest have section been and try are benefit (over tried designed with several from great to past weeks) build success positive your before by confidence experiences. many giving golfers. up by on The improving You'll it. exercises need your to include experiment ability self­ to

Self­Talk Drills

Okay, feel talk results, to so boost it can the their self­talk feel confidence a little mantras silly and to become get repeat them statements like going. any other over routine and over in your to yourself, day. It also but might we're here help to to tell know you that that some the silliness of the most wears successful off pretty athletes quickly. in Once all sports you use start self­ to

saying repeated I know them. I over am I'm And a and good confident over at some golfer. on a point that regular I feel I'm they good basis, more will about become will prepared gradually my a part golf to play register of game. you golf and in My than your contribute game I've brain. gets ever They to better your will self­confidence. and become better part the of more I your trust I thinking. practice. my preparation, They These will phrases, my come talents, to and mind ones and without similar myself your to on them, the purposely golf if statements you course. don't In self­talk over and exercises over to yourself you want on to a regular decide basis. on one With or two regular statements repetition, to repeat rehearsal, for each and of practice the areas of such you statements, wish to focus you'll on. find Commit that you to a begin program to miss of repeating them when the

I trust my practice, effort, and dedication to pay off for me on the golf

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confidence do them, to and feel faith something's in yourself. not quite Trust right. us; it will When happen. this happens, you'll know that self­talk has become a successful routine for you, and that's it's working to build your Imagery Exercises You result use in improvement, imagery exercises, and seeing or mental that pictures, improvement to produce carried similar over onto results the to golf what course you will get from build self­talk your belief drills. in your Mentally skills, "seeing" your practice, yourself and practice, your game. seeing Just your as practice you should take time choosing and constructing your self­talk sentences and drills, take time to decide which images you like, feel good about, or even get excited about.

imagined going Imagery through and activities self­talk a powerful and techniques contribute and effective are to the probably shot building routine, the of most confidence. the effective execution methods of a perfect of practice set­up for and programming swing, and images in successful of a perfect shot follow­through making. Frequent and repetition result, will of "groove images of in" the Imagery is the key for building what we call your "positive experiences history" or your "database" of positive experiences. These are golf­ and nongolf­related imagery experience confidence routines that so bolstering help that increase you when can your replay using confidence. it your in your positive mind Make experiences in a pictures list of your as history vividly, successes or database. as three­dimensionally, and, for each one, write and down as virtually as much real detail as possible. as you As can with remember self­talk, about repetition the positive is the key to

Desensitization Techniques Desensitization, producing thoughts a technique or images developed with a well­developed by psychologists relaxation to reduce response, or eliminate so that fears the relaxation or phobias response in people interferes impaired with by these the negative problems, thoughts involves or images the pairing producing of anxiety­ anxiety and fear. For golfers who tense up at the mere thought or sight of water or an otherwise troublesome hole up ahead,

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desensitization can be used to remove, reduce, or eliminate the fear response that contributes to lower confidence and poor play.

course the List most on in paper anxiety­producing similar a series situations of anxiety­producing to event, the ones imagine you've each events repeated event that occurring, in could your happen mind, slowly your to you and nervous on in the detail, system golf as course. you will remain be Now, cued relaxed. beginning to kick If in you with a relaxation do the this least exercise mechanism, anxiety­producing regularly, and you'll then event when feel and anxiety you're ending on with the successfully draining away. remaining Regularly in imagining a state of relaxation, the troublesome gradually course reduces situation, the ability poor play, of these or other troublesome confidence­decreasing scenes, thoughts, problems or events that to can produce occur anxiety on the golf and erode course, confidence. while Dismissing Techniques Dismissing techniques involve using a repetitive gesture or image to, in effect, delete, throw away, or let go of a poor shot, bad decision, or bad hole. For instance, you symbolize and might never practice looking a rejection imagining back, of and or crumpling waving dismissal good­bye the of score a poor card to shot a bad of or a hole poor hole. and round seeing and tossing it disappear it into in the the trash distance. and walking Or you away. might Or practice you might a hand imagine gesture, turning such as your a flick back of on the a hole wrist, to These techniques for gaining control over your mental game combine to increase confidence, and increasing confidence improves performance. For the techniques to preparation time work, competing they must as your against be thoughtfully time those on the golfers practice constructed who tee do and and practice putting practiced these green. regularly routines. If confidence­building and Mental frequently. toughness Mental mental is a huge control practice part and of is confidence­building golf. not a large part of your techniques preparation are equally for play, important you'll have to a hard

To be effective, make your we use have of these included confidence­building techniques easier and more systematic, and to increase your likelihood of practicing them regularly enough for them to

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pre­play drills worksheets for increasing practice to help of you beliefs, past develop successes trust, your expectations, in practice golf and program. nongolf and for successful activities. The first worksheet The shot­making second includes worksheet mental instructions practice. is a multipurpose The for third developing worksheet one that your allows is positive designed you experiences to to construct assist you history either in setting imagery and how up a or to self­talk use it in desensitization dismissal practice. program It's designed for some to troublesome help you commit aspect to of using your dismissal game and techniques for its elimination frequently through and consistently regular desensitization enough to benefit practice. from Finally, them. the fourth worksheet is for

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Page 64 Playing with Figure Confidence 3.1 Worksheet

Playing with Figure Confidence 3.1 Worksheet

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Page 65 (continued) Figure 3.1

(continued) Figure 3.1

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Page 66 Playing with Figure Confidence 3.2 Worksheet

Playing with Figure Confidence 3.2 Worksheet

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Page 67 Playing with Figure Confidence 3.3 Worksheet

Playing with Figure Confidence 3.3 Worksheet

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Page 68 Playing with Figure Confidence 3.4 Worksheet

Playing with Figure Confidence 3.4 Worksheet

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Controlling Chapter 4— the Mental Game

Page 69 Controlling Chapter 4— the Mental Game

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The ''TPC Experience": An Emotional Boost Chip Beck

imagine tee, When I pulled I need that a I'm an four­iron emotional back at to the the boost TPC. left or of It's want the 1989, green. to motivate and It I was am myself tied a windy for to the day, push lead. I harder didn't On that get or endure day up and I was a down, difficult off to and a period, really it seemed poor I replay to start. go my downhill After TPC driving Experience from the there. ball in I onto my shot head. the 42 on fairway I close the front off my the side eyes first and and at happening the turn I on had the tears outside. in my At eyes. the turn, I felt I so realized down about that I was what far had out happened of it, yet and with how a good I had second just let nine things anything go. I was was playing possible. under duress at the time with a lot of things

At had that been point, wrong. I just As said I went to myself, to the 10th "Well, hole, I'm I going played to it pretend fairly well that to I just the had green, a great and front I had nine." about I a was 10­ going or 15­footer to try to downhill. change the At psychology that point, I of really it because didn't have everything any confidence like if I could that just I could see this make one the go putt, in, then so I it "pretended" was possible that that I just it could had happen. made one So, before I played and the thought, "made­up" "Oh, wow, good putt isn't in that my great?" head and I told then myself played it did this happen one going and in I as felt well. Sure enough, I made the putt—and it was a really key putt. I basically hole was for playing a thrown chance with the to Tom win. tournament Kite I made at the away an time, incredible on and the I front. putt don't from As think I played about he realized 25 the or last 30 that few feet I could holes, for birdie, be I would a threat and have Tom that never Kite he was felt dreamed going like I to was that have it going would to deal to come make with down it. on He the to then back sinking had nine, to a make after birdie I a on had good the last two­putt from the front of the green to win the tournament. He did, and it was a very good win for him. For phenomenal. me, I felt I as was if my proud run of at that the end moment to finish second was like a victory because of the disappointment I overcame to go from a 42 to a 32. I think that was really

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Page 71 you because can accomplish I was able to great change things. how Today I

you because can accomplish I was able to great change things. how Today I felt. I I still think replay that was this one experience of the things in my I head really to have help learned me stay in in the a competitive last five or frame six years—that of mind. if you can overcome disappointment, It's not very out of difficult it until when the end, you're even disappointed though it looks or emotionally as if you've blown down to the play tournament golf. I would with three say it's holes impossible. to go; if It's you a can stroke change of luck the if feeling it happens. and psychology If you can of realize it a little that bit you're rather win. than letting the discouragement and disappointment fill your mind and destroy your game, then you have a great opportunity to finish well and possibly even to

from. stronger. If you You love You have your may to work be not satisfied and always approach get that the you both result did the a you opportunities good want, job but and you'll and that the you be difficulties satisfied loved the that challenge of your you did day as your in you a loving best. went I along. think manner, that Aristotle the kind challenges of said satisfaction that that happiness you is what encounter is ultimate working will success for make it, and you comes I think that's true. The journey is the happy part.

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Mental Magic Unfortunately you can overcome in golf, a slump it's easy in the for making a player through to lose control using your mentally mental and powers. either But start sometimes, slumps or keep no matter them how going. hard In you some try cases, to concentrate, such as in Chip's you just experience can't seem at to the gain TPC, control anxietyandangerand(2)achievingoptimalarousal. of your game. When mental control collapses, players will find themselves having trouble with both the key principles we'll cover in this chapter: (1) controlling

KEY PRINCIPLE: CONTROLLING ANXIETY AND ANGER Successful negative responses golf depends that are on controlling a combination anxiety, of both anger, emotion and other and thought. strong

Although at first glance anger and anxiety seem very different, and most people can easily tell the difference between being anxious or being angry, our nervous can fardifferentbehavioraltendencies. systems seriously don't disrupt really make our golf that games. much of However, a distinction. the two Both are are significantly strong emotional different reactions, in that they both consist trigger of physiological distinct thoughts arousal playing and our in our "fight heads, or flight" and they response, produce and usually both

When anxious we may become quiet or start babbling incessantly or we may withdraw or run away. When anxiety is the most severe it can paralyze us and we're other things unable people and to do do respond anything. not discharge to Anger, anger their in on a anger the similar other somehow way hand, that often but they instead triggers do to hold anxiety; more it in proactive often they become get responses, negative quiet, emotions withdraw, both in our like and heads depression, hold and their in or our anger physical actions, inside. problems at Incidentally, least for such some as people psychosomatic people. who However, do these symptoms unresolved (e.g., or unprocessed headaches, anger other pain problems, digestive disorders, high blood pressure, skin problems). Somewhat surprisingly, research has demonstrated that

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and is probably anger. We'll even more discuss destructive these later. for us than high anxiety, and, despite their similar physical elements, somewhat different techniques are needed for controlling anxiety We have all seen examples of the negative consequences of losing control of our emotions on the golf course. Although several tour players are known to have hurt would yell disappointment their of potential have a cameraman, blamed and and their frustration him his careers if concentration he'd and because blown overcoming up broken of and poor cursed by it emotional with the the unfortunate grace cameraman. control, and dignity. disruption, there But have Remember he kept and also his his been Hubie missing cool, many and Green the shining I think putt standing and examples he won losing over many of a the four­foot tour tournament? admirers players putt that enduring to How day. win did Another the the he Masters, greatest react? example Probably disrupted kind of of a no player by one the as overcoming situation. Jeff was getting an event ready was to Jeff finish. Sluman, Disrupted about and to put shaken, away Jeff a TPC missed victory the putt when, and on eventually the 72nd lost hole, the a spectator tournament, screamed but he didn't and jumped lose his into head the as lake many next would to the have hole in just that

professionals them Here were to have two long and players champions and successful who had that a they careers right are. to on be Their the plenty PGA emotional upset tour. and control angry skills, about perhaps their misfortune, better than yet their they concentration dismissed it skills and went were on at with the time their of careers these incidents, like the true have helped

You Can't Be Perfect To play good golf, you need to control obsessiveness and perfectionism. Golfers, particularly those who take the game seriously, are very likely to take most of their successful other on the life negative activities people, side. and seriously Most affluence successful and in and fact success people may be often know somewhat go that hand­ they obsessive­compulsive in­ are hand obsessive with achievement at least or to perfectionistic. some orientation degree on Until and the often fairly positive perfectionistic. recently, side and golf obsessive­ was Some played see compulsiveness mostly these traits by well­off as and perfectionism and

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faults people to around be reduced them if are not troubled overcome, by the and person's others see obsessiveness no problem or with perfectionism, them whatsoever. and the The person latter has group been sometimes told to get end help up for seeing these clinical problems psychologists "or else." because the

A tour golfer has to expect four or five bad shots per round. Those of us who are not tour golfers or who are not scratch golfers have to expect more than that

number. But it's quite difficult for perfectionists to accept even one bad shot, let alone 10 or 12 or even 20. While the perfectionist struggles with the number of bad Also, shots, there the obsessive seem to be personality some people may who have play only golf one who bad shot are not and obsessive­compulsive be unable to put it out and of mind. perfectionistic When one in bad any other shot can't area be of their forgotten, lives except more bad their shots golf. usually We will result. talk reducing more about this golf's negative strangely quality compelling will help keep nature this in from a later happening chapter, but to you for and now keep it's enough it from to interfering say that golf with makes your ability some to people develop obsessive­compulsive. a better and more satisfying Our techniques golf game. for

Forget the Bad Rounds Mark Calcavecchia Sometimes bad shots on holes bring me down, sometimes I'm too hard on myself, and sometimes I can't forget about a bogey or double. Then I'll bogey the next hole,

and I'll get mad because I let that bother me, and then sometimes I'm just flat out miserable the whole day. I wish I was better at that, but I'm not. I'm getting better at

it, but sometimes I just have days where I really feel miserable the whole day, and I can't shake it. However, there's nobody that can forget a bad

where I really feel miserable the whole day, and I can't shake it. However, there's nobody

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round faster than me. It's really ironic that I can spend five hours out on the golf course feeling miserable, and then the second I'm in my car and leaving the parking lot, I'm feel with fine. better me on It's instantly. the done. course I can So, in sometimes forget certain it instances. and I wish say, "Man, I This could doesn't that use stunk. the always way What I happen am a when lousy to I day." me, leave obviously, I the hated golf it, course because but then while you as soon I'm can't still as be it's out a good done there, player with, that it's I if could you're like, bring "Thank out there that God, attitude messed it's over," a up little all and bit the more then time, I but I know I'm messed up some of the time.


Understand Attribution Attribution is a very important term in psychology, sport psychology, and athletics, as it relates to perceived cause and effect. When something occurs it's natural to "perceived want to understand cause and why effect," it occurred, because and often we're it doesn't most comfortable really matter when what we the can real look cause around of an and event identify is; if we the perceive cause of that the one event, thing good causes or bad. another, We use events the follow words that poor the are poor quite performance, play similar, is caused if and not identical, by if he the can't driver. to find what In a this driver would situation, that happen works poor if to the play improve perceived is likely his cause to game continue, was off the indeed at tee, least accurate. poor until play a perceived If is a likely player to better comes continue, driver to perceive at is least found. in that part his because driver is of a the primary perception cause of that

If you look back at the last sentence and say, "Wait a minute! If the poor play thought to be caused by the driver really had little to do with the driver, then why would

getting a better driver result in improved play?" You're right to question this. Changes in perceived causes of events do not result in changes in those events except for

a short period of time where something else psychologists call a "placebo effect" often takes place.

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A placebo effect is a situation in which something improves because we changed something that we believed would help the problem. Placebo effects are one of the

This reasons results people in their try making continuing all kinds to do of the changes thing that to solve they believe their problems. helped, even When long the after problem the placebo improves effect for has a short worn time, off people and the are problem reinforced has returned. for making the change. These Often these interesting behaviors circumstances can be seen are just what prior produce to shooting in many a free athletes throw, a collection coming up of to unusual, the plate sometimes in baseball, weird, or between behaviors innings that they in a repeatedly clubhouse. do (A in Chicago a ritualistic Cubs manner. pitcher

recently seen brushing his teeth between innings comes to mind.)

Chip crossed a bridge on the road to "recovery" from his current playing slump when he recognized that it was probably inaccurate to attribute driving problems solely

to the several drivers he had tried. This resulted in his seeking out another opinion as to possible cause, and as so often happens, someone else sees something that

surprisingly had gone unseen. Chip's experience with his driver, and another experience earlier in his career that involved vision problems, emphasizes the importance

of understanding attribution. In the sections to follow, we'll demonstrate that attribution issues can be understood and neutralized so that they do not work to your

disadvantage on the golf course. Finally, the golf in course—the the mental skill­building times when it's exercises easy for that you follow, to lose keep control in mind and have that it you're affect learning performance. these mental For instance, control you're techniques playing to help in match you during play against the most a person difficult who times really on

enjoys beating you, and you must admit that you really enjoy beating that player also. He or she is a very poor winner and has just coughed during your back making include stroke the another again. following double Other scenarios: situations bogey; you you where find find yourself controlling yourself hoping obsessing anxiety not and to over miss anger the the putt as putt well you as missed as you obsessiveness line instead it up; and, of and the finally, four perfectionism putts you you find made; and yourself understanding you attributing find yourself attribution your beating poor would play yourself to be the important up need after for newer and better clubs. All

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poor you of the should play. above The quickly negative prescriptions see thinking improvements that patterns, follow in and and your the the ability many exercises to others "stay designed in that the you game," to could build with the add improvements suggested if you pay skills attention in will your to make scoring your these thoughts as the and result. other during losses a poor of round mental of control golf, contribute less frequent, to that and


• Stop negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts

• Developimageryskills

• Understand self­hypnosis

to In be many able ways to control mental the control thoughts is the that most come paradoxical to our minds. of all As the most problems of us know, that we however, have as human it's extremely beings. difficult On one to hand, control it seems these as thoughts. if it should As be we the shall simplest discuss thing in this of all our subsequently chapter thoughts and the positive the next feelings chapter and avoid triggered on concentration, the or negative because emotional unless of the disruption we and control performance in thoughts, concentration consequences. performance (which seriously we'll get to suffers, next chapter). either because Now let's of the look production at the techniques of negative that thoughts help us keep and Stopping Negative Thoughts It's people important would to probably stop negative pause thoughts and ask you from what coming you into wanted. your Some mind. other If someone people else would is talking keep right to you, on and speaking, in the midst unless of you their repeated speaking, "stop" you or were said to it shout even more Stop!, most loudly. people will (Some stop people and you might would not have stop no accomplished matter what your you goal. did, but these are people that you probably don't want to play golf with anyway!) In most instances, though,

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speaker The person within who you speaks to at in least your pause. head, By your shouting consciousness, stop! or by is very letting similar an image to another of a stop person sign speaking or a red stoplight in that if you come interrupt into your loudly mind, enough, with practice you probably you can will break get up the the chain of words, thoughts, or pictures that have been playing in your mind. At involves more this correctly, moment, literally to while telling keep you them from have to going leave, temporarily back, envisioning it's broken important throwing the stream to have them of ready consciousness, away and into waiting the trash, you positive have or walking the thoughts opportunity away or from images to them dismiss to put without the into negative the looking "mouth" thoughts. back. of To the Dismissing keep speaker from inside looking thoughts your back, head, or or to put into your mind's eye for seeing. The positive goal self­statements, is to help turn around "playing" a mental positive control imagery problem in your after mind, it has and been reviewing identified. your However, positive play preventive on a regular medicine basis is will always reduce better, the need and the for the practice first three of repeating prescriptions. behavior, when Finally, executed remember regularly, to emphasize seem to occur your without routines, much including thinking, preround and everyone and pre­shot knows routines, that the because less thinking these that little takes "mini­programs" place during the of mental execution and of physical a golf shot, the better the performance. In the next section, we'll discuss ways to practice these mental control techniques to build maximum skill and obtain maximum benefit. Developing Imagery Skills

don't pictures, The kind think although of in practice pictures we you all did use that so as to often, develop children, and the imagery and first only type skills a few of is practice people somewhat regularly simply different involves use from imaging thinking that in required their in pictures professions in building more frequently—in (e.g., strong interior self­talk designers, this skills. case Most architects, on a of regular us aren't painters). basis. used We The to suggest thinking rest of that us in you begin with a minimum of three, although six would be better, at least five­minute practice sessions where you stop doing what you're doing, sit

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down, and try to visualize a scene, preferably a positive one. It's fairly easy to visualize negative scenes, and during our practice we have no desire to reinforce lifelike one negative imagery and scene detailed session making. imagery build In on the can another, beginning be, and and we choose increasing suggest only that the one with detail or two regular and scenes the practice "live" and practice qualities your own visualizing of mental the image. "virtual them Virtual regularly, reality" reality imagery emphasizing technology can be as has nearly much given as detail us vivid examples as and you compelling. can of what produce, really having Begin We have pretty included much imagery "following practice the script" scripts of (see your appendix, image, but page after 163) several that practice you can sessions, read and practice use, memorize adding new and use, parts or and record new and detail use to by the playing images the on a tape regular and basis. following the spoken description of the developing image.

ideal frequency Use this conditions type of the of "full­blown" full­blown such as eyes sessions imagery closed, can quiet, practice be and reduced session no distractions and in replaced the beginning to produce with shorter, at least vivid twice less and frequent compelling a day, starting mini­sessions images. with eyes and, closed with and regular under practice, optimal you'll conditions. find that Later you on, do the not need Self­Talk The that script key to builds developing control. strong, Similarly, controlled regular self­talk practice skills of self­talk involves dismissal rehearsal procedures of the self­talk ("I'm desired, not going much to think like about learning that"; the "I script am throwing for a part that in a thought play. Regular away with practice the of garbage") is beneficial, and by paying attention to it, you'll probably be surprised how many things happen during the day that deserve dismissing. Likewise, mind easily. you Such want thoughts to regularly can include practice positive positive statements thoughts that about you your have game decided on the on, golf possibly course, even about written yourself down, personally, and which about you good practice things regularly that have enough happened to come in to your life, and even about events in the lives of those you care about.

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hypnotizing there. The first They important you. simply Well­trained thing direct to and know lead practitioners about you, hypnosis and can sometimes instruct is that you'll all you hypnosis and, choose to some is to self­hypnosis. go degree, there, and lead There sometimes you to really enter you is a no hypnotic won't. such thing state, as but someone they don't else, actually a hypnotist put you or hypnotherapist, there or force you

The hypnotist or hypnotherapist cannot make you do anything that you don't want to do, or ordinarily wouldn't do, but can lead you to create for yourself a state of discussing of relaxation hypnosis, and in but this a state for chapter; our of purposes concentration it helps we the can skill and summarize of focus concentration which the can broad have and benefits many tremendous other by saying mental mental that and and self­hypnosis physical physical processes control skills potential. can or behaviors. help you This think Whole control better, books is in feel all have of better, the been areas behave written that more we've on the been subject appropriately, and perform better.

this and such To begin phase as as simple progressive self­hypnosis of preparation as, ''I muscle will you not for relaxation, must smoke self­hypnosis first or be drink," imagery­driven in is a suggestive to or lower they can your relaxation, or be receptive arousal as complicated autogenic level state and of phrase mind focus as a whole and your repetition, body. attention pre­shot This diaphragmatic (your routine. is best mind's accomplished Suggestions breathing, eye) on incoming can by biofeedback learning be in the suggestions. relaxation form techniques, of images Suggestions and or focus yoga. or pictures, techniques, The can be goal such verbal in as

visual replay of your shot, or your play of an entire hole. Suggestions can also be a combination of thoughts and images and include emotional or sensory activity as imagine well. discharging For that instance, it you're effectively, you playing might missing for imagine the a club shot while championship and recovering in the relaxed and without leading and focused losing with confi­ three state that holes you're to play. seeing In this the latter contour instance, of the suggestions green more might and more involve vividly feeling and the easily, pressure or you and might

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dence or control, or getting up and down easily from a very difficult position to win. As with all the other techniques we have been discussing, the real power of using self­hypnosis comes from practicing it. In the beginning, practice sessions should be skill After formal and significant and the organized. response. skill has They been need built to up, be long practice enough sessions to produce can be more the low informed arousal and and shorter, focused with state a and few allow of the for full several "booster" repetitions sessions of sprinkled the images in to or help verbal maintain suggestions. the Don't worry whether you're "under" or are actually "hypnotized." It really doesn't matter whether you achieve a trance­like state, as such a state is not necessary for observation­like observing skill building the and state experience for and the not improved participating generally performance fades in it—as away you if with you're hope repetition. almost to get from an observer your suggestions. of yourself, Second, watching don't to determine worry about how whether you're in doing the beginning with the self­hypnotic you seem like exercise. you're just This Also, don't worry that you could hypnotize yourself and be unable to end the state or get yourself out of it. It would be impossible for you to create such a state, as the usingself­hypnosis. a observing very efficient ego is and always effective It's nothing there method even to fear, if for only nor learning far should in the something. you background, look It at combines it as to a break magical self­help the cure­all state and of concentration, self­control for your health, techniques if your necessary. game, and Again, your capitalizes life, keep or on anything in what mind we there else. know Self­hypnosis is nothing about the magical nervous really about is just system and how it works and learns. You your have favorite been TV in show. a hypnotic When state you many become times thoroughly in your life engrossed without even in a book, knowing you it. could As a very child well you drop probably into a spent trance­like many hours state where in a trance­like your ability state to while learn, absorbed store, and in access to observers, information though is perhaps greater than a little normal. more peaceful You do not and have relaxed. to look like you're "spaced out" or "zonked out" to be in a trance state. You will look pretty much normal

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KEY PRINCIPLE: ACHIEVING OPTIMAL AROUSAL There for the is performance an optimal level of any of task, physical and tension this level or differs physiological for different arousal tasks, control improve different your at golf. physical people, tension and at and different psychological times. You arousal must learn if you to are to

or become tense, the For moderate issue many too paralyzed of anxious, years, tension, anxiety. one by and fear, of fear too the and and worried greatest anxiety tension, about debates and and performance their performance about effect performance on to performance. decline perform among would well. Was be athletes, There the tension expected was coaches, little or anxiety result. debate sport The good about psychologists question for the performance? highest got and tougher end other of Most the sport though tension everyone and when performance scale. agreed the issue Almost that was scientists a any player moderate player was could could tension about be too Fight or Flight Response Although tension and anxiety are often used interchangeably, we're going to make a distinction here for ease of explanation. We're going to use the word tension for this activity, pressure physical case, but rising, tension: there for is and now, a the general striate keep body's muscles in consensus mind physiological tightening—the that that we a will processes very be high talking familiar speeding physiological primarily "fight up or as about flight" arousal the nervous the response. state body's almost system physiological The always terms triggers fear decreases the arousal and release worry state—how performance. of usually adrenaline; physically refer here more we tense directly see or heart relaxed to mental rate the increasing, and body emotional is—and blood in Notice up to perform that in this well. last If asked sentence which we said athlete almost, is an obvious as it appears exception, that there many are people rare exceptions would answer to this Michael rule. Some Jordan. athletes Few do people not seem would to say get that too Jordan physiologically doesn't get charged

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better very comfortable when the situation taking a gets game more into difficult, his own when hands. the In pressure many cases is greater, he has and succeeded, when the sometimes game is on in the dramatic line. It's and clear memorable both from fashion. his statements and his actions that he is

Michael Before we Jordan go on doesn't to the more experience "normal" the kind situation of tensing where up high and tension "choking" levels that do affects affect performance—let's everyone else. Behavioral just spend scientists a moment know asking that high ourselves levels why of tension someone decrease like performance, performance more and oftentimes when the tasks will actually that one increase is trying it. to Michael carry out Jordan are difficult. is probably When an the exception tasks are to easier the general or very rule easy, because, high levels for him, of playing physical basketball tension do well— not decrease very has well—is put into easy. the It's game. easy Finally, because basketball of his tremendous is easy for natural Michael talent. because It's also he is easy such for an him avid now proponent because of of all the three many of years the parts of incredibly of preparation dedicated we're practice discussing and in effort this book: he It's these being true elements in that great with physical of hard their work game shape and could to play effort actually the at game, developing improve practicing while this triad and the player preparing of preparation, was the experiencing physical almost skills any high athlete or levels mechanics can of tension. make necessary at least to some play parts well, of and any developing sport "easy" a tough for them, mental and game. at least

goal physiological Now of back any to athlete the arousal—and rest aspiring of us. to then Behavioral perform use this his and energy, or sport her best because scientists is not it to have is energy, try demonstrated to develop to their skills advantage beyond to eliminate any in their doubt all performance. physician that some tension physical We all from have tension play, experienced is but necessary to feel days some for when good tension—some we performance. have felt The

sluggish, played schedule, feeling slow, particularly like hardly this, those awake, performance on and bad clearly teams probably that not focused are wasn't going anything or nowhere. energized to "write to study, home to about." play our Professional sport, or even baseball to get players out of bed. don't When get up we for have every actually game in gone a 162­game ahead and

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only Professional between golfers 50 and also 75 percent recognize of the that tour they events probably they are are not eligible going for. to be Many able players to get up try for to all secure tournaments, their spot and in the that top is one 125 of on the the reasons money most list to players keep their on the playing tour play oneself, beginning card for both the to next wear in terms season down of as an from early individual the in pace the race, year and as the as well they pressure. as can, in terms so Other that of they endurance the can running pass sports season. up more like marathon tournaments running later are in the ones year that in clearly the heat demonstrate of the summer the need and when for one they're to pace Thus, for most of us, it's safe to say that we don't want to get too high to perform nor too low to perform and that a physical tension or physiological arousal level and somewhere finding your in between optimal is level best for of physical most of tension us. Now or we're arousal not is saying one of that the everyone most important is the same goals in for this the regard, aspiring as athlete, there is whether a wide range your sport of arousal is golf, levels tennis, in this or basketball. mid­range

there's best Just as for probably important playing defense a as different finding in basketball level your of level physical compared of optimal tension to arousal the or level arousal for that play that is is best is the best for realization to shooting perform that free different different throws. activities sports Likewise, probably in the in game. golf, require we It's know different likely that that levels, the a different short and game, that level within particularly of physical a given putting, tension sport is is greatly putting. affected by high physical tension states, and that getting as completely relaxed as possible is probably not quite as necessary driving the ball as it is when

There's an optimal level of physical tension or physiological arousal for the performance of any task, and that level differs for different tasks, for different people, and at tension different golfer, you state, times. must and Some learn finally of how your to to learn control biggest to alter your goals it toward physical as a golfer the tension, optimal trying your to for get physiological the better particular should arousal task be to or learn activity level, what if in you the optimal are sport to improve arousal you're attempting is at for golf. you, Just then to as play. important to learn As an to athlete, to identify and your particularly arousal or as a

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remember are times when is that a somewhat control is the higher ability level to both is better raise and the others physical when tension a somewhat level when lower necessary level of physical or desired, tension and to or lower arousal the is level better when for performance. desired because, as we said, there

Why is this the case? The answer has to do with how the body works regarding arousal levels. Part of what happens in the "fight or flight" response is that the body the what changes body, putters in somewhat ways call that "feel" shortchanging allow has to a person do with the to the small, run increased faster, more lift delicate kinesthetic more, or muscles punch feedback that harder. are that critical Part a person of for how gets execution the from body an of does organ more this delicate that is by receives "rerouting" activities increased like blood playing blood flow flow the into piano through the big or thick putting. vasodilatation muscles Part of of and and both loosen relaxed to avoid up muscles. injury muscles. and This Thus, for is increasing part even of though the your reason warming "feel." why it's up important enough before for athletes golf might to be not properly seem as warmed critical as up it prior might to for performing a runner because or basketball to warm player, up it's means just to as vasodilate important,

would after particularly Finally, your need we lead could important, to monitor has give been many but and cut a possibly to few examples one should stroke lower where suffice with the we tension three as feel you holes that could level being to if undoubtedly play. you aware found In this of yourself your instance, add many optimal in the yourself. a position goal arousal would It level where would be and to you be having keep very needed the important the tension an ability up and to level to have down control from control to the getting win physical of or your too to make high. physical tension the Likewise, level cut. tension would you level be However, on the other end of the spectrum, if you find yourself playing in a tournament that you really didn't care much about, or playing out a round when you're later. already These Finally, conditions out of control the take competition of so arousal much either out level of to would a win player or also to that be make control particularly the of cut, arousal you important might level when find is not yourself you're much playing different needing under to "pump difficult yourself physical up" conditions to perform such at a level as in that cold you and felt windy good weather. about

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must a than potential the pace "pacing" yourself nightmare. that both a In marathon physically the next section runner and mentally we must will do if list to you're complete our prescriptions not to a 26+ become mile for exhausted, race. staying Controlling in control burn out, arousal physically and lose level and control is a the form exercises of yourself of pacing that on oneself build the front the and skills nine, in a to leaving 4+ do hour so. the round back of nine golf, to you be


• Learn body­state awareness

• Lowermuscletension

• Raise arousal to optimal levels

work mean Physical if that they tension it's are easy practiced and to arousal do. Gaining frequently control control is enough. conceptually over our physiological one of the simplest activity things and arousal that we level can can do to take improve many our weeks golf of performance. serious practice However, of the techniques conceptually that simple we know doesn't over Behavioral and regulating scientists almost have demonstrated every body system, through at the least use to of some biofeedback degree. People training with and high other blood self­regulation pressure have techniques learned that to lower humans their are pressure quite capable without of gaining medication control to techniques. safe levels. Persons And persons with muscle with ulcers, tension colitis, headaches or irritable and bowel other pain syndrome problems have have greatly greatly reduced reduced gastrointestinal muscle spasms symptoms and pain through symptoms the use through of self­regulation muscle relaxation techniques. Compared and, more important, to these uses practiced of self­control frequently techniques, enough for raising them or to lowering take hold your and tension have benefit. or arousal We've level included is a simple a worksheet business, at as the long end as of the the control chapter techniques for you to are record learned your progress in using these techniques.

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Body­State Awareness where gaining However, you control before are or over we where your can you produce body's started arousal these from. beneficial level, One you of the physical need principal to changes, learn benefits what we we of must call the learn body­state development to do something awareness. of biofeedback else It's first difficult techniques that also to change takes was their practice something use and as an if discipline. you assessment don't To happen tool be effective to to help know in you meditation people finished become techniques, in your aware change of which what process. became physiological easier because state their of bodies having happened a tool that to allowed be in at for any accurate given moment. measurement What of biofeedback where you techniques started, the did progress was sharpen you made, basic and where Turning Adversity into Advantage BillGlasson and else I've had on. breaks Many four down. knee of my operations, Despite injuries it all, develop four I've sinus done from surgeries, pretty compensating well multiple and for had injections previous my share in injuries. of my success back, Others periformus on are the just tour. problems, plain bad luck. left elbow It seems problems, it's always right just elbow a matter problems, of time before the list something goes on

One of my most recent injuries (detached right forearm muscle) was the toughest one for me mentally. With the other injuries I pretty much knew what my limitations expectations) were. one I just When didn't I and had know was knee what still problems, able would to hang I happen changed in there. after my the But swing surgery. this and detached swung You know, forearm most I with really thing my thought was upper career body. about threatening. When what else I had I I would had my back always do, ailments, what worked my I options around adjusted the were my other swing problems, (and my but with this

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outside of playing golf. I had a bad feeling about the whole thing.

of playing golf. I had a bad feeling about the whole thing. stick jump Despite it

stick jump Despite it right out my on into worries, the almost tour things is anything. hard worked enough Nowadays out in itself; in time, I ask to as stick myself they it out always if I'm with really seem all the ready. to injuries do for I take me. I've my It's had time true just and that makes ease I've it become into all the things, more smarter which satisfying. now I guess than is when just part I was of younger. being older Back and then wiser. I'd To just doing and I now grin bad look and at at all." bear coming it. I back like having from injuries the chance as just to show one more people challenge I can overcome to overcome any on obstacle. the tour. I like Sure, to sometimes hear people I say, say, "Bill's "Why me?" playing But hurt most again of the time I just wait it out them" things Over the mentality, you years, can do. my I'm You performance a lot can harder feel sorry to has beat. been for yourself, up and down. or you During use the the bad bad times times, as an when incentive you're to on show a losing them streak all what and you your can sponsors do. I tell are you, jumping when I ship, get in well, my there "I'll show are two The tournament main thing at a is time, not and getting I'm down doing on all yourself, right, just not waiting cursing for your that bad next luck obstacle and despising to overcome. others for all the good fortune and injury­free seasons they enjoy. I take it one

and hey, he's not


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You to help need your to control learn to program accurately proceed access more what efficiently is your physiological and effectively. arousal First, or set tension up for level yourself and there several are ways several to ways experience you can a more do this relaxed without state biofeedback than what you're equipment likely

to be used to on a normal day­to­day basis. One example would be to spend 20 minutes several times in a hot tub or whirlpool and to pay attention both to how your

body warmer that you're feels than while trying usual. in to the Feelings produce tub and of when how heaviness, you're it feels trying limpness, directly to relax after and your you warmth get body out. are and frequently What lower you're your associated likely overall to physical with notice a more is tension. that relaxed your body body feels state, both and heavy these and typically limp, and are feelings it's also likely or sensations to feel

Another spasms, and way help to experience your body what lower relaxation your overall feels physiological like is to get a arousal professional level. While massage. enjoying These the skilled massage, therapists pay particular will successfully attention reduce to the muscle sensations tension, your reduce body produces localized

as it relaxes.

A third way to lower tension is to wear more clothes than you normally wear and allow the increased heat retention to dilate blood vessels and produce a lower

arousal you should state. note Again, that you're by doing using so you these actually techniques help primarily train your to body get acquainted to be able to with enter how these your states body more feels easily when and it's more quickly. relaxed Thus, and these in a exercises lower tension help state, you to although develop

solid frequently physical and control more easily, skills both "paving by helping the way" you so become to speak more for a aware good response of the state to you're your practice trying to exercises. produce, A and worksheet by actually at the helping end of your the body chapter enter will these help states you record more your progress as you practice the exercises. Lowering Muscle Tension To produce the actual physical changes, some systems seem to be easier to change than others. It's important to learn to produce

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level lowered while muscle it fatigues, tension, paying one of attention the easier to how systems it feels to train at that with level practice. of activity, Progressive and then muscle releasing relaxation the muscle exercises tension involve all at once, tensing allowing up a muscle it to drop group, down holding below its its tension releasing, gradually muscle starting tension point becomes and and observing states, for lower a and few exercise and with moments lower. frequent with The become enough repetition exercise more repetitions is the relaxed a simple muscle to than produce one gradually it of had going the been becomes lower through prior tension­level trained to the the body procedure. to release one effect. muscle muscle This group exercise tension at a gives better. time, you carrying Over the time opportunity out the this resting flexing, to experience level holding, of muscle observing, the different tension using by Another voice the physical coaches abdominal tension­lowering because muscles of the to extend varied technique the benefits abdomen is the that use the upon of breathing a inhalation breathing technique allowing technique produces oxygen often for to taught passively those in using Lamaze enter it. the The classes, lungs. technique to The athletes breathing is called by coaches diaphragmatic cycle is or completed other breathing instructors, by contracting and or it to involves singers the mechanisms abdominal muscles in the body upon which exhalation, combine thus to more lower actively overall pushing physiological the deoxygenated arousal, in contrast air out of with the chest lungs. or This backward respiratory breathing pattern where is one one which inhales is hooked by expanding up to the the chest But diaphragmatic which for contributes our purposes, breathing to a learning physiological besides to being be an tensing one effective of of the the diaphragmatic most body, effective the pumping breather techniques of is adrenaline, one for lowering of the and most tension activation beneficial levels, of techniques our including fight or if improved flight you're response. trying digestion to There improve and are autoimmune your numerous golf performance. system other benefits function. With of to regular thatoptimumpointfor the golfer practice, on the this golf technique course to becomes help lower a useful physical one tension to do because levels quickly it requires and no easily, tools, thus no equipment, allowing the and golfer no special to regulate locations his or to her carry physiological out, and it's arousal always level available closer to

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performance. As you have seen, deep diaphragmatic breaths play a significant role in our pre­shot routine. Raising Arousal to Optimal Levels

desiring You We have would a now burst want talked of to energy raise about arousal to two get simple that level extra when methods 10 you yards for notice out lowering of that your you're arousal tee feeling ball. levels. It is and probably As playing we stated in ''flat," football previously, when where you it's notice you also see that important the you most seem to obvious be distracted able evidence to raise and "not arousal of physical with level it," activity or when when desired. that you're is "pumping slapping designed each to up" "pump other, in this up" or manner. even the athlete butting Remember for their performance. heads. above, As where a Before golfer, we games, talked you probably about and sometimes the are opposite not going on of the diaphragmatic to sidelines engage during in this breathing, Neanderthal­looking games, we we called often see it chest players behavior, or backward chest­bumping nor do breathing. you need each to This other, produce "pump in" run, up" as breathing fight, in the or military "grip pattern it and or involves at rip the it." beach). expanding This your breathing chest when pattern you triggers inhale automatic as you would activity, necessarily and will do raise if you heart were rate holding and blood your pressure, stomach tense in (remember muscles, "chest and prepare out, stomach you to

When you have practiced these two different breathing patterns with two different effects on your body's arousal level, you have with you a simple tool to raise or level deepdiaphragmaticbreathswillmostlikelyhelpchipping,wedgeplay,andputting. lower for your driving body is tension fairly high. and arousal However, level whether on command. your optimal We suggest level is that on the you higher try some end chest/pump or the lower up end breathing of the range on the for tee optimal if you performance, have found that it's your likely optimal that good, arousal

Finally, advantage. whichever In the next of the section, tension­level we'll get regulation more specific techniques about you setting settle up on, exercises be sure to to develop include these them very in both important your pre­round body­control and pre­shot skills. routines to use them to your

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Controlling Your Tension and Relaxation States The exercises involved in physical tension control can be done with or without tools to assist the process. First, diaphragmatic breathing should be practiced many normal times a day, or natural, with a and few the five­to breathing ten­minute pattern practice becomes sessions the primary and numerous one used. one­ A simple to two­minute technique ones that until can be the used in­and­out to make movement the learning of the of diaphragmatic abdominal muscles breathing feels easier without against is to lie the down any lower movement or sit hand down and by and the push place chest it out one or as by hand well, the upper on without your hand. stomach moving the and chest the other or the on upper your hand. chest. Exhalation Next, try to should inhale involve by pushing the stomach your abdomen and the out, lower which hand should moving push in, again the Sometimes way infants the diaphragmatic and small children breathing breathe pattern (unlike feels many awkward adults to who people suck when in their first stomachs practicing to appear it. Though slimmer). it may When feel awkward, the stomach it's by is held no means in, your unnatural. breathing It has is in to fact go otherwise somewhere thrusting and the your movement chest out goes to up look into more the chest muscular, and becomes bustier, and/or the chest thinner, or backward contributes breathing to chest discussed or backward earlier. breathing The "chest being out, the stomach most common in" of the pattern military, for most and downside nor American is it as of adults. healthy this pattern Unfortunately as the is lower that it arousal this keeps breathing state people of pattern more diaphragmatic physiologically that is designed breathing. tense for fight than or they flight need purposes to be, and becomes the resulting the most elevated common tension and "natural level neither pattern" feels for particularly adults. The good

If automatic, you you should practice you be able this might simple to actually achieve diaphragmatic what have to is almost consciously breathing the reverse and exercise purposefully of the frequently activate it will chest begin or to backward feel like your breathing normal when way you to breathe. want a At higher the point arousal where state. it Thus, begins with to feel practice,

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breathing situation in unconsciously, which most people and with start the diaphragmatic practice of the breathing diaphragmatic practice, breathing that is, consciously bringing about and the purposefully reverse. having to work at diaphragmatic breathing while chest Again what you killing do for two diaphragmatic birds with one breathing. stone, your You exercise can again for increasing place one physical hand on tension your chest or physiological and one on your arousal, stomach your "pump­up" and this time breathing expand the exercise chest, is force in fact the the upper reverse hand of out might that when you even do you feel this, inhale somewhat however.) without dizzy moving from your it. If stomach, you were and to do retract it rapidly the chest for a and few upper moments, hand you upon would exhalation. get a little If you taste do of that how several it feels times to hyperventilate. rapidly you will (We notice don't that suggest you

exercise Remember than that with because the backward you're probably breathing using one chest to effectively or backward equip breathing yourself with most both of the techniques time now, for you're tension likely control. to need Once much you more have practice both breathing with the patterns diaphragmatic down pat and or the can other do either seems when to help you your wish shot upon making. command, Most try likely, using you them will purposefully find that the before chest or different backward shots breathing out on the pattern golf is course more and helpful see if when you you're find that trying one to of drive the patterns the ball

whether off the tee or from the fairway, and the diaphragmatic pattern more helpful for your short game.

A progressive muscle­relaxation exercise involves flexing one muscle group at a time, paying attention to the feelings that it produces, holding that tension for a six to

eight time, count, such as and bending then releasing your wrist the down, muscle keeping to allow your it to fist unwind clenched, so that and you feeling can the feel tension. the difference. You could In the begin beginning with one it's wrist best and to do fist this or exercise both, whichever one muscle is your group at a

preference, your arms to and include then after your a shoulders while expand and neck the area muscles. that you're You could working then on—for focus specifically instance wrists, on stomach fists, and muscles forearms. or low At back this point you could gradually work your way up

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muscles a full progressive and again, muscle­relaxation flex, hold, study script the tension, for you release, to use and to practice study the this sensations exercise. that releasing tension brings. For your convenience we have included in the appendix

notice Note that that the some more muscles you practice relax with the more fewer you repetitions notice that of tensing you can and not releasing only better than discriminate others and when that some muscles will be are more tense resistant and when than they others have to relaxed, this relaxation but you process. will also resistant Because for you you, have thus a script tailoring to follow, your exercise keep in mind to help that you you get can beyond adapt troublesome that script by muscle going groups. over and Finally, repeating because some you of the have muscle a script groups that has that been seem written to be the word­by­ most that word, you it is also one could that you make can several make tapes, an audio altering tape recording the exercise of, to and skip once some made, muscle you groups, can sit back and/or and increase practice repetitions it by following of others the for instructions greater practice on the tape. effects. Keep in mind Last, we want to say just a few words about other low arousal­producing techniques such as yoga, meditation, and biofeedback. All these techniques are beneficial scientist beneficial and whether who for you specializes you. take However, the in time the if to instruction you learn practice them of the either these diaphragmatic activities, by taking any a course, and of muscle them by can purchasing relaxation produce an exercises for instructional you an we increased suggest book, in ability audio, this book, to or create video you a series, probably lower or physical by won't seeking tension need out to state go a behavioral out that and would buy be instructions for these other more complicated procedures. As included audiotaping in previous a progressive it and chapters, following muscle we have along relaxation included as you exercise play a worksheet the that tape you back to help can in use practice. you by practice reading these it and physical referring tension­control to it when you exercises. practice, by In memorizing addition, as mentioned it and practicing earlier, it we verbatim, have or by

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Page 95 Staying in Control Figure (Physically) 4.1 Worksheet

Staying in Control Figure (Physically) 4.1 Worksheet

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Page 96 Staying in Control (Mentally Figure and 4.2 Emotionally) Worksheet

Staying in Control (Mentally Figure and 4.2 Emotionally) Worksheet

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Fine­Tuning Chapter 5— Your Focus

Page 97 Fine­Tuning Chapter 5— Your Focus

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The Snakes and the Shakes MikeSmall

Page 98 The Snakes and the Shakes MikeSmall Mike Small, a promising young player on the

Mike Small, a promising young player on the PGA tour, was playing in a tournament on the Asian tour several years ago. At a tournament in Thailand, Mike was had difficulties, faced done with well many language at blocking of the and difficulties other them cultural out, that keeping plague problems, his American focus and and difficult or concentration. European weather golfers conditions. He in was playing in Mike competition events had prepared in the in the Far tournament. for East: these time­change expected While adversities studying and jet­lag a difficult and difficulties, for the putt first significant on a several green dietary rounds on the slowly back snake nine, was turned an removed. unfamiliar to see a Unfortunately, large noise king broke cobra Mike into (not Mike's couldn't the driver!) concentration get the directly close and within call disrupted out striking of his his mind. distance. pre­shot He Mike missed routine slowly that for putt his got putt. and himself several Feeling out putts of the the presence afterward, snake's of range, something and he and was play behind soon resumed out him, of after Mike the contention a better reason in the for tournament. That was Mike's last tournament in Asia and he has vowed not to return there to play. After hearing of this incident, we couldn't think of

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working on your concentration and mental skills to stay on the PGA tour and avoid ever having to play in front of that kind of gallery.


Concentration Control is reading, Perceptual called the the psychologists book "figure," and and its information talk everything about an else is important the is figure described concept and everything as being called in "figure­ground" else the background, around you that is or the ''ground." relates ground. to attention As you read and this concentration. book, if you're Whatever focused we're on and attending taking in to what or focused you're on

If figure with you little and find of not the the have book reading your interesting, or attention information and drift if you're elsewhere—the learned in or a quiet retained. place book If and with you're the few reading information other distractions, this book drifting in a it out place should of your where be awareness relatively there's a easy into television the for you "ground" on to with keep and, loud the as volume book often and happens and its where information in this you instance, can as see the the background reading picture at times out (especially of with the corner more if it's distractions of one your of your eye, than it favorite would other television be times, much and more shows!). noticing difficult You the difference to could keep demonstrate the in book how and easy these the the information principles reading is by and in continuing the how figure much your and is retained. keep reading the under television different program conditions, in the


focus to To a succeed point on the where in important golf, distractions you aspects need to do of keep not events, disrupt your and attention it. intensify on your the task concentration at hand,

For round several that it reasons, would be concentration almost principles may play a more important role in golf than in any other sport. First, there's so much time between golf shots during a

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play—that impossible is, to swinging keep concentrating the club—with on golf the for remainder every second of the of time a four­hour spent walking round. from Second, one spot during on that the four­hour course to another, round, there waiting are really for others only to a play. few minutes Compare of this actual to the kicked, basketball, most or active, thrown a game as at opposed that them. ordinarily In to other reactive, takes sports, about sport, like two in wrestling, that hours in almost to much complete, all of other the in action sports, which is starters except in response perhaps on the to team a bowling, physical are actively golfers action involved or initiate reaction the for action by 30 an to opponent. without 40 minutes having Not of that so to in react time. golf. to Third, In a many ball golf hit, is ways, prepared this for difference the execution makes of golf your less skills like as a typical possible, sport and and then more demonstrate like taking what an exam you know before and which execute you study, what you prepare, can do. get yourself as physically and mentally

the experiences Coming Masters, up with a a dozen high examples school instances or of college the during role player of each attention, round at a conference of concentration, golf where tournament, good and focus concentration or a during club player golf helps was at us a one club and of poor championship the control easiest tasks of may our in attention very writing well this and play book. our in focus front Each of hurts of a us sizable us. probably A professional gallery. It is at doubly in well a position recognized difficult to win, if that the you galleries gallery will is likely make both have noise, large a and and greater noisy, that chance noise and can you're of success be in distracting contention if you enough can to focus win to (galleries on ruin the your shot tend concentration at to hand, get larger keep when your and noisier you're mind on attempting around your pre­shot players to perform. in routine, contention). The and situation block Thus, out is if you're the gallery. Fighting the Past It's type fromyourpreviousexperience.Thesecontaminatingthoughtsalsocarrywiththemangerandfrustrationfrom extremely of situation, difficult your memories to concentrate work on against the shot you. at hand Thoughts when of you're the past shooting creep into over the water present on a and hole contaminate where you put your two concentration in the water with the last anxiety time and you disappointment played! In this

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player the past, participating and the triggering in the Tournament of these strong Players emotions Championship while you're at Sawgrass attempting in to Florida concentrate when and he walks execute from a shot the is 16th further green complicating. to the 17th tee, Imagine the infamous the feelings hole of where the tour you thoughts of hit these completely memories, of previous over the water balls chances to hit the long of island their or short green. repeating or left During or are right greatly that into short increased. the walk water that (their must own seem shots like or miles, those the hit player by other must players) concentrate out of on his executing thoughts. the If he shot can't at clear hand his and thoughts keep

Fighting the Future Similar to thinking about past problems on the golf course is thinking ahead to future potential problems. For instance, fear of the water on 17 at the TPC often begins troublesome long before you holes approach for him that at the feared Coal tee Valley box. Country Even before Club the in the tournament Quad Cities begins, Tournament Chip has in commented Moline, Illinois. on his Chip difficulty has had in not particular thinking difficulty about two with particularly these two holes, problems. produce and he has a mental It's had interesting to block work hard and that make at the strengthening two it very holes difficult at Coal his concentration to Valley concentrate are not prior on two execution. to of this the tournament toughest holes because on the of course, the tendency but for for a given these player, two holes personal to break difficulties into his with focus a and hole create can


instance, An elite college it wasn't golfer a case recently of negative mentioned thoughts a form breaking of concentration into his consciousness loss not caused and disrupting by a noisy focus, gallery, but memories a situation of in poor which outings, his mind or worry went blank, about and what's he ahead. simply In lost his anything, touch more mistakes with that what she's in he club just was staring concentrating at the lecturer on and without attempting absorbing to carry anything out. It's that like has being been a student said. The in class college who player suddenly said that notices when that he she's "blanked not reading out" he or invariably thinking made about

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selection actually competing and in identifying in the tournament. the important Sometimes, factors on he the said, course, this mental such as blankness changing wind becomes conditions. even more He pronounced would misread and greens is like and a condition feel overall that as psychologists if he were no call longer "dissociation," where his thoughts and feelings make him feel as if he is not actually participating in the event but rather watching it from the outside.

It's golf, get safe concentration since to say this that skill to the is work so ability highly to your to correlated keep advantage your with mind in successful practice on what and you shot competition. want making. it to be In the on, next and off section everything we'll discuss else for how an extended to gain mastery period over of time, your is attention a skill particularly and focus important and how to in

Practicing Mind Control Before and let yourself you control become your aware attention, of, and concentration, then try to and describe focus, to you yourself, need to what understand you're thinking what you're about. attempting to control. Try this: stop reading at the end of this sentence

How long were you gone? Can you describe what you were thinking during that time? If you're like most people, you may have found that what's typically on your activity information, mind is of a loosely your or commentary, conscious organized, mind, often usually often fragmented about called what your stream you're "stream of seeing words, of consciousness." or accompanied doing or are It otherwise by is images. usually involved only What roughly you in. were a stream; focusing more on, often the figure it's made we described up of little earlier, fragments was of the ideas, ongoing

When one point we're to very another. engrossed When in this something, data stream the is information coherent, linear, or "data" and stream directed, in our it is consciousness often much more is much productive less fragmented; for us. Interspersed it is much in more this like verbal a stream data stream traveling are from occasional dimensional pictures instead of words, and when we purposefully decide to think in pictures, or imagine, we can be very good at producing vivid and complex three­

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like images three­dimensional of objects or events. movies Actually, in which the we new are virtual participating. reality technology gives us an even better way to describe this imaging capability, as the pictures are much more mental This stream­of­consciousness activity gives us tremendous verbal potential and imagined to play mental golf and activity do most is both other one things of our well; biggest on the assets other and hand, biggest a lack liabilities of control as human of the stream, beings. when Control it fragments, of the stream makes of it difficult its stimuli contamination such to focus as noise, long by thoughts crowds, enough or of on illness. negative the activity past to events do it well. or future We discussed potential ones, earlier or some simply of the the consequences intrusion and breakup of loss of of control the consciousness over the stream stream of consciousness by unwanted competing including

learning, to On anticipate the positive effective future side, information events control and of their storage the data outcomes. and stream retrieval, In of a consciousness sense rapid you and can effective is experience what use we of call the important concentration, future in higher the present mental and good and processes change control such your of it as results reactions analysis in several to and future decision benefits, events making, because including and of the rapid your ability ability reaching prescription only for to improving implications rehearse for fine­tuning responses your for golf your your to game ability them. focus, but to This also self­regulate keep last for in ability—to helping mind your that you conscious thoughts, imagine perform events self­control feelings, well in and many and experience of actions other attention, areas. and them concentration, to as reduce if they deficits were focus, really and and improve happening—has this stream performance. of consciousness tremendously Thus, as we has important talk potential about and not the far­


• Stay in the present

• Rehearse routines to eliminate distractions

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Stay in the Present the The next shot shot that deserves you have your at hand focus. is the Only only the shot present that can shot affect needs your your score, focus. your From round, when or you how first you approach finish in your a tournament. ball until Neither the swing the has shot been you completed, have just completed the ball has nor could landed call and this stopped period rolling, from approach and you through have reviewed review the "on" shot time (and (as either opposed stored to "off" it because time, which you liked is the it rest or dismissed of your time it because on the course, you didn't), including you are walking in the between present. shots). We or "on" thoughts When shot time you're mechanics. or of images the ''on," current you that want are shot, positive, to all be thoughts focusing or even other on nongolf­related the than current those shot involving issues and or no the activities, other. shot During are particularly in a off sense time negative ones between that thoughts, conserve shots it's because fine your to energy focus they break and on a help previous in and keep disrupt shot you upbeat. that your you pre­shot But hit well, during routine other your Again, it's essential to stay in the present only during your "on" time versus your "off" time, when you may wish to let down your focus in order to conserve energy. But disease of once focus. you of begin indecision, your approach, the contamination you're "on" of negative again, and or from worrisome this point thoughts, you focus the cold only chill on the of shot anticipatory at hand. anxiety Practicing for this potential kind of trouble concentration ahead, and will the protect huge cost you of from a loss the

Rehearse Routines to Eliminate Distractions The much key easier to eliminating to control thoughts distractions when is to you're make thinking sure that a well­rehearsed you have regularly and constructed rehearsed and set practiced of sequential to the thoughts point of and automatic images. preshot Think about mental it. and We physical all know routines. how difficult It's it song is to out attempt of your to head. break up a string of thoughts in our stream of consciousness. One example is when you hear a song on the radio and then have difficulty getting the

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discussion mental Many people and of physical the are steps bothered preparation of your by repetitive, pre­shot for the shot routine—you obsessive and to make thoughts. saw it that difficult A one goal for step of that a builds solid mental pre­shot on the activity next routine "stream" as you is to progress to keep be disrupted your in your mind by preparation moving distracting forward to thoughts make in a the straight and desired feelings. line shot. through Recall your our Rehearsing your routine also involves on­the­course distraction elimination and dealing with instances where your pre­shot routine has failed and there has been an includes that intrusion they positive can of negative come statements to or mind disruptive when about you thoughts your need talents, them. into abilities, the Keeping data stream and in desire, reserve of your as these well consciousness. mental as images "emergency" of When your this past measures occurs successes you will (golf need give and a you prepared nongolf) the advantage mental that have emergency of being been able regularly "videotape" to counteract practiced that the so negative intrusions and get your mind and focus back on track before much damage is done. The Intangibles Fred Funk

before much damage is done. The Intangibles Fred Funk When with your you're body not and

When with your you're body not and playing all your well, movements, your "lens" and becomes you're not wider letting and it you flow. see I a think lot more what stuff they than call the you "zone" want to. is just You're anxiety­free more conscious golf. of what you're doing with yourself,

Unfortunately, you can't make flow happen. After it's gone, you wonder how you

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got there it again?" and what But you if you did to try lose to regain it. You the say, flow, "Wow, you lose I just focus had this and great start to stretch—what screw everything happened? up. What was I doing right? Why was I playing so well? How do I get

always I think the an injury toughest or a thing bad year out here, away. though, If you is don't not have wondering any exemptions whether you're running going with to you, make there $800,000 just isn't or any $1 million job security but whether out here. you're That's going something to keep that's that always card. You're in the say, card intestinal back "What's and of my other fortitude—that's mind. that guys guy I've that have? got scrap what to How stay all I've over come that gotta much the he's do place, doing a sharper lot they of all times. than this never 80% and There's really the of other the always hit guys a solid guy that out isn't?" shot, intangible. here but But so they that you You I have can't can see measure great beat guys 'em. games, that what's Sometimes hit win the inside majors, ball I unbelievably a can't person. and beat they And 'em are well that's on constant talent, and the they biggest but winners never I can thing make out beat out here. them their You on wondering in here—what's Houston and came inside then out and when of nowhere. your you belief win I the missed in yourself. first a time, bunch Do you you of ask cuts believe yourself, in a that row, "Well, when and I you're was pulled that playing out luck?" of Greensboro well I think that the you're second the good week one enough before is harder Houston. to win than out the I here? was first getting I one. think It resumes until was for you me. ready, win The you're job first one applications, come from?" thinking And all of about a sudden, going I'm back saying, into coaching. "Hmmm, I I was guess telling I'm good myself enough I wasn't now!" ready for the tour. And then the next week, I won. It was like, "Where did that


Controlling Your Concentration As activities we said that earlier, strengthen concentration and sharpen is a cognitive specific mental or mental skills. skill We somewhat can best think similar of to improving memory. and Like memory, concentration can be improved by practicing mental

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strengthening concentration by thinking of the data stream of consciousness that we talked about earlier as a path in our minds where we try to take our thinking from one more goal point is it to gets practice straight "grooved" desired to another into thinking the without ground, regularly wavering. and the under more If we various likely think conditions about that most this until people desired the will path desired walk in our thoughts the minds path come to as get similar to from mind to the a easily path first that point and people can to the be walk completed second. on, To the without improve more the the concentration, path stream is taken, of your the consciousness leaving the grooved path and losing direction (or being contaminated by other thought patterns, as we discussed earlier). Concentration Drills We've the to contaminate. goal developed without A disruption, several television exercises contamination, and videotape that help or recorder "groove" diversion are your into useful, thoughts an unwanted but you so that can thought do you the can pattern. exercise begin The the without first goal­directed exercise them. involves thought sharpening pattern and your follow attention through and with making it all the it less way easy to

and First, a watch pencil, and and record write down on videotape as much several as you minutes can remember of commercials. about what After you you heard have and watched saw in the them most once minute and recorded detail that them, you can. turn (See the TV Figure and 5.1.) VCR After off, find this, a rewind paper many commitment. the tape correct and replay details Very quickly, the and commercials how you many should incorrect to see notice how ones that accurate your you recalled. attention you were Do to the detail this first short improves, time. exercise Compare and with your what other number you taped thought of commercials visual you and saw auditory at and least heard "mistakes" twice to a what day, decreases. a really thirty did minute occur. total Note time how

yourself To do the two exercise minutes without to concentrate a TV and on VCR, everything try this: that wherever is in front you of may you happen at this moment. to be reading After this two book, minutes, put turn it down and for face a the moment. other direction, Find paper and and write a pencil, down and all that give

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many you remember times in many seeing. different After you settings, have and written you'll down soon everything notice improvements you can remember, in your attention turn back to around detail. to check for completeness and accuracy. Perform this exercise After several consecutive days of this exercise, you'll begin to get sharper in noticing details and staying focused on what you desire to pay attention to. After a few become. also exercise weeks ask of someone a practice, distraction to try talk such making to as you a the radio while task playing you more try difficult while to focus you're by on introducing trying the TV. to The focus distractions more on the obstacles television into your to your commercial. practice focus session. that To you make One can way the ignore, exercise of doing the stronger even this is more to and add difficult, sharper to the television blast your the mental radio and skills VCR and Course Observation Drills Once holes, you've play only done the the odd­numbered previous exercise holes. several On the times, even­numbered you can try holes, taking rather your practice than playing to the the course. hole, During simply a observe round of the recreational course, the golf conditions, with friends, the way for your the first partner nine plays hole. (See the hole, Figure and 5.2.) other You details may that notice you that happen you have to notice. become After more completing "in touch" the with nine the holes, even­numbered take 10 minutes holes and that write you down didn't play as much than as the you odd­numbered can remember holes about that each you that you did play. were On more the focused back nine, and play paid the more even­numbered attention on the holes holes and that observe you played the odd, on and the back follow nine the than nine you with did the on same the front written nine. review exercise. You'll probably notice

A distracting related exercise for you, that possibly is easy even to do ones is to that ask upset your you playing or evoke partner other to purposefully emotional responses. attempt to This distract will get you you during some your practice round. both Have in blocking him or her out bring conversation up topics and that are dealingwithyourdisruptiveemotions.

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much and You since might pressure this also was or introduce as purposeful disrupting friendly practice, as they wagers would the to pressure disrupt be otherwise. that your we concentration. This would is feel because, would Because as be human you're moderate beings, doing and this we recognized have purposefully the ability as positive to to work mediate because on concentration, our we're emotional wanting the response wagers it to be to will there some not to be degree, work as

on. Still, this is a good exercise for overcoming distraction, and it helps somewhat in desensitizing you to pressure. Focus on the Positive Lee Janzen

you to pressure. Focus on the Positive Lee Janzen We're always concentrating on something. It's just

We're always concentrating on something. It's just whether or not it's the right thing. Everything I do, I do continuously. I do the same things over and over again—it's just want the current that to do much with shot easier as this it shot. is. to It's be What right the only in is the that shot best routine. you're shot? going So And when to then play I get that's that out the moment, on shot the course, I try and to it's I hit. know the You've only each shot got shot you to is forget just can as do about important anything the bad about. as shots, another. forget All I'm about trying all past to do shots, is think and of go what with I

I talking used to about get all one wrapped bad break, up when suddenly I'd miss shots or when I'd get a bad break here and there. It just doesn't do you any good. I've also found that once you start

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you're as good thinking a shot as backward I possibly the can. whole It doesn't time, and matter all you're where thinking the ball ends is, "Man, up. I I can can't only get do a break the best today." I can. So Whatever now I focus you on focus the shot on becomes ahead of real. me and So if how you I'm think going about to hit being ownluck. unlucky, you're going to be unlucky. If you think about being lucky, you're also going to be unlucky. But if you think about the shot at hand, you'll make your


Focusing Drills

on/whatever opposed Another exercise to what's is in to front in improve the of ground you. concentration Pick (using a spot, the terms involves such as of a perceptual narrowing point on a psychology and picture, widening and introduced focus your your focus, earlier). gaze making and Put your more this attention book specific down or very broader right specifically where what's you're on in the that sitting figure point. and of Now your focus widen concentration your what mind's you're eye as pictures your focused focus on on to to the be include wall, on the allow the whole whole your wall focus picture but to not minus be on on the the all pictures. of frame. the pictures, Next, In this widen instance, but not your on you focus the will space to see include between that your the them. whole mind Next, picture can screen let with your out the focus the frame. pictures widen Now, to from include if there the wall the happen whole and to allow wall. be several the Next, wall allow to be the figure and the pictures the ground. Now and you not are go exercising the in the pictures reverse your themselves. direction, brain's ability Next, narrowing to shrink change your the focus, focus focus narrowing down back to to the one and outer picture widening border and it then of at the your the pictures. single command. spot, Then and reverse then the widen focus the to focus include again only in the the same space manner. between In the doing pictures this,

You the first can cut also or do rough, this exercise or the whole at the panorama golf course. out You in front can of narrow you. You your can focus also down narrow to the down landing to just area the for fairway your drive, minus your the sand target traps line, or the the borders water. of If the you fairway can do minus this, then

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you are using your mind to block out these hazards and play the hole as if these obstacles were not there.

these your Remember concentration exercises that will your and pay mind shot off, can with routine. do interest. these rather It's only sophisticated the lack of tasks practice only of with this practice. kind of activity Don't expect that makes them it to difficult work for for you you perfectly to screen the out first hazards time. to If you avoid stick disruption with them, of

Imagery Techniques

exercise, of Finally, the whole another you round—and can useful expand concentration the the technique more detail technique to of playing play is that replaying an you entire can a round hole imagine, in mentally. your the mind, more With in your this images nervous type or of pictures, concentration system that will you accept practice, have the played imagined you'll often. soon play see With as that real practice you play. can of In remember this this imagining way, imagined more detail playdoesnotdiffersignificantlyfromactualplay.

rounds Once you've that have reached not actually a level of occurred. mental practice With this where skill, you you can can play imagine a whole rounds round played in imagery exactly in as your you mind, would you wish now them have to be, the even opportunity if you may to play have imaginary never played rounds— a your system, round nervous so something effectively. system very This comes possible practice to believe and allows do­able, that you the to and round work in actually some on your sense happened. game the even system At when this reacts point you're as the if not this positive actually positive play playing play is no has and longer already to rehearse outside occurred. of imagined possibility, Once positive you it achieve is in play the this in "eye" such level of a the way of control nervous that and can carry out this practice, you're preparing much more like the pros do, and you have a much greater chance of playing like they do on the golf course.

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Page 112 Fine­Tuning Your Focus: Figure Sample 5.1 Worksheet #1

Fine­Tuning Your Focus: Figure Sample 5.1 Worksheet #1

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Page 113 Fine­Tuning Your Focus: Figure Sample 5.2 Worksheet #2

Fine­Tuning Your Focus: Figure Sample 5.2 Worksheet #2

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Page 114 Fine­Tuning Your Figure Focus 5.3 Worksheet

Fine­Tuning Your Figure Focus 5.3 Worksheet

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Performing Chapter 6— Under Pressure

Page 115 Performing Chapter 6— Under Pressure

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Shooting 59

Chip Beck

Page 116 Shooting 59 Chip Beck has I shot shot a 59 a 59 in the

has I shot shot a 59 a 59 in the in a fourth PGA Tour round tournament. of the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational. I don't want to brag (well, maybe a little), but as of this writing in the summer of 1998, no one since

talking The night about before, the prize my caddie for a 59. and ''You I went watch," out to one the golf of them course said. and "Somebody saw a few might players shoot around 59 the this putting week. This green. course They is were not as putting tough and as some. chipping, You and get two a lot of of them birdies, were

and you can get to the par fives in two." Earlier that week, my caddie had walked the course. When he came back, he said that the course could give us a good score.

I don't think he had ever been quite so prophetic.

day, We went the 59 home put me that in night a position and didn't to win think the much tournament. of it other In than the end just I participating, got third, but having the 59 made a good it round, a good and week getting for me. back into the tournament. As it turned out the next After making sinking the turn my to putt the on back the nine, 15th one green, of the I was marshals sitting at 50 even. I knew I had to birdie the next three holes to shoot 59. I was feeling the pressure. Earlier, when I was

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routine from pressure said, "Gosh, the and on edge was you. that of able I was the started green to the sink best out about that birdying score putt. 10 on feet That a this few past side was holes the by a hole, good on about the and par. two back I But had strokes, side. after a very The that and difficult only I you've still time had putt got I to was coming the birdie really easier back the in side last trouble to coming." few make holes was it. I when "Oh, knew to shoot man, I I got had a that's a 59. to little make great," nervous it. Fortunately, I said. on a But par it three. I puts stuck I a hit little to a my chip drove As it came it very down nicely; to the my last routine hole, really I really carried tried me. to shoot Then, it. on It was the next nerve­wracking shot, I knew just the greens trying to were get bumpy the ball and onto there the fairway. was no guarantee I was nervous, I could really make nervous. a putt of Luckily, any length, I probably there, so I decided but have because to a try better the the shot green chance from was stopping the a little fairway. it bit near elevated, The the shot hole I was couldn't with in an between tell eight for iron. sure. clubs. It When came I thought out I got very my up ball there, well. would It I just looked come said, to up "Oh, me a that little wow!" the high ball From over had the the hit way bunker, right people next so to I had figured the been hole that clapping and I'd just sat and carrying marks in on the around way. It the was green, going I had to be thought a tough the putt putt to would make. be a "tap in," but in fact I had a pretty tough downhill left­to­right putt with what looked like some feet

your Recognizing way." The the amateurs moment, picked the amateurs up, and I was I went playing to the with side were of the scurrying green and around gathered and myself. saying, I "What decided do that you I want would us just to do? give We it the just best want chance to get I out could. of here I would and out settle of had farther myself curved right, enough right but to I and just hit fallen it give well it in enough a on chance. the that right That it side had was a of chance all the I hole. could to stay It do. was in I hit a the very the hole. putt good very putt, well. I felt, It could because have it could gone have either done way, anything but it caught at that the point. edge It of could the hole have and bumped went in. a little It

Everybody around the green knew what was happening. ESPN had come out and caught the last few holes. They caught the 17th

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to hole, green, footer bank which for and the birdie bounced ball was off when really the up you an near edge amazing really the of the hole. have green birdie Still, to and make because I had bounce it, a it tough the feels it wind into curving almost was the green coming like right­to­left a to miracle. right give putt myself to left, to make. the even pin a When was decent on that putt the putt right to try. fell, side The it was of shot the just green, came amazing–whenever off and just it was right, in bounced between you make off clubs the a 10­ again. side or of I 15­ had the

When things happen. I look back Of course on it, I you realize still that have on to every make hole the I shots. just gave This myself time I had a good made chance, them and all, and things it felt fell great. for me. That was the thing–just giving myself the chance to make


Keeping Cool Coming up to the tee box on 18 with a chance to make birdie and shoot a 59 is perhaps more pressure than most golfers encounter in their careers. But because of Part for the golfers nature of the of difference to the "choke" game, is under every genetic pressure. serious makeup—some golfer In this has chapter probably people we'll seem played discuss to have under key ice principles pressure water in at that their some can veins, point. help and even Some clutch the golfers shakiest situations thrive golfers bring on pressure, deal out their with and best. pressure. some It's also have quite a hard common, time with though, it.


coping These Playing coping skills golf in that skills highly are help helpful pressurized prevent for choking handling situations and other requires slumping kinds the of and pressures. same can help you in breaking out of a slump.

Whether you're performing in a boardroom, on the final exam, or out of the bunker, the skills that psychologists and other scientists

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have developed to help people handle stress and cope with adversity greatly help a golfer handle the many difficulties that occur, and the mounting pressure of playing stress about a round or to in do. pressurized competition. These skills situation. Earlier are even Also, we more discussed we important have learning talked when about good playing the relaxation tremendous to win and the mood­management value tournament that it is or for under golfers skills, other to and high­pressure learn these strong skills imagery circumstances. are even skills more and important Regarding practice when visualizing performance you're what in under a high­ they are pressure, pressure situations. it's important to realize that the skills you've been learning to use for playing golf generally are even more important to have available for use under high­

recently skills There that are come can also be more character learned into focus traits or enhanced. that and greatly have Once fallen help learned, loosely a person they under manage greatly the label stress help of you and "emotional avoid handle adversity, pressure, intelligence." cope and these These with it are traits, when a subset which it does of we occur, the will cluster take discuss of things attributes in some in stride, detail and put skills shortly, things that are behind have in fact you, tend and to fall move apart on and to continue see a chance pursuit to win of golf or make improvement the cut disappear or other goals. as their Without game high vanishes emotional under intelligence, the pressure. players become lost when the pressure mounts. They

out peaks Choking of and the and slump valleys slumping when in one's it are occasionally game key problems are going happens. in to golf. occur It's There important no matter are specific who for all you techniques players are or to at realize to what help level that a player going you play. avoid into Whereas a choking slump is and development unavoidable slumping, of at and significant some skills time that "antichoking" in assist their a careers, player skills in and breaking have that the potential and in and duration, day to out. eliminate Developing chokes the completely, patience and it emotional doesn't work strength quite to that ride way out with your slumps. slumps Slumps will take will you happen, a long and way the toward best elevating you can do your is reduce game and their make frequency, it consistent, depth, day

In the next section, we'll suggest prescriptions to help handle elevated pressure on the course and the rising pressures between

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rounds of a tournament. Then we'll suggest ways to help avoid chokes and slumps, and to reduce the latter when they occur. Pressure on the Ryder Cup Mark Calcavecchia

they occur. Pressure on the Ryder Cup Mark Calcavecchia The team. Ryder Unfortunately, Cup is unlike

The team. Ryder Unfortunately, Cup is unlike the any year other we tied, thing they you'll won play the in year the before, field of so golf. we Yes, didn't it's get intense. the Cup I've back, been so on it a was losing just team, as bad I've as been a loss. on But a tied I've team, been and on I've both been ends on of a the winning scale, do, too, the and up I and think down everyone end, and feels it's it. hard, I guess to say that's the what least. makes It's just that a different competition kind so of interesting–that pressure. Maybe you're I put playing too much for pressure your country, on myself, and there's but I just think ultimate the other pressure. guys Not anymore. only are It's you like playing one great for big your group, country, with but maybe you've 30 got or 40 a lot people of other involved, teammates and you and don't their want families to let to them think all about, down. too. You It's don't not just want about anything your money to be your and fault, your so pride the pressure understand is really why some on. And, guys you can't know, stand the fact that you're playing for your country

well, it's gotten to be such a big deal that it's pretty intense out there. I can really

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the pressure and decline their chance to play on the Ryder. But that's a real shame because there's nothing else quite like it.


• Dismiss bad breaks

• Practice desensitization

• Understand choking to overcome slumps

• Focus on the positive


that"show­off"thatwe'replayingagainst. great because Pressure drive we builds off feel the on that tee a player we lands have in in many hit a middle numerous different of a fairway—but good ways. putts Sometimes yet in they a deep it keep builds divot. "rimming because Or pressure out" we find and builds that because we because are of it playing our of the scores poorly "rub don't of without the reflect green" any our explanation or play. because Pressure we for so it. can badly At build other want because times to beat it is a Dismiss Bad Breaks Any comes of from the above getting situations angry about and hundreds the unfair more things that that you happen could to describe you, you happen must learn to each to dismiss of us who bad play breaks. golf Several virtually times every a round. round you If you're will get not a to bad let pressure break of some build that sort, late ones break Thursday/early and is your one most concentration of the players elements Friday deep and sequence, of down interfere a negative feel or that with the mindset they your early/late get ability and more low sequence to than self­confidence. play their the in the remainder share. first Some You two of rounds need the tour hole to players of practice or the round. feel tournament. techniques that Dismissing they A almost that tendency bad allow always breaks—to you to notice get to dismiss the be the bad able bad bad weather, to breaks breaks let them more whether without go than and they letting the move play good them the

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on—is critical to performing under pressure, because failing to do so adds to whatever pressure is already present, making it even more difficult to perform. Along negatives with that bad happen breaks, is you critical also to want playing to dismiss under pressure. your mistakes and other distractions over which you have no control. Thus, building the skill of dismissing the

Practice Desensitization

A somewhat more sophisticated concept is the use of desensitization for bad breaks and mistakes and other adversities. Although somewhat more complicated to

has learn to what followed and occurs carry the on out, stimuli and desensitization off with the golf a positive course. has even reaction, Desensitization greater such potential as a involves relaxation for helping the response. neutralizing us keep If, pressure for of stimuli example, from that missing building produce an because negative easy putt it reactions eliminates to go one in our down us by negative in replacing your reactions match the negative previously and overreactions reaction produced that

an anger response as well as a fear of losing the match, following the missed putt with a successful relaxation response can very likely eliminate the anger and fear of

useful losing.Desensitizationreinforcesskillsthatyouhavebeenbuildingthroughoutthisbook—imagery, desensitization skill­learning technique in the next section. energy management, and relaxation responses. We'll lay out a Understand Choking Choking greatly fear can and be which understood, all too recognized often begins for performance what it is, and on virtually a steady eliminated downward through decline. the use of techniques that help us avoid the critical choke that many players so

good working definition of choke is a dramatic decline or disruption of performance, often at the critical moment where success or failure is decided. Choking within our capacity and repertoire; intrusion of

results from any one or several of the following: a rapid anxiety increase or other mood change (e.g., anger) that interferes with automatic execution of actions that are


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"right­brain" tense" with drifts negative into images the past (e.g., with seeing negative oneself experiences, missing into the putt) the future and/or with "left­brain" worries about negative upcoming, self­talk more (e.g., difficult I'm going events, to miss and/or the putt); worries failure if performance to remain in can the be "present maintained; and from self­blame from failure to accept performance interference when extraordinary external conditions or events occur.

In and of itself, choking can ruin a hole or a round, but making the situation worse is that we come to fear a "choke" that might come in the future, and this type of

anticipatory the likelihood fear of choking makes the and future having choke it disrupt more your likely whole to happen. round, To your fight whole this problem, week, or we even will your outline whole several summer. choke prevention maneuvers that you can learn to reduce

A slump can be defined as a sudden fall in activity or performance below one's capacity and practiced skill level. Some slumps are short­lived and others can last

many weeks or even months. There are two primary causes for slumps. The first involves problems with mechanics, health, practice routines, mental routines, or the overall variance only preparation kind shifts that back requires for toward play, no the and intervention. middle the second of your You involves performance need the only natural the range patience ebb where and to flow it do remains nothing of performance the different majority through and of to the trust an time. athlete's your experience normal performance and routines. range. After This a while, last the type performance of slump is

Focus on the Positive

Both negative and positive events are going to happen during a round and over a career, so you'll be doing yourself (and your spouse and family!) a favor if you learn

to focus on the positive events and skip the negative ones. But similar to the way some people will dwell on the B on a report card rather than on the four As that

accompany it, some golfers just can't get past the negative—even when there's much to be positive about. Chip find something is known on positive the PGA in his tour dog as dying." one of Well, the players Chip might best able dispute to focus that, on but the it remains positive. true One that television he's announcer said of Chip during a tournament in 1997, "He could

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trained criticalforreducingpressureandperformingwellunderstressfulcircumstances. himself to get past the negative for a better, closer look at the positives, both in his golf career and his life. While a positive attitude won't fix everything, it is

In the same way that you might prepare for difficult times by practicing desensitizing and dismissing, you should also prepare for the good times, the peak moments similarly. this tournament where point something Ken However, in was September, so surprising he positive holed 1996, himself happens out in a wedge St. by that Lucie, leading for it disrupts Florida. an the eagle tournament. you Up on and until 4, hit causes that a 33­footer point pressure. in the for For year birdie, example, he birdied had been Ken number having Doherty, 9, an and average a PGA played member, year the back playing was nine and playing similarly scoring, in a for and 36­hole a 68 his on first one­day the round first 18. began At

seven game That Ken back" under, wasn't (i.e., and comfortable he come and back his playing down leading to partners the earth tournament and were play in shock at was his clear expected and laughing in that level). as about he Ken began how began to well prepare the he second was for scoring. the 18 second as he "Everything had 18, the he knew first, I touched pulling that at turned some birdies point to out gold," of he the was he air. recalls. "going Soon to Ken get was his After knocking in a 15­footer on 5, Ken was at eight under, and his mind began to jump ahead. "I started thinking about the newspaper the next day, the money I was stated enough, going to that two make, he three­putts didn't and feel so on." that led Ken to he two was was double "that starting good." bogies to feel He and uncomfortable then a final began 36­hole expecting because score that of he he around had would never par. start been (Ken bogeying eight did hold under, and on double he to was finish bogeying out a respectable of his at "comfort any fifth time zone," in and the "level tournament.) and when out his asked play." he Sure

pressure The such unexpected occasions to "keep should lucky it going." be bounce built It's that upon important turns to continue what to practice would good anticipating have play, been but it a takes such difficult good a golfer up fortune and with down strong so that for mental on par those into skills a rare birdie to occasions accomplish can be disruptive when this. it does and occur, can produce it is not a disruptive. "high" that Ideally, becomes

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Keep It Fun

competition Golf should be because fun. If "it it's just not wasn't fun, you'll fun anymore"? have a much Often harder the time problem reaching is burnout, your performance but sometimes goals. (including How many some times cases have attributed you heard to burnout) an athlete it explain comes down quitting to neglect. incredible remember Athletes neglect pressure how enjoyable to appreciate to perform the sport the well, reasons was and back this they pressure when got into it was sucks the just sport the a enjoyment game. in the first That's out place. the of way their After to sport weeks play or golf—as of activity. intense if To competition, it's have a game. fun again, When or after they it becomes a prolonged have to a get chore, slump, back every to they their bad feel roots shot an and is magnified the bad ones. and It's every not hard good to shot figure overlooked. out which On attitude the other yields hand, the when better you're golf game. enjoying the game, you marvel at the beauty of your good shots and shrug at and forget

Taking the Pressure Off

Practice breaks, As we already mistakes, in each stated, of or these collapses pressure­relieving techniques in your can mental make techniques game for a or powerful can mechanics; be divided repertoire and into (2) of two techniques weapons types: (1) for that the withstanding involve techniques benefiting that pressure. minimize from positives the effects that of occur, various whether negatives, through including luck or bad skill. When negative practicing behaviors dismissing as well as the thoughts. negative, Remember, your techniques too, that can pressure be based itself in either can imagery be conceptualized or self­talk, either or be as a an combination image or as of a the topic two. for They positive can also self­talk, include and dismissing for maximum you would benefit brush lint you off should a jacket, probably encapsulating practice desensitizing yourself in your yourself own cocoon to pressure or suit directly. of armor, Some throwing of our favorite a bad shot images away involve in the physically trash, or walking brushing away off a from bad a break bad hole, as never raincoat. looking You are back only after it has been completed. Self­talk techniques involve suggestions that you are immune to pressure, that pressure rolls off you like rain off a

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periods needed limited by and a day, your trigger and own they the creativity self­protective are probably in terms most mechanisms of coming helpful when up within with used you. statements along For these with and/or the techniques somewhat images to that have more you benefit, complicated can rehearse they should desensitization repeatedly be practiced so that techniques. they for at can least be several remembered five­ to easily tenminute when Pour on the Pressure the The golf classic course desensitization that have resulted procedure in your that feeling psychologists mounting use pressure on fears to and perform. phobias Describe can be directly these scenes applied in as on much the golf detail course. as you First, can. create Next, several rank the scenes scenes of in events the order on or of situation least pressure on your felt list, to most play pressure the imagined felt. The scene scenes in your that mind evoke at the less same pressure time are you're the maintaining best to begin a with relaxed when state carrying that you out produced desensitization for this purpose; exercises. try For to each maintain event the desensitizing, many scene, event relaxation loses days but as once and some you the weeks it run of process is its neutralized through of ability this takes practice, the to fewer proceed trigger entire repetitions you'll scene. the to the negative be Each next much to neutralize scene time and more problematic you in ready your successfully an event. ranking, to surmount responses. maintain working pressure It might the from relaxed in take the all bottom several the state situations in toward repetitions the face you've the of top to the neutralize practiced. in previous terms of the As pressure­producing degree you pressure­producing become of pressure more image, experienced. adept effects the at of imagined the After After pressurized you've situation succeeded on in the neutralizing golf course your and list attempt of high­pressure to maintain the scenes, relaxation you're response in position while to try playing what we out call the ''in scene. vivo" desensitization, which is to put yourself in the

You can use this desensitization technique to reduce the effects of pressure on you, the effects of a poor shot or round,

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Apparently, Woods' and on the father, negative the you techniques may tactics recall that work how some as they Tiger players used is one in use vivo of to the attempt desensitization most mentally to upset and or tough frustrate dismissal players other techniques on players the tour. to into help poor immunize play. If Tiger you read to negative Raising tactics a Tiger, and the other book pressures. written by Tiger Take It in Stride Devalue the negative. Without deluding yourself, it's helpful to remind yourself how insignificant or unimportant a negative event is in the broader scheme of your game, catastrophizing). your day, and your Yes, life. When it's healthy you're to in recognize a slump or and feeling acknowledge low in self­confidence, where you are and it's easy what to you're blow going minor through, setbacks but out it's of unhealthy proportion and (an unreasonable activity we call to believe that attitude to you're inflate stuck amounts the there. negative. to Catastrophizing feeling Imaging sorry exercises for can yourself lead and to and focusing complacency yields on no the gains because insignificance whatsoever. you come of To negative to cultivate believe events that the attitude no are matter perhaps that what best the you best brings do ways things success, to combat will it's end important catastrophizing. poorly for to overcome you. This the unhealthy tendency

shot may Focus routine be on beyond the automatic, execution your control. you're of your Focusing working skills and on on game factors creating as within opposed and developing your to control. outcome. your If you game When focus and you're technique on such focusing things will on always as such improving goals increase as your achieving your score opportunity and the swing winning, for that satisfaction you're you desire reaching from or making for your goals game, a pre­ that and it will often improve outcome as well. Regular will help happen build review strength in the of future everything and immunity because that to good is pressure. positive has happened that happened in the past. in today's Focusing round, on yesterday's past positives round, combines or in last with week's the confidence­building round begins to sink exercises in and convince discussed you in that chapter good 3 to

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Games Within the Game Another a different positive game in technique your mind—a is called game "playing with different games within rules to the take game." some When of the you're pressure trying off. to One distract of these yourself games from we the call pressure the one­good­stroke­per­hole of your score or place, it game. helps In to this create game under changed your less to pressure. goal two good is to In hit shots the one one­good­shot per good hole. shot per game hole. All you shots can have on the a perfect hole after score the of good 18, shot having are hit superfluous at least one in good this game, shot on so each the remainder hole. As you of the get hole better, can the be played game can be

produce Like dismissing huge benefits and desensitization, in your ability these to resist focusing­on­the­positive pressure and perform under exercises the require most difficult practice conditions. to be successful. If you work on them on a regular basis, they can We most end pressure this chapter situations with you a worksheet encounter for on you the course. to use with some of the techniques we've described here. With regular practice of these exercises, you'll be ready for

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Page 129 Performing Under Figure Pressure 6.1 Worksheet

Performing Under Figure Pressure 6.1 Worksheet

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Thriving Chapter 7— on Competition

Page 131 Thriving Chapter 7— on Competition

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Competitive Fire

Ben Crenshaw

Page 132 Competitive Fire Ben Crenshaw tournaments. I've gotten better I have through a decent the

tournaments. I've gotten better I have through a decent the record, years. I but used I know to be my pretty record volatile, could very be better. volatile, We and all I know was my how own important worst enemy the mental for a long faculties time. of I golf know are losing and how my cool emotional cost me the some game Bobby the is. I seven do Jones. believe lean He years—Bobby that had some a very of the volatile went best a players temper, long time were an favored explosive born with to temper, win a tumultuous big and tournaments. he was temper really I and mean, tough they at overcame on a very himself. young it If to you age, make divide that's it work how his for career good them. into he The was, two finest and halves—the he example was expected seven I could fat to give years win— is and but temperament became he didn't, one of and work the then most for he him gentlemanly was in a very dramatic explosive. golfers way. there's He However, was ever still been—but from burning the time with he still he competitiveness, was had about that competitive 21, 22, but 23 he fire, on, learned he you was to could channel a total tell. model that burn of control. into a sharp He made focus. his He emotions blossomed and and

complacent have Sam Sneed sort of always and a tempestuous get said, anywhere. "You view show Otherwise and me you a can you young learn wouldn't person about be who the perceived game has a little and to have its fire nature in any his inner belly, drive. and I'll I'm show not saying you somebody that there's who a license might be for a any champion." kind of ill You behavior, can't be but if you

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Page 133 and what it does and how you can bottle those desires, then it tends

and what it does and how you can bottle those desires, then it tends to be a positive. For any person who is to achieve anything in life, you have to have an extremely something but competitive only some like nature, of that. us I It's learn think. a little how It may finer to use come than our that. to big you emotions It has over more time. to to our You do advantage. with can't learning just throw This to lesson out adjust a sweeping proved your emotions to generalization be a winning than it does formula and with say, for maturing, "Well, Bobby he's I Jones. think. finally We learning all mature how in to different mature," ways, or


Competitive Spirit To get away from golf for a moment, do you remember the fifth game of the 1997 NBA finals between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz? Who could have watched refuse collapse that critical to when give fifth in every to game illness, message in Utah refuse his and to body not recognize been gave in him that awe was the at Bulls the to stop competitiveness could and still rest. win The the of less­reported Michael title if they Jordan? lost but most the We game saw tell­tale by someone winning part of too the two sick story on to their was play—too home that Jordan court sick in to had Chicago, be pushed out of and bed, himself refuse really— over to the edge and was almost catatonic in the locker room for 20 minutes after the game. In you're a similar hearing vein, a burning when listening desire, to PGA tour players talk about their desire to be in competition and in a position to win on Sunday, with many of them it's clear that

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Michael laid­back not just a Jordan preference. approach might seems No be matter a to little suit what more some your beneath professionals sport the or surface, pursuit very well, but it's the it's but competitors there. when You it's crunch see who it in get time players to on the Sunday like finish Tiger line a strong Woods, most streak often. the determination In of golf, competitive the kind in spirit of his competitive eye. comes It's in true mighty spirit that in you handy. golf see the in


your the You time want skills, to a prepare gets level you of to competitiveness to play practice well. regularly, You that must motivates and develop, inspires prepare, you you to develop to and put in overlearn execute them all the to be components in a position of to your remain game, competitive and then you and must win.

That competitiveness would be important for playing good golf is no surprise, but some people are surprised that a degree of competitiveness is equally important for most round golf to players of be golf satisfying. is than to go in There any out with other are a few sport. group people of buddies who really to play enjoy a game going that out is and both playing friendly a round and competitive. of golf by themselves There are probably every day. more A large friendly part wagers of the attraction among friends of golf during for a

Preparing to Win

tournament—and A strong will to win if they is important, are in competition but what's at crucial the end is a of strong a tournament will to prepare they have to win. given The themselves best prepared the best golfers opportunity are usually for good the ones things leading to happen. at the Being end of the a best edge prepared over golfer the other means players that when remaining. the game's Even on the the players line you're who seem the most at first able glance to draw to be on exceptions your game to plan, the rules—those mechanics, and who pre­shot seem to and win other because routines of their to give strong you will— the

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to baseball. probably win. He Bobby owe refers a lot Knight, constantly of their the success to famous the importance to (or good infamous) preparation of being coach better habits. of the prepared Nick Indiana Faldo than Hoosiers comes his opponents. is to perhaps mind in And the golf. strongest the Greg way Maddux, Indiana proponent prepares Roger of the Clemons, is importance to always and try of Tony developing to improve Gwynn come a on will the to to execution mind prepare in of their own game rather than trying to change their playing style against different opponents. Overlearn Your Game The personal components success behavior, of of Coach your his game, Knight's approach and philosophy then to preparing execute on it players competitiveness to be in to a play position their and to best positioning win. fits right his in with team our to win views: cannot you be must disputed. develop, Despite prepare, our and disappointment overlearn all with of the some necessary of his

compete PGA tour at players the level refer of competition to the need to in put which all parts they're of playing. their game Then in place they point in order to the to win necessity big tournaments. of developing They an talk adequate about shot needing repertoire, to develop again swing in order mechanics to compete. to for sufficientone—a Next, them, they they discuss talk winning about the need developing attitude. to develop a winning experience strategy in competition for competing and a in history their tournaments. of winning at Then, the elite finally, level they they get play to the in. Once last ingredient players have of winning, these four a necessary elements but going not


1. Proper swing mechanics

2. Adequate shot repertoire

3. Experience in competition

4. A history of winning

5. A winning strategy

6. A winning attitude

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Players need to constantly grow in each of these six areas if they are to advance far in professional golf. The areas do not develop at the same rate, and development in to in the development, some next of higher the areas success level more of at competition. than the pro others level can is be unlikely expedited if not with impossible. extra attention When and one of extra the practice. areas of preparation However, if is any lacking, one of it's the also six unlikely areas lags for significantly a player to succeed behind the in moving others

We help have you develop named the the key desire principles to be in or competition, skills necessary gain to a competitive be in competition, edge, and thrive position on competition, yourself to and win put tournaments yourself in at a whatever position to skill win. and The competition following level prescriptions you have can reached.


• Expose yourself to competitive situations

• Practice your routines, such as the GUIDES and CHECKS

• Play your game

of Psychologists "state­dependent who study learning," how people which means learn recognize that you'll that best something learn something we learn and in remember one setting it may in the not situation necessarily or circumstances be available to in us which in another it was learned. setting. This You is will an have example conditions, retention, learned it much with some less less of learning the well, learning and available remember will be as evident, you it less move well, but farther not in situations as away much from as or in circumstances the the situations original setting. quite and circumstances different Another from way of where of the saying original it was this learned. learning. is that there In situations is a gradient similar of ideal to the learning original and

This behavior principle that works applies best directly on to performance in golf. For instance, if all of your learning and practice at driving occurs on the practice range, you'll have learned a

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your particular practice range, somewhat less well on other practice ranges, less well yet at the tee boxes on your favorite course, and not well at all on tee boxes at a practice to, course or benefit you've your for, pre­shot never your played. game routine The on in the principle your course. basement, also We applies want or on to to the emphasize chipping first ball and this that putting last you example, hit and at the to your as driving we mental see range, a significant game, then including you'll mistake have your developed made pre­shot by most a routine. preshot players If, routine concerning for instance, that has their you little practice only relevance and preparation.

shot Try this routine yourself before the every next time ball struck you go on to the the practice driving range. range. Before Most often you you'll start to see hit either balls, no watch shot several routine players or a shot for routine a few minutes used only to see before how the many first of ball them hit, use or perhaps their pre­ the practice most first of their one results hit practice in with most each time of club. the hitting practice After a shot that, involving that most is unlike players a shot the that just shots the pick player they up the will will next hit never on ball, the hit place course on the it on and course—that the in tee, competition. and is, whack a shot How it without with much no sense a sign pre­shot of does their routine. that pre­shot make? Thus, routine. Not many much. This players You pattern may spend of as wellpracticeyourputtingwithyourfiveiron. We your everytime. suggest swing without that you hitting buy a balls, small and bucket that rather when than you're a big ready bucket to hit of balls balls you for use the your practice pre­shot tee, that routine you with stretch every and ball warm you up hit. without Quality hitting practice any beats balls, quantity that you practice practice

Two Types of Competitive Fire Chip Beck It's frequent well known ''cough" on of the one PGA European tour that Ryder some Cup players use gamesmanship and other means to try to distract or rattle fellow competitors to gain an advantage. The

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cool, to player vanquish calm, during and his the opponents? collected, pre­shot to routine The relax latter and and style even just let runs the his backswing smack game in speak the of face his for American itself, of the or picture should competitors of he the stalk gentlemanly brings his prey to the like golfer, surface a hunter of an the and important sport with that a issue allows killer in instinct participants golf: Is attack it better largely the for course to a golfer govern and to attempt remain themselves, are certainly where many players golfers on are the expected tour who to turn fit the themselves first description, in, even and for potential there are disqualification, many others who when better they fit the realize second. a mistake The question that others is, then, might is not one have style noticed. or approach There more competitive? Does one style have an advantage over the other?

Does one style have an advantage over the other? has There been have ignited been only

has There been have ignited been only only when a few I've incidents felt another where player I have has become treated involved me in an in unsportsmanlike a competitive situation manner. with Otherwise, another player, I try to and let the on most behavior of these of other occasions, players a wash competitive off me. fire Karen, hole is the my first wife, to has fall summed into it. Intimidation it up this way: factors "Chip mainly knows show the the intimidation weakness tactics in the player of certain who's players, trying and to be he intimidating." finds them amusing. Chip says it's like a guy who digs the

It's true that I don't play the games that a lot of players try to bring me into playing. I think that some players use intimidation as a tool,

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older a form and of competition, more mature, like it's really another humorous, club in their and bag you to understand beat you, and that I such always behavior find that is self­defeating. funny. It's difficult As a to veteran, deal with and when as you you're gain early more in wisdom your career, and confidence but as you in get your ability, it's easier to recognize that the guy who throws the first stone is usually the one who gets smacked by it.

the I look high forward degree to of good competition competition, is what and has I recognize made the that Ryder for Cup some so these enjoyable behaviors for me—you are a part know of competition. it's like going They to war, don't but ruin behind the fun all of that, the it game really for is me. fun. In You fact, look I think forward than you to would the competition have been otherwise. and try to thrive on it. I think everybody knows that you need a competitive posture, as that is what makes you excel and become better


Expose Yourself to Competitive Situations The exposing discussion yourself about to as state­dependent many competitive learning situations and our as difficulty possible, during in transporting both practice learning and from play, one if you setting are to and become circumstance a good to competition another illustrates player. Sign the importance up for many of tournaments—big against competition competitions and the excellent tougher will when in strengthen competition, competition tournaments, you play you with and you'll and small your you add become. tournaments, should friends, to your give Third, as playing the yourself tournaments more set experience—as up play credit games you where for and can doing competitions you experience long so. expect as No you matter with to with can do something dismiss well, how yourself well and your when others you on negative the play you where line in practice, the the shots you more tournament, probably and such experience not as be needing won't. the discouraged. experience you'll It's to important hit have a Second, certain of playing playing to percentage pit set in yourself in competition up elite friendly of chips to within 10 feet of the cup from a certain distance to earn yourself a reward. We'll

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say atmospheres more about you the play details in, the of more such practice your mind in the and next body section, will desensitize but the point to the is that conditions the more and of the this more kind you'll of competition be able to you execute can experience, the behaviors and that the you've more learned competitive in your competitive practice. Practice Your Routines Whenever involving competitive maximal retention performance you're settings; attempting of carry your in competitive learning out to your learn can disciplined a settings; new occur skill and use practice that you the you techniques can in wish have competitive to maximal for apply understanding settings; in execution competitive and of and evaluate this settings, awareness learning and we reward in in suggest competitive the your future. you performance use If settings; you the think GUIDES implement in back competitive we to chapter introduced your settings. learning 1, you in chapter This program remember way 1: in the set that goals the GUIDES deciding the frequency on are how designed of involvement you're to going create in to competitive a gradually process that expose play, allows such yourself for as optimal raising to more the learning and number more of demanding of a new tournaments skill. competitive Goal you setting, play golf per as it month. situations. applies to You preparation might begin for competitive with a simple play, goal involves of increasing

A second goal might be planning your tournament play schedule to include tournaments that are below your skill level. In these tournaments you may be in competition

where to win, your and playing opponents under have that handicaps sort of pressure similar to is good yours for and you most even of the if the players competition could be is competitive. a little weak. Third, You also you should might schedule schedule some tournaments tournaments in which at your most skill of the level,

players develop have your lower mechanics, handicaps mental than game, yours and and competitive you're not attitude expected and to strategy compete and to win. give All you three playing kinds experience of tournaments in competitive have much situations. to offer in terms of helping you

The competitive play goals should also include subgoals, such as what you wish to work on at each of the tournaments that you

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subgoals shot enter. and For executed for example, several shot, you tournaments and might the set number instead goals concerning of of two­putt making the new greens. number ones It's for of best each fairways to outing. have hit, no greens more than hit in two regulation, subgoals the to percentage work on for of each "near­perfect tournament matches" and to between work on imagined the same energy You'll also and want emotion to apply management, the CHECKS, concentration, introduced knowledge, in chapter and 2, in strategic competitive routines settings, to get scheduling maximum several benefit practice under competitive sessions using conditions. your confidence, When necessary, health/physical, modify the about CHECKS state­dependent to better fit the learning demands and and difficulties skills required in generalizing during competitive learned behavior play, from and use one them situation during to another. and after For competitive instance, play in practicing to take advantage the procedures of what to increase we know your effective confidence, in your club ball some tournament, striking of your on the and imagery practice effective sessions range, ball striking you succeeding should in your imagine at golf club should championship. desired involve ball striking your participating in a round with in various your friends levels with of competitive "something play. on the Thus, line," in ball addition striking to imagining while playing

well or Concerning other as imagining competitive your body doing play. preparation so Similarly, (and imagining routines, practice positive imagine your energy outcome carrying and from emotion them doing out management before so) to and allow during and these concentration competitive skills to be strongest skill­building play, and and actually most techniques do easily so before accessed before and and when during during in selected competitive competitive tournaments settings. play as Finally, knowledge/game plan and strategic routines should also be developed with competitive play in mind. There may be some differences in applying both recreational knowledge with a good and play chance strategy than to in win when competitive as opposed preparing play, to for tournaments or, competitive alternately, where versus to play you recreational less have aggressively nothing play. to For in lose one instance, because aspect concerning of your game game in tournaments plan, you may where choose you to expect play more to be aggressively in competition in

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of the superior skill level of the competition. Likewise, your game plan in recreational play may not even include efforts to shoot the lowest score but might involve types CHECKS working of conditions, on in some this way aspect such should of as your recreational make game them that play maximally requires or skill­development beneficial you to take in more enhancing play. strokes your to complete readiness your for competitive round (e.g., play playing as well a round as for without helping using you elevate any woods). your game Using under the other Ryder Cup Competitiveness Chip Beck Most professional golfers played as part of a team in high school and college, but only the more successful ones get to experience team play within the tense spirited–in talents competition to succeed some of the countries under Ryder these Cup fans high­pressure or are President's as fanatical Cup conditions. about where their players I've golf played team from on as one they three country are Ryder about or Cup continent their teams–1989, soccer are squad. pitted 1991, against Players and those recognize 1993–and of another. that have it takes found These special it competitions to be mental an experience are and very emotional like no other. I Jack really Nicklaus hadn't thought was captain much at about his own the course. Ryder Cup People before really it started started coming hearing into about prominence it then. I played after the well Americans in 1988 and lost wound it at Muirfield up earning Village my Golf way Club onto the in 1987, next team when as the second­highest point scorer behind Curtis Strange. To he was give tossing you an and idea turning how tense like Ryder the rest Cup of us. play (For was, the even record, Tom Tom Watson and I couldn't played Seve sleep Ballesteros the night before and Jose a match! Maria Here Olazabal. was Tom, The one match of the ended few in great a draw.) champions, and

The Ryder Cup is the ultimate in competition because there's so much riding on it–especially for the European players, whose

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Page 143 talent, contracts spunk, sometimes and tenacity, hinge on whereas the quality I internalize of

talent, contracts spunk, sometimes and tenacity, hinge on whereas the quality I internalize of their play more. in Plus, the Cup. we were When both I teamed Ryder with Cup Paul rookies, Azinger so we in 1989, had a similar our personalities amount of really awe and jelled respect well. Paul to be is among loaded the with to holed­out participants. beat them. from We the were bunker up against (twice!). lan chipping Woosnam in and and doing Nick Faldo–two all kinds of of spectacular the top five things. players But in Paul the world and I played at the time. some I tremendous remember Paul golf and that me day watching and somehow as these managed guys At the Ryder Cup matches in 1991, I was a team choice at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Our team won 14­1/2 to 13­1/2 in some of the well scream putt highest as as the his of drama anguish skill.) sun you'll set on when ever the final the see ball on night. a failed golf If he course. to had drop made I in. beat (To it, lan the Bernard's Woosnam Europeans credit, three would he and went have one home retained in a big to Germany singles the Cup match by and tying won the us. final the But following day, Bernard but the week. missed–barely. Cup It all was came a real down I'll test always to of Bernard his remember character, Langer's his as The was sort fans of go strange crazy at and the disconcerting, Cup; they make but noise after the a while entire you match begin and to even really clap enjoy at missed it. Like putts! Tom Watson That is just told part me, of "Just the play competition well and there, enjoy the the toughness silence." of it. Initially, it

The sense of purpose is so strong at the Ryder Cup that it carries over into the next tournament you play and you continue to thrive on

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competition. Then I took a A week perfect off example because was I was in so 1991. exhausted. Overcoming My first the week disappointment back on the of tour, not playing I shot my as much 59 at the as I Las wanted, Vegas. I performed well against Woosnam on Sunday.


Playing Your Game than Even it during is in recreational competition, play, you it's should perhaps set process even more goals important rather than to define outcome goals goals. that Although you can have your complete desire to play control well over, in competition as opposed is to obviously focusing going on outcome to be stronger where so truth when many of you factors this most has are been want outside demonstrated to be of winning your control. many tournaments. times. At first Initially, it Still, seems increasing you paradoxical may your find that it percentage difficult focusing to of focus on successful process on hitting goals "matches" fairways produces between and better increasing actual outcome shot your execution than percentage outcome and of the goals successful constructed do directly, up and and but downs the imagined shot are the little successes that good scoring is made of—and this also results in overall positive outcomes in competition. During behaviors you're this game in competition competition within to be available the also game to win practice in could competitive a tournament, result games in contexts within good but scoring if games, you you can need in emphasizing competition. focus, to work for on instance, execution them in on over such playing outcome contexts. a three­hole goals, Yes, it's and stretch difficult playing of to the your think course own about more game. playing effectively If you games want than within these you attitudes the did game the and day when before,

Finally, and skill it's level critical instead that of you getting stay with caught your up preparation, in someone else's with hitting game or shots entering you have a personal practiced competition and know with you another can hit, player and to or play group your of own players. game against your own talent

For afternoon, many players, or the competition the allure of of the game is the competition, whether it be personal competition with yourself, friendly competition with buddies on a Saturday

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the it skills can Nike and overshadow tour, your the game, LPGA, how you enjoyable the need Senior to the be tour, well­practiced game or can the be PGA played and tour. prepared competitively Doing well to play in or competition and recreationally have a and strong at sometimes almost mental any game even level. that winning Remember allows can you be that to such truly to an be enjoy incredible successful playing high at the golf for game and most improve and golfers be your that satisfied game. element. The with However, main your secret performance. while to thriving keep this We've on from competition, seen occurring so many you is to golfers also do whatever need with to such take it takes high care to not potential enjoy to let the it who override game. have For fallen your most, original to the though wayside goals not and all, because values. golfers, they enjoyment burn out and requires cease a to competitive enjoy the

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Reviewing Chapter 8— Your Mental Scorecard

Page 147 Reviewing Chapter 8— Your Mental Scorecard

Page 148

Winning in Golf and in Life Chip Beck

Page 148 Winning in Golf and in Life Chip Beck this and One point. feel thing

this and One point. feel thing satisfied Yes, that golf for after every has you've taught one of won me my is a how success tournament to deal stories, with or two, I disappointment have neither a "failure" can you and story diminish ''failure," to go with yourself how it. to But because cope do with I consider of those some myself things bad outings. I a haven't failure? If you accomplished No start way. doing Just that as that, you I wish your can't enjoyment I would elevate have yourself of by the game disappears. And whether you're a golfer, a carpenter, a teacher, or an accountant, once the enjoyment for the "game" is gone, it's very difficult to "score" well. Without able peace to onto get a sense past the course my of inner disappointments, to help peace me and through fulfillment, as well the as bad there's my times successes, no in way my and to golf be reach career? at your a point Well, best where in I think life. I Have I'm can getting find I found peace better inner and at peace fulfillment that. and fulfillment off the course? on the I golf think course? so. And No. can Have I carry I been this

In our crazy game, a player might swing like Ben Hogan and never make a cut. Another might swing like Hulk Hogan and win

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a tournament. Before you began reading this book, maybe you wondered how that could be. Now you know that the difference is the mental game. A really tough

the mental is no great secret, game game really: will of golf, overcome you you'll have many to never enjoy deficiencies. play the the game. game We've If as a delusion well discussed again. of failure On that the it or other takes other hand, hard circumstances work, if you commitment, combine in your hard life and work cause practice with you reachable to to develop lose your goals a strong basic and love, a mental strong enjoyment, game. mental The game, or other respect you secret will for win often in your life, including on the golf course.


Stepping Back to Evaluate One for example, of the big has changes initiated occurring "zero­based in our budgeting," society, and where in the every entire program industrialized that applies world, for is funding the increased must need be evaluated to evaluate on whether virtually it anything has met that its goals we do. and Our on government, whether the goals the provision could be of reached timely, with cost­effective, less expense and and proven greater services efficiency. that have Likewise, been studied the healthcare and evaluated industry and has demonstrated been revolutionized to be the by best "managed for the care," money. the essence of which is

On people a national are getting level, more this trend matter­of­fact toward evaluation and conscious is an attempt of the bottom to make line, our as activities evidenced more by cost the familiar effective phrase during of a the time late of dwindling 1990s, "Show resources. me the On money!" an individual We all level, want to know, in fact what or we we are are being doing, forced and to whether prove, or that not what it has we're any doing benefit. has value. Put another way, we're becoming obsessed with whether or not what we think we're doing is

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Keeping It in Perspective


Page 150 Keeping It in Perspective BruceLietzke golf I had as a a grand career, life

golf I had as a a grand career, life yet plan I also that had was dreams fairly clear of being to me a all father, along being except very for active, some and of the being details, a Little which League depended coach. mainly on my success on the golf course. I had a plan to play

dated The first very part little of in my my plan first was four to or play five golf. years I also on tour. planned Golf to was hold my off number on getting one married, priority then or too and emotionally it really had tied been down, through in those adolescence, first few years high of school, touring. and I afterward. purposely Yet hung Exactly again, around I had how those married long thoughts I would couples play of all being on the the a time. husband tour My was best and still friends father, an unknown so were I purposely all as married. I didn't steered know My plan away how was successful from still emotional to play I was golf ties going as with hard to be. women, as I I didn't could both know for on a few tour if I was years and going at and home. put to lose During off everything my card this period or else. I whatever. As it turned out, I had some success within a couple of years of getting my card, and everything stabilized pretty well.

I met my wife four or five years after I turned pro. We dated for a couple of years and, again, I was in no real hurry. My wife will

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confirm still my number that I talked one priority. a lot about My kids plan when was becoming we were dating, a little more but I wasn't focused really by this convinced time. that I wanted to get married. However, we married in 1981, while golf was

The However, biggest I knew decision there we would had to be make restriction was when once we we would had kids. have So, our the children. two of With us decided no kids, to my travel wife together could travel for a with couple me, of and years there before was having no restriction kids. on my golf.

to I The was grow plan never up, worked going and I didn't perfectly. to play want a full We my schedule waited wife to a with have couple 28 to of watch or years 30 tournaments the and kids then alone had again. while our The kids I was children exactly on the when did course. travel we So, wanted with I cut us them. some, back on I but had golf I decided didn't and started believe long playing before that hotels that in fewer were once tournaments. the the place kids were for kids born did my In 1983, everything wife, when and my my I could kids. son and was Golf measured born, moved golf back myself dropped behind against from these, my all the and number other I've never one guys. priority had I knew any to exactly number regrets where about five, behind it. I was I look on my at the relationship my money career list as with every two God, different single family week. golf obligations, careers–first I knew who my was the relationship years behind when me with I and from and still who being come was with ahead out my and wife of be me. and competitive When kids and the at kids enjoying times. were But my born, I relationships don't the get second the with satisfaction part them. of my In golf from these career golf things that started, I'm I used probably and to I'm because more equally it's successful not as proud the most than of this in important my part. golf I'm career. thing. proud I I get have to play more a wonderful as satisfaction little as I do marriage and a terrific relationship with my kids–these are the most important to me now.


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and goals. For change systematically in any process evaluate to your occur, progress you need toward to thoughtfully your stated

EVALUATION PRESCRIPTION Re­execute–to Apply the five make Rs–Review, sure you're Reward, working Re­evaluate, toward the Rework, goals you and want to achieve

For our purposes, to evaluate means to determine the progress toward a goal and the benefits of a program. To evaluate our program and our progress within it have desire. means already we Thus, have done to make to develop this gains earlier a in system in our chapter golf of game, evaluation 1, where we must we that discussed allows set up thoughtful, us the to accurately GUIDES reachable for determine change. goals cause and develop and effect—if a systematic, what we're concrete doing program in fact for causes reaching the outcome those goals. that we We The Five Rs of Evaluation Even lost in if confusion you choose about to use what the you're GUIDES doing as and your whether program it has for any change, benefit. you'll An still evaluation need a systematic, program will organized inform you method on the for success evaluating of your the program. performance­enhancement If you don't, you'll be program. We've labeled our evaluation program "the five Rs," which stand for review, reward, re­evaluate, rework, and re­execute.

goal yourself The first as it to R, was continue review, originally involves working set up. looking toward If so, your and back if goals. over you met your If you the collected did criteria not data for reward—the or your written second summary R—you of scores must not and fail deciding to reward whether yourself you in were the successful established at way accomplishing to motivate the

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to opportunity accomplish rework the the for program goal review and to and did give reward. not yourself earn a reward, a better chance the third of R success. comes into Finally, play, you're where in you position re­evaluate to re­execute your program the program to determine which brings why it you was back unsuccessful. to the beginning You then and need the

positive The progress combination performance at several of points the change GUIDES in your for yourself golf to construct season in golf and a change or during any other program the off­season. life and activity. the five In the Rs next to review section, the we'll program prescribe is all the you use really of the need five to Rs maximize for evaluating your chances your program of producing and your

18 Pars


chances your program of producing and your 18 Pars HaleIrwin althoughyouwon'twin. that's If someone a pretty

althoughyouwon'twin. that's If someone a pretty were good to score, ask me even about in my today's philosophy game. Years of play, ago I it might would say, have "I've been always fantastic. felt that Seventy­two 18 pars is a pars good on target this golf to aim course–you'll for. No one be can surprised knock 18 what pars." you Overall, can make, If holes. you I'm eliminate not trying some to of win the or high lose scores, on one you hole. have I aim the for opportunity par, and if for something low scores. better That's happens, all I'm hey, ever that's trying fine. to do is to get myself in position to win on the last nine

Page 154

Setting Up the Holes Mike Reid

Page 154 Setting Up the Holes Mike Reid of break can I think either do it

of break can I think either do it that better down the many architect on into the people five back or or the simply nine." six way 2­to They'll look it 5­hole plays. at a divide scorecard sets. It's a That's the series course in the of terms 4­ way up or of the I 5­hole form the way front my sets, the nine strategy card and and divides sometimes during back it nine. up. my 2­hole That's preparation. You'll sets. very even That's seldom hear the amateurs the way way I try say, courses to "Boy, gear are it. that actually I try front to nine look laid out chewed at the as far course me as up, strategy and but I


Applying the Five Rs

The We've evaluate five talked your Rs should about program, be the used changes reworking after that your it to you're practice. make trying it more First, to make effective you review when in bringing you your practice, efforts; about then such your you as desired improvements reward changes. yourself in Finally, if your you've concentration you reached want to a re­execute goal or energy or subgoal. level the program, or You in your should doing pre­shot continually it over routine. and re­ over again, as successful repetition of your change activities brings about lasting change and improvement. You can also use the five Rs after a round to gain full benefit from the round. First, review your efforts—how well you dismissed bad

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shots, stayed in the present, and raised or lowered your energy level as needed. Next, reward your effort for motivation, and then re­evaluate how you went about even playing you have your your always attitude round, dreamed and prepared motivation) about. for it, as made you your prepare decisions for the during next competition. it, and reacted Finally, to how and it only went. after Next, you've if necessary, done all the rework other your steps, strategy attempt and to preparation re­execute the (and golf possibly game

18 Holes of Growth Throughout that you have this developed book we positive have emphasized mental and that physical the best skills golf that is consistently allow for good played golf by performance, the best­prepared and that player. you have We developed have also stressed thoughtful that routines being well for physical prepared means conditioning,practicing,andexecutingskills. In you what learn follows, and use we at least have some summarized of them 18 regularly of the most your important golf game issues, will grow, principles, as will and your techniques satisfaction covered and enjoyment in this book. of the We game. refer to them as "growth holes" because if

opportunity and These why growth it is to the holes grow game relate in many of growth to skills, ways. for attitudes, After all age we groups and play actions these and 18 for that holes, any apply player we'll not conclude from just to 8 golf to this 80. but round to many of our life discussion areas, and with to play our them 19th Hole, means which to give is our yourself individual a tremendous views on golf

Hole improvement. #1—To improve You need your patience golf, enough you must to stay be with motivated the program enough until to it work pays at off. improving. You should develop a step­by­step change program to move toward

aware Hole Evaluate #2—To of where your ease progress you're your starting and efforts efforts, from at improving and and when understand you your succeed clearly game, or what use show the you're progress, GUIDES trying reward to for accomplish. behavior yourself change. Implement to get satisfaction Begin your by program setting and motivate realistic and carry yourself and it out objective to with continue. disciplined goals. Make practice. yourself

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performance Hole practice #3—Preparation and performance. that helps overcome routines, choking thoughtfully and slumping. constructed Develop and regularly routines for practiced, precompetition, govern, pre­shot, control, postshot, and automate and post­round behavior. to They take full produce advantage improved of your

and each Hole emotional of #4—Before the checks state, competition, as your you concentration, review use them the and and CHECKS. strengthen your knowledge This them will in allow base. preparation Review you to for gauge your play. strategies, your confidence including level, game your plan health and and routines physical to prepare preparation yourself for play, for play. your Check energy off level

"habit" Hole #5—Self­confidence that supports your game is a and learned strengthens skill that it in you the can face strengthen of adversities. and make more consistent with regular practice. Self­confidence can become a positive Hole #6—Believe in your golf skills and expect success. Trust your practice and preparation for play. confidence Hole #7—Imagery in your golf and and self­talk elevates promote performance. change and improve performance. Mentally replaying past successes and rehearsing desired golf behaviors builds your Hole #8—Physical mental game to conditioning, improve your regular golf performance. exercise, proper and sufficient stretching, and physical readiness to compete combine with your mechanics and Hole your physical #9—Develop arousal an and ability tension to listen levels to for and improved understand performance, your body's you need messages. to learn Your to listen body to is your constantly body. informing you about its status. Before you can control

physicalarousallevels. Hole #10—Develop the skill of altering your physical arousal level. Controlling your breathing patterns is one of the best ways to control and change your Hole states #11—Develop must be controlled awareness for you to of improve and control performance. over your emotional states. Obsessiveness, perfectionism, and other potentially problematic mental and emotional

Hole performance. #12—Use Replace thought the stopping, negative dismissing, and desensitization techniques to reduce negative mental conditions and improve concentration and

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conditions with positive thoughts, prepared and practiced for this purpose. performance. Hole #13—Stay in the present. Focusing on what you can control, avoiding distractions, and automating routines all contribute to improved concentration and pressure. Hole #14—Practice mental, emotional, and physical skills in imaginary and actual pressurized situations to improve your performance when playing under Hole #15—Develop and use mental, emotional, and physical control techniques to reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of choking and slumping. competition. Hole #16—Practice your mental, emotional, and physical skills during competitive practice and in competition to improve performance during longrun. Hole #17—Use the five Rs to evaluate and rework your golf change program. This will increase the chances that you will achieve your improvement goals in the fun Hole as #18—Reward you grow as a golfer. both effort and progress. Remember to enjoy your efforts to become a better golfer, to be satisfied with the progress you make, and to have The 19th Hole More than three years have passed since Chip and I began to explore our joint feeling that golf might be unique among sports in its ability to teach character and Golf citizen. growth is one issues. As it's of only well We wondered a known few sports that if many these (along special important with swimming properties business and were deals tennis) responsible are cut that on can the for be golf links, played becoming golf competitively is also part the of only the and American sport for pleasure that has psyche through become and every synonymous a part life of phase, the American with from personal young business achievement. child to senior community. "embarrassing" that affords people In fact, their an business company. opportunity people Golf to lessons might begin be conversation are held now back as common from with others advancement in the who United have in their States this interest careers as piano (which because lessons borders they or swimming don't on addiction) play golf lessons. or in don't common. Finally, play golf it What well has is enough become it about to a this avoid social game lubricant that makes

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it the first response of many recently retired people when they're asked, ''What are you going to do now?"

with I've I've watched seen, recreational, it seems the tour high to me and school, that tour golf's players college, unique with and attraction intense professional interest centers golfers for on the to its last give place three them as years the that most extra and clear­cut have mental given lift example many that boosts group in sports their workshops of game a personal to on the mental next quest level. for skills achievement And training over in the golf. uncontaminated years, I've from worked what by of hard "team" work, issues. discipline, Perhaps and one dedication of the reasons to excel. for golf's hold on us is that no other game I can think of pays off as well in terms of progress and development as a result

holes The An 18­hole highs of the a course, golfer round feels of he golf or upon she is a is surmounting 4+ confronted hour journey a with course's into problems a challenges player's to solve, personality are insights extremely and to into discover, high, his and or and her the unexpected lows needs, felt aspirations, after challenges a bad defenses, day that on will the and course test fantasies. ingenuity, are extremely As creativity, that player low. and tours intelligence. the 18

the many At one game players level know the when it game is they not seems at do all not easy. so perform easy—a Still, the up stationary to knowledge their expectations. ball of is its hit difficulty by a It stationary also doesn't seems person true seem for with to many reduce no that one the playing trying sense to of good block frustration, golf the is shot important anger, or get and in enough self­recrimination the way. to neutralize Of course that many those occurs negative who for play things happening in the golfer's life. As my I've patients' become lives. more It has involved surprised with me golf that and these golfers, analogies I've begun seem using to be golf more analogies easily grasped to explain and psychological to register at a principles deeper level and with to identify most of and my analyze patients, important even for aspects those in who yet, I don't have play no explanation golf. Concepts for this, such but as perhaps frustration, it has anger, something hope, trust, to do discipline, with the eternal and character hope of golf. are quickly If you blow understood one hole, when there's put in another the context right after of the it golf on which course. As of

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you reinforcement can redeem that yourself. occurs If in you someone blow that who, one, after well a day's you worth just move of hooks on to and the next slices, one. hits Indeed, just one golf good addiction shot. I think is easy as to much understand as anything when it's you the see look the on incredible that person's positive face that keeps me captivated by the game.

that Four goes years on ago, relentlessly my wife for and hours children at a knew time. nothing My wife about has remarked the game that of golf. she can't Since imagine then, they how have anyone come could to see engage it as an in amazingly such a stressful intense sport, emotional either rollercoaster for recreation ride or as than some a vocation. her of the career These most suggests painful, are her that feelings ugly, there's and despite something stressful the aspects fact truly that fundamental of she our is society. a forensic about Despite psychologist the personal that background, who struggle evaluates that or perhaps the criminals game because seems for a of living to it, become her and impressions who for most comes people of face golf to who as face being take every more it up. day stressful with Finally, despite my 20 years in practice as a licensed clinical psychologist, and my several years as an interested and close hands­on observer of the game of golf, I of few honestly the basic co­existence admit needs that that in the must golf game be of a met has great turned that simplicity we out have to be and inherited at a once great as both complexity part more of our simple that species. makes and At much it one so much more level all complicated like we our need lives to than in do general. is I had work ever At enough first considered. glance, to earn our Perhaps enough lives are it money is simple. this to last feed, We observation, have clothe, a and complexity affiliative shelter nature ourselves of life to sets produce and in as our anything the families, myriad but of and simplicity. "second­order" if we succeed needs, in accomplishing our aspirations, these, wants we have and met desires, the primary and fears life combine tasks. However, with the problems once these caused needs by are our met, social the and

do Golf's twins more were paradoxical in life born than when simplicity simply I was eat, 36, and stay I complexity did alive, not pick and and procreate. up our another need I played golf to both some experience golf as it a and young "solve" boy. I it played seems a to little be made less in up high of the school. very Then same from elements the time that go I was into 18 our until need my to

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club. Since then, most of the golf I've played has been with my young children. Without their being told, and without their even having had the opportunity to observe surprising, to the acquire struggles skills even that has in most relation been feel their playing to their desire other golf, to learn these needs, music young wants, and children and play aspirations. musical have somehow instruments. Interestingly, developed It the occurs only a strong to other me need that activities to the do basic well that need in seem this to to activity play produce golf with well this an same in intensity many intense ways of desire need resembles in that my is children the need chord felt in the by some human people psyche. to play Maybe music golf, well, too, and strikes it is this widely chord. recognized, although poorly understood, that music seems to touch a very primitive and fundamental

common The similarities to hear between people say music they and are golf "crazy" continue. about Throughout golf. Many history people many seem obsessed musical geniuses with playing have golf, been and considered they seem obsessed to get or crazier insane, about and it it than certainly they get seems about to be power almost and anything control else over in their us must lives. indeed Golf be seems more to than be something a game. Finally, that we maybe as players playing are golf both is crazy more about like playing and get music crazy over, than it and is like clearly playing anything other that sports has because that kind it's of not like. track. really Maybe a sport it's at also all. Perhaps as much golf like is dance an art as that it is we like desperately music, and keep perhaps trying the to people turn into currently a science attempting with our to new teach equipment golf by first technologies, teaching rhythm our swing and mechanics, dance are on and the the right

Many movements and sounds that are smooth and rhythmic are both pleasing and comforting. People enjoy being at the beach watching waves rhythmically coming in and metronomes movement going out or tick other against at responses; different the shoreline. speeds; and rocking The pendulums experience chairs of and grandfather is rocking heightened infants clocks by the calm peacefully rhythmic us and pace sound them back better of the and than water forth; almost perfectly yoga anything. and choreographed various We lie hypnotic and with swing techniques the in vision. hammocks are Pleasant based and sounding on swings, rhythmic we sway to the beat,

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and baseball, we do and "the even wave." for some Finally, NBA many players of the the most "simple'' difficult free activities throw, in all sports, appear the to be long very "routines" difficult of chains Olympic of behaviors figure skaters that are and poorly ice dancers, and awkwardly hitting a 95 done mile­per­hour until we find ourrhythm. The what final we're statement trying to is perform. just a different We let way the right of saying sides what of our we brains have take said over before—that for the left we sides. do many We complicated go on autopilot repetitive and just behaviors let it happen. better when we stop thinking about

For been the around sake of for argument, tens of thousands let's say of golf years is more and that like they art than have sport, been and for more many like peoples dance and and cultures music both than basketball a form of recreation or football. and We communication. know that these Many other people art forms believe have that than dance even most and music of us have are almost thought. basic When human I began needs. this If study so, maybe I had the a feeling desire that to play golf golf was well more is than just a another game. expression Chip Beck of had these the same needs, feeling, and thus so it we may embarked be more together basic on could a golf­based have ever journey guessed. of growth and discovery. What we found was an art form both simple and complex, one much more basic to our needs than even Chip and I

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Imagery Relaxation Script taking Lie back three deep and deep breaths get just as breaths comfortable for a in from moment and your out as tense you stomach we can up are the going relax muscles inhale to to let use the and in your your a best fill technique body your hands, of your go lungs that's arms, of limp ability tensing fine shoulders, exhale a just few relax and muscles let legs the let tension while and your relaxing holding out body of go them your your limp to body breath help let us your three deepen muscles deep breaths relax in and begin out relaxing by your distractions float fine your attention, breath while we drift can relaxing your then use off the mind's all like mind at off once this, eye, far and away let exhale on its go the ability of and sound all outside release tension, to of imagine of my all your letting voice the pleasant consciousness tension feelings allow and and of relaxing your discomfort let your focusing outside things body or on of to agitation float your help my voice awareness you drift that's relax and away fine on even the let further, let images let them these your more all I body feelings describe go relaxed drifting float drift to you than away away comfortably you as let are you now other now allow relaxed in extraneous this your begin comfortable body that's to noises focus to and

chair support your weight

good and tight then all at once relax exhale

to help us deepen your level

of relaxation



tense them good and tight fine

let the muscles relax let you body go limp let your muscles relax let the

now tense the muscles in your hands, arms, and legs all over again while holding

muscles have nothing to do but relax

relaxing the waves state roll I in would it's like warm, you to pleasant imagine that you it's can summertime, hear the sounds that you're of summer lying on in the the background beach let

back on the shoreline let the waves roll in

lying on listen the to beach the waves just kind as of they looking roll in over let the the shoreline waves move watching up and

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washing going to rhythmic the a foam deeper to stop away spread motion state talking with on of back relaxation the them for and sand a any few forth leftover moments and waves up then feelings and rolling and the back allow waves of in worry of and you the slowly out or to waves concentrate concern begin waves to let or recede rolling tension this all your gentle before in or attention and stiffness relaxing starting out, helping on in motion again your the waves you body. take this relax coming you gentle even down up, rhythmic further to folding a deeper coming back even state more and of relaxation going relaxed of than the waves let you it are take now you gentle down When feel now. I begin Good speaking even again more it relaxed will not startle even you, more and relaxed you will notice in a moment the waves when having you washed feel ready away to even return more to your tension normal replaced state of by awareness even more and relaxation alertness than you you can you allowing each can do time this you you silently to get imagine more or you waves deeply can rolling allow relaxed yourself in with and out each to go practice on you relaxing are relaxing when you're on the

ready beach count this yourself will allow backward your body awake, to adapt counting to more comfortable backward from and three relaxing to one. states

Relaxation Breathing Exercise Script I—

whichever you choose

count yourself back fully awake and alert by counting backward from three to one


coming closer and then receding

keep remembering with each time you practice this exercise

to concerns, Close allow your the and eyes tension distractions. and to begin drain breathing Let out them of your slowly fade body. out and of Any deeply your stiffness mind. in and or In out. tightness—let the same Continue way breathing it that release, opening slowly, dissipate. a window deeply Begin or in a to and door allow out. lets your Let smoke your mind body out to of relax go a smoky limp. as well. Let room Let your go and muscles of lets your the relax. worries, air clear Begin and become fresh, you can allow worries, concerns, and distractions to blow away. Feel those barriers, those impediments dissipate. As they fade away, just as if

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you ready could to be see used that for smoke your benefit, dissipate, ready fade to away be used and to be help replaced you do by whatever fresh air, so, it is too, that this you elimination wish to do of as worries well as you and can concerns do it. allows As your your mind mind clears, to feel you fresh, have open, the and opportunity pictures mind's front of eye you. of perfect the to Notice focus perspective clarity, how like a clearly you from camera can the you clear on first can any and tee. see task focus The down or same activity. your the way fairway. mind, The that your same You you mind's adjust way can look that eye, the you down to lens allow can on at a focus your you camera, to feet the perform at lens let one you of single like a eyes camera that focus blade camera. to and of be grass sharp gaze Just and for out and a see over clear moment it the clearly, and expanse, now to allow clear let over it and the appear camera the crisp. fairway in your to take in

As Feel your your mind club, clears your and driver your in eyes your focus hand, with and just unusual for a clarity, moment notice look the down feel at of the the head, club notice in your how hands. clearly Notice you how can clearly see the you grains can of feel wood the club on the in head your of hands. the driver. As your deep day progresses, breaths help you your will body notice and how mind helpful to relax, that so, clarity too, of they sight help and your that clarity feel in of your vision, hands focus, and and arms concentration. is to help you They throughout help deepen your round. that sense In the of same feeling way in that your slow, fingers direction and hands. you You choose. can feel So, as too, if the will club the is club a part as an of you, extension an extension of your of body your do body, what in your the subconscious same way that mind you wishes can move it to your do. arms, Just as fingers, you've and let the hands smoke any clear way, out any of swing. your mind, Clearing and allowed up your clarity mind allows to replace a subconscious it, along with part that down smoke deep as inside it left, along to take with over, it to went do any your desire wishes or without means to your try even to control asking. or Clearing think your your way mind through and your relaxing without your happen, body effort, to allows unfold, without the to be automatic need carried to try out part to automatically, of force you the to shot. turn on With and each begin slow, to direct deep or breath control that your you swing, take as your a trigger, stroke, the to mechanisms allow these inside things are to be triggered executed, to allow to be displayed these things to

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deep without breaths thought. deepen Trust your that relaxation, your body in will the carry same these way things that clearing out. Expect your mind that your allows body you will to mobilize carry these and things focus out all easily, of your without mental thinking. energy on In making the same the way decisions that slow that routine what you want you to will to unfold make, do in again your your with given mind's regularity. choices, eye and Now taking body. put slow your deep ball breaths on the allows tee. Prepare the automatic yourself for part your of you first to shot. take As over you and set execute up, take what that you slow know, deep breath. what you've Allow done, your and shot Go ahead and take that first shot. Let your body feel the shot. Watch the ball travel, watch the flight. Watch it do what you wish it to do, expect it to do, know that it your can do. mind Watch and it body. land To and make roll. Notice it just a how little clearly easier, you rehearse can see it again it despite another its being time, so and far again away another. down the Start fairway. down Allow the course that now. shot and As you all that walk made down it be the registered course, notice in You a that part you feel of feel you. light, so Know carefree, relaxed that and enjoying it will focused. do the what That moment, you relaxation ask yet of focused, it produces to do. Take concentrating, a feeling a swing. of Watch lightness prepared. the in Let ball your the float step, second gently, a spring shot quietly be to a your reflection to the step, green, almost of the and first. as land if you're Feel and roll the floating club as you in down envisioned your the hands. course. in Feel your it mind's clearly completely confidence the putter eye you feels for you that can the in read comes can your shot. see the with hand things Let grain it the as register of in you realization the three line green, and dimensions, up, become that the knowing contour, you part you can that of will the see it you, break, will the see making putt these do in what much the things the same you better next on ask way the one than of green that it. just before. Feel seeing that easily the much Feel in stroke and two the easier. clearly dimensions confidence and trust Walk as if that you're up differs that your to your your suddenly from body positive ball seeing and on seeing your the experiences in green. in three self­conscious three and Notice dimensions. bring. how how more Feel mind easily, Feel how fully, will the good carry how out your bidding. Pull the trigger, watch the ball follow your line, the same line that you created in your mind's eye. Let it disappear. When you hear the sound of the

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ball your in work, the cup, talent, you'll and know preparation. that you Trust played that the these hole things exactly will as happen. you wished, Expect exactly them as to your happen. body Feel is capable, down deep exactly inside as that your they self­conscious will happen, mind and is they capable will happen. because of

Keep of expect mind in it and mind to happen, body. that you Special and can you skills turn make on that all it you happen. of these have Want naturally assets it whenever to and happen, that you you expect choose have it fine­tuned to by happen, taking and and slow polished it and will deep happen. with breaths. your I'm going Breathing practice, to stop experience, is like talking a switch now and dedication. and that allow turns on you Want these to return it special to happen, to skills your normal confidence state in of your awareness, ability to but turn a state on these of awareness special talents that brings to accomplish this knowledge your goals. and I these will stop skills talking with it, now a state and of allow awareness you to that return brings at your with own it a pace. quiet, relaxed

Healing Relaxation and Exercise Restoring, Script Round II— Replay, and Dismissal Practice

slowly and Breathe deep, and slowly letting deeply, and go let deeply. of your tension, body Let letting your relax. breathing aches Let your and begin mind pains to clear, and trigger stiffness relax. that Let chain drain it begin of out. events Let to drift it inside drain and your out allow of body your in a and peaceful body. in your Take state mind along of consciousness, and with allow it any you concerns, to peaceful, release worries relaxed, and let or go. breathing distractions. Breathe slow Begin into the to distance, focus your and mind's then gone eye on completely. my voice. Gone You can completely. let go of other Now let sounds, go of distractions, the things that sensations, drain you, thoughts, and take just away let them your energy. peacefully Allow drift the off creation into the of background, a state of mind and body that restores you, rebuilds you, re­focuses you, and re­energizes you. Just for a moment, allow your mind and body to enter that very receptive

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state. sleep. Just You let can this use energy it to take be absorbed. you to a place Let the where strength your return concentration and build. can Use be your pinpoint, breathing sharp, to and help focused. you enter You a state can of use mind it to and allow body your that muscles is much to more heal and restful rest, than to be restored be your restored. body. from You You today's ask allow it hard to it perform to work return that at quickly a they high carried and level heal for out to hours for its most you. on end, You powerful for are days in and truth one healthy after your another. body's state. You've keeper. You can learned You use learn your to do to mind this relax because like and a rest massage. like your a marathon body, Let your to runner, allow mind's it you eye to recover ask just a travel lot and of up and and your down focus your to body. unwind Let that those focus tight pass muscles, up and like down one who your can body unwind like a the scanner. knots If in you a rope. notice Let any them spots unwind. of soreness As they or unwind, tightness, the you blood can flows use the more energy freely. in your You can mind relax with your your mind's body to eye, a point allow where healing you to almost take place, can feel blood the vessels blood flowing open, dilated, through the your blood veins, flowing arteries, freely bathing and healing. the tissue Go in all comfortable the way up healing and down fluid. your Massage body, helping your body it relax further, and allowing it to recover from the day's demands. Now Let your take mind your take mind's you eye back and in focus time on to just some a few of your hours best ago. moments It may have today, been some after of the you moments made a great where shot you or felt putt. the It strongest, may have the been most after positive, a great the drive most or in approach charge. shot. Let them Pick become one or two a part of of these you. moments Let them that be are stored stored in an in accessible your mind place, and let a yourself place where just you relish can them, access absor