All golfers have that little voice inside that helps drive their golf game. As you start to read my musings for today I know your accessing your voice to understand how it benefits or hurts your game. When I play golf, I sometimes have wandering thoughts that detract from my game. For some reason my focus is not as sharp as it should be and I forget to think about my routines that keep my game in check. I usually catch myself and make a concerted effort to channel my thoughts, but there are usually some outside influences that make it very challenging to mentally stay focused; some are avoidable and others not so much.
There are two things that I must avoid in order to keep my mental focus and strength for 18 holes. One is physical and one is mental. To start with the mental one, I must believe that I can make any shot I need even during the difficult situations. If I have any self-doubts it is difficult to channel my thoughts to make the shot required. I have to believe I can instead of can’t. I expand on this process more in my article called The Mental Challenges of “Can’t” in Golf. My staying in the proper frame of mind, I find that my mental processes are easily controlled and easily channeled.
The first physical component that affects my mental strength is staying hydrated. I find that when I start to feel dehydrated, I develop a bit of a fog that makes decision making a bit challenging. Every time I play golf during the months of July and August, there is is a strong possibility for dehydration to occur. So, I must drink at least a litre of water for each nine to avoid even being slightly dehydrated. Water is my best friend during hot days and there is a direct correlation between drinking enough and being mentally strong. I find it very challenging to channel my thoughts if I am in a fog due to slight dehydration.
Channeling my thoughts is very important to playing good golf. I know of at least to major influences that are in my control to avoid. Over the years, I learned how to minimize detracting influences like managing my “can’t” frame of mind and dehydration. I am sure there are others, but off the top of my head these are the two biggest culprits. Even though I am aware, they still rear their ugly heads from time to time….I guess that is the nature of golf.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!