To start, let’s define mental strength...
“Mental Strength is the capacity of an individual to deal effectively with stressors, pressures and challenges and perform to the best of their ability, irrespective of the circumstances in which they find themselves”.
Obviously as golfers, this relates to what happens during a round of golf. Whether you’re playing your best and you’re in the hunt for a tournament, or you can't seem to catch a break, can you maintain a strong mind that helps you to play your best golf?
The work to do that starts before you tee off and carries on to what you do after the round too. With that in mind, here’s how you can get develop mental strength:
1 BEFORE THE ROUND – PRACTICE EMOTIONAL CONTROL
i). Put yourself under pressure in your practice.
Learn to deal with it and handle more stress. For example, the last 10 balls of your range bucket, listen to a Golf Guru app 'call the shots' session.
ii). Maintain a high level of belief in yourself.
Do this through affirmations and positive self-talk. We have loads of 1-2 minute positive affirmations in the app, for every part of the game.
iii). Practice true commitment.
This comes from having a solid plan, a clear intention for the shot, so that you can fully commit to the shot and your swing. Learning to do this on the range, under pressure, is crucial to being able to do it on the course.
iv). Learn to manage your emotions.
There are loads of ways to do this, breathing techniques and/or a regular meditation practice is our suggestion.
v). Learn to tune out distractions.
As above, you can gain emotional control and then attentional control too. You won't get so distracted.
2 DURING THE ROUND - TRUST YOUR PREPARATION
i). Maintain high self-esteem and belief in yourself.
This comes as a result of your training. You have learnt to maintain positive self-talk despite stress and setbacks. You don’t resort to negative self-talk, that's for mentally weak golfers.
ii). Stick to your routines and processes at all times.
You know that they work under pressure, because you've practised them.
iii). You stay committed and show resilience.
If you hit a bad shot, you move on. You don’t dwell on mistakes.
3 AFTER THE ROUND – EVALUATE & LEARN
i). Review your round rationally.
Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes, don’t spend any more time than that.
ii). Ask yourself - what went well?
Remember the great shots, think about why they happened. Write some notes about them in the Golf Guru App journal feature, this positive habit helps improve your positivity and confidence in the long-term.
iii). What could have been better?
Don’t dwell on your mistakes, be aware of them, then move on. Let things go. See any setbacks or failures as a chance to learn, grow, and improve. When you're mentally strong, they don’t leave scars.
iv). What can you do more/ less of?
Put a plan in place of how you can improve, based on your review.
v). Finally – switch off, relax, unwind!
Mentally strong golfers can stop thinking about their game, and enjoy their lives!
If you’re strong mentally then you’re bound to shoot lower scores. Here are plenty of ideas of how to develop it, alll of which can be learnt in the Golf Guru App. Using the app for 10 minutes a day, just 2 or 3 times a week, will lead to a stronger mental game - it’ll happen naturally without you even having to try!
To learn everything about the mental game, download the Golf Guru app! You can use this code on the payment page to get 1month full access for free: JAMES_1mF