Mental Golf Tips
Golf…it’s all in your head
By Master Coach Albert Valentine from the Human Performance Academy (HPA)
Cambodia Golf Today is proud to present Albert Valentine to help golfers by some mental golf tips.
Sports have been around for many millennia, dating back to the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, and of course the Greeks who invented the Olympic Games over 2,500 years ago. Why do we play sports? For what purpose have sports evolved and become a major portion of our lives?
Throughout my inputs for Cambodia Golf Today, you the reader will see a common question arise, “What’s your purpose?” or “For what purpose?” This should be something that you ask yourself repeatedly. It answers the WHY question giving you direction and motivation. So, why do we play sports? For what purpose?
Some people profess that it is ingrained in us, it is part of our evolutionary past handed down from our time as hunter-gatherers chasing prey for food. Over the millennia, we developed things such as speed and strength. Possibly these traits were hardwired into us to impress others within our society, groups, clans, tribes. Obviously in the modern era there isn’t a need for us to hunt and gather. Therefore, we have lost that opportunity to get that “rush” to match strength or wit against another animal and that has been replaced in a game or sport where no one will die.
Modern sports are not all about strength and agility. Many sports are about community, building partnerships through teamwork, honing precision, and competing against one’s own self. Golf is just that sport, one that through every shot you are competing with yourself. This in and of itself creates a game externally and more so, internally with your mind.
Many elite athletes and sports people say the mental aspects of competing in a sport make the difference between being a champion or not. Throughout my series of articles, you will find insights into the skills, principles, and mindsets that many of the world’s best athletes and sports people use to be at the top of their game and to fulfill their potential.
This series of articles will be full of practical information and some exercises on how to use your mind more effectively, to gain more success in sport (golf), to get the best out of yourself and/or get the best out of your players as a coach, parent, or mentor.
These techniques focus on achieving results. If you are serious about achieving results, this series of articles will be for you!!
In the forthcoming articles, I will cover some of the main tenets for your success and a deeper understanding of the mental side of your game. To begin, here are just a few words or vocabulary we will be covering over the series:
Modeling – Modeling is the complex activity of capturing—in learn able, transferable code—the mental skills that make the difference between an excellent performer and an average performer, between an excellent athlete and an average one, between a person who is motivated to get the best out of themselves in training and one who is not. You can model Tiger Woods, Phil Mick, Ernie.
Visualization – In sports, visualization can include any of the five senses: visual (sight), kin-aesthetic (feelings), auditory (hearing), olfactory (smell), or gustatory (taste)…using the mind, athletes call up these images over and over, enhancing the skill through repetition or rehearsal in a manner similar to physical practice.
Focus – The power of concentration. What we focus on is what will become our reality. How important is this for the game of golf?
State Management – Refers to our mental and physical processes we experience at any moment. Our state depends on our interaction with the external environment, how well our bodies are functioning and our thinking (including emotions).
Allow me to end with an appropriate quote for sports:
“I’ve discovered that numerous peak performers use the skills of mental rehearsal and visualization. They mentally run through important events before they happen.”
—Charles A. Garfield
Next Exclusive Article on Mental Golf Tips is about Modeling Excellence.
Coach Al Valentine is a professional Human Performance Coach who holds master coaching certifications in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and Time-Line Therapy. Coach Valentine is a former government diplomat, career military officer, he holds various post-graduate degrees and certifications.
Visit the website of Human Performance Academy for more information.