I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m my own worst enemy on the golf course. I can be having the round of my life and then my brain starts getting in the way. When this happens, I can psych myself into some of the worst swings & decisions ever made. I think it’s something that happens to all gofers of all ability levels. Trying to keep yourself focused, and at the same time, not putting so much pressure on yourself that you can’t perform is a delicate balance. We’ll that’s where Mental Toughness Training for Golf: Start Strong Finish Strong can help.
Dr. Bell must have been reading my mind, because he sent me an email a couple of weeks ago asking if I’d like to check out his book. Perfect timing, my club championship was in a few days, and I could use some mental prep, plus it just plain sounded like something us mere mortals, who can’t afford a sports psychologist, could benefit from . He sent me a copy and I flipped through it prior to my first round. Let me tell you, if you’re a tournament player who tends to struggle in pressure situations, this book has a ton of great drills and thoughts that you can put to use immediately.
One of the keys that I took with me to my tournament was Dr. Bell’s thoughts on having “no expectations”. I wrote this on my wrist each day before I tee’d off so I could look down at it before shots. Not having any expectations for that shot, or for my score that day helped me relax, have fun, and play better without thinking much about it. There’s a ton of other jem’s like this that any one of us can take to the course each time you play.
Another is “Needing, Wanting & Justing”. Dr. Bell describes how the idea of needing is a handicapping thought and places unrealistic pressure on ourselves. Such as “I need to make this putt”, or “I need a birdie on this hole”. I can’t tell you how many times each round I say to myself, I need to get this one close, or I need to hit this fairway. Then when it doesn’t happen, disappointment and frustration starts to build. Transforming the “need” thought into “I want” or “just” can eliminate some of the pressure and help you think effectively with a clear goal. “I want to play well today” or “Just play aggressively today” are alternative thoughts to help provide a positive, but non-expectant voice for your game.
The book is full of these types of ideas, and Dr. Bell has even gone so far as to break it down into various parts of the game, such as pre-shot routine, post-shot routine, putting, drills for golf teams, and a ton more. I haven’t even finished going through the entire book yet, but I was so pleased with just the little bit that I took with me to my club championship, I can’t wait to try out some of the other mental drills and see how I’m able to perform.
You can pick up Dr. Bell’s book at his website, http://drrobbell.com or at Amazon. If you take only one thing away from this book and it helps your game, then it’s money well spent. I’m confident you’ll learn a lot about how you currently think about golf , how you can improve your mental game and play better, while enjoying it even more.
You can read more about Dr. Rob Bell here.