Golf Practice in your head. Unconscious Golf Part 1

2945632_xxlYou might be sitting down at your computer at your home or at your office. You may have caught a few minutes of the Golf Channel or a pro tournament on T.V.

Your mind starts gearing up for golf! Yes, you haven’t played a round in what, a week has it been already?

13235606_xxlYour last round didn’t go so well and you almost vowed to give up the game. You could feel those arm muscles twitching as you walked by the last water hazard and that little voice inside your head said “go ahead, do it, throw ’em in there, you know you want to.”

But, you resisted, and we’re glad you did because you know that those feelings always go away and you’ll be driven like some magnetic force to that great green playground we call a golf course.

But wait! You surely don’t want to repeat last week’s fiasco and so you start calculating what you need to do to avoid that embarrassing score again.

Your mind immediately comes up with the solution to get your butt down to the range and start hitting some balls and work those problems out there until your hands bleed.

Yeah, that’s it! If it worked for Ben Hogan, it’ll work for me. At least that’s what we’re told. But then you start looking through your appointment book or planner to find some time and it’s filled.

There just isn’t a free hour anywhere. What to do now? You surely don’t want to go out there and just die again in front of everyone.

watching yourselfThe answer is Golf Practice in your head!

When big time pros like Phil Mickelson can come back from an injury and win a tournament when he spent hardly any time practicing before it, you know there’s something to it.

Even when they ARE able to practice, they supplement it with golf practice in their head as much or more than on the range. Before we go into this, I need to expound on what you learned in lesson #2 about your unconscious mind.

There have been many studies done to show that practicing in your head, while you sleep, or just daydreaming at your office for a few moments, is the same to the nervous system as actually playing.

And it can sometimes be even much better because many golfers practice incorrectly or without a purpose and all they end up doing is ingraining bad habits!

It can be very simple and I’d like to suggest that you have that intention while doing this.

5864320_xxlFirst off, you may have noticed that I use the terms “unconscious” and “subconscious” interchangeably. Yes, those terms mean exactly the same thing. I prefer “unconscious” but no matter.

Bandler and Grinder, the originators of NLP, said: “the part of your functioning which is responsible for about 95% of your learning and skill is called your unconscious mind.

Once the unconscious mind can accept an idea it begins to execute it, good and bad alike, it doesn’t matter what you put into it, if it accepts it, it will act on it and execute what you tell it to do.”

So you have to watch what you think and say especially to yourself. Never use negatives like: “I’m a lousy putter”. Your unconscious mind will believe it and act on it.

This is one of the most important ideas on how our unconscious mind works and it’s directly related to golf. Here’s some more:

7675084_xxl1. It’s prime directive is to preserve the body ie survive and thrive.

2.Stores all memories and organizes them in a time order.

3. It is symbolic. It uses and reacts to symbols.

4. It always chooses the path of least resistance. This usually means, unfortunately for us, that it will choose to do it what it has always done that has given you comfort and no stress. Again, this is not all bad so long as we understand this, we can give our unconscious mind orders where the easiest choice for it to make will benefit us.

5. It needs repetition until a habit is installed.

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6. It enjoys serving but must have crystal clear orders to follow.

7. Is the domain of all of our emotions. Wow, can you see the power here in learning how to work with our unconscious mind for golf in controlling our emotions?

8. It runs the body.

9. It contains the ability to transfer learned skills from one part of our body or mind to another. Here’s the big kicker concept for Mental Practice. This idea supports the contention that it is not 100% necessary to practice based on the old model of the brain that we “hard-wire” these abilities in our nervous system. That old model says that we “store” muscle memory and that it is only gained after repetitive learning has caused the proper neural connections to become established between brain cells.

9195836_xxlTo understand what I’m talking about here, take your non-dominant elbow, if you’re right-handed, use your left and vice versa. And write your first name in the air in front of you with the point of that elbow.

You’ve probably never done this before in your entire life but you were able to do this very easily the first time! So it can be with learning how to play good golf in our mind, as we will see.

Ok, we’ll continue with this idea the next time. It was necessary for us to cover this “why” area before getting into some details about the “how.”  You see, Belief is the cornerstone of achievement. And that’s a whole section in itself that we’ll save for another article.

Greens and fairways,

Craig

Have you heard it all before? Have you taken lesson after lesson and you’re still stuck at your old scoring level? Why is that? Why do some folks seem to make this game sooo easy and others struggle beyond belief.

What if you could play golf with the attitude of Fred Couples? What if you could shrug off your worst nightmare rounds and play at your highest level immediately after?

Have you heard the old saying that we only use 10% of our mind power? Whether it’s 5% or 10% or 20%, you know it’s definitely true as you have experienced times in your life, on and off the course where you have had absolute flashes of brilliance and wondered why you can’t do it all the time…guess what? You can!If you’ve hit a great shot with your clubs just once before, there is absolutely no reason you can’t do it again. What do you do differently when you don’t repeat a great shot? I’ll tell you…you run your mind a certain way that produces those results…simple. Break 80 Without Practice

If you would like to begin to unlock the secrets to the other 90% that you are leaving on the table of your performance, you need to check out:

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These CD’s are a goldmine of modeling what has worked for the most successful people on the planet in all sorts of endeavors. Craig Sigl has brought these secrets into the realm of the golf world with astounding results. You’ve never heard anything like this before!

  • alan rothbart says:

    craig– I have purchased your cd’s & listen to the relaxation as well as the subliminal music tapes (probably not enough). I cannot reproduce the swing I practice mentally or even my range swing when I play. It is always more tense, less free & less effective. Any advice?

    • Craig Sigl says:

      Hi Alan,

      It sounds like you are dealing with the most common
      problem in golf…performance anxiety, or, transference.

      Go over the trainings and sessions for fear, confidence and
      getting into the zone. Work on those first before going
      to your swing. They are designed to reduce all that tension.
      Tension is the enemy of the golf swing.

      Here for any questions.

      Craig

  • Benjamin Hegan says:

    Hi Craig

    Thanks very much, I am going to try to hit the sweetspot more often in practice, and use mental practice techniques as well at the same time.

    Thanks very much,
    Benjamin Hegan

  • Craig says:

    Hi Benjamin,

    Good question. The answer is that mental practice and physical practice are both going to help your game so long as you do it in a way that is fundamentally sound. In other words, if you practice poor habits on the range or in your head, you most likely will not improve. I teach people how to do mental practice because they can do it anywhere and everywhere and don’t have to go to the range or the course to get the benefits.
    Greens and fairways,
    Craig

  • Benjamin Hegan says:

    Hi Craig

    I live in Northern Ireland and have a handicap of 24. This is the maximum handicap for juniors here in Northern Ireland. I have never shot a gross score under 115.

    Do you think that mental practice would, or could improve my scores and eventually improve my scores?

    Excuse me for mentioning him, but Dr Bob Rotella has Mental tips on a certain site on the Internet, they say to accept whatever happens, I used this yesterday on the course, and didn’t let the bad shots, or holes destroy my mind, I played ok, 118 gross, 94 nett.

    I am pretty much convinced that mental practice is the way forward for me, when I go to the range, I hardly ever hit the sweetspot, about 50 percent of shots are ok, and less than 5 percent great.

    Sorry for the long message, but could you please tell me if you think mental practice is the way forward for me?

    Thanks,
    Benjamin Hegan.

  • Connie Johnson says:

    Craig,
    This lesson is so key. I have been having trouble with a difficult par 3 at my home course. I have been scoring poorly on it and gotten edgy teeing off there. The night before last I practiced the tee shot a lot in bed the night before my next round. I played the same tape in my head before the shot and put the ball 3″ from the hole. That’s closest I have ever come to a hole in one. Thanks for your help! Connie

    • Craig says:

      Excellent! So glad you “get it” and are applying it to lower your score. Here for any questions,
      Greens and fairways,

      Craig

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