We all want to play our best and get the best scores we believe we are capable of. When we hit a bad shot many of us get upset and even call ourselves names like stupid or say things like “You suck!” This is negative self talk and has no value to you or your game. Let’s face it we all get upset when we make a bad shot but beating ourselves up over it is non productive to say the least.
We need to think of ourselves as our own coach when we play. If you were out there with another player acting as their coach you would never ridicule them for hitting a poor shot or making a poor decision. That leads to a downward spiral that is difficult to recover from. You would let your player know that it is okay to miss a shot. It is part of the game. You would also let them know that their ability should not be judged on one shot and that one poor shot is not going to ruin the entire round. You need to forgive yourself and let it go. It is in the past and there is no way to get that shot back. Jack Nicklaus would say “There are only so many bad shots in the bag. Once you hit them all you have left are good ones.” This is the mindset of a positive thinker who know his ability level and will get those shots back. The best way to get good at this is to practice positive self talk when you miss a shot. I like to try and not think about the next shot or how it will effect my score on this hole. I wait until I get to my next shot and access what I have to do to get as close to the hole as possible. I let myself know that it’s going to happen. Most tour professionals know that they only hit two or three shots per round the way they intended. The others are misses. These misses are much smaller then the ones amateurs hit but they have the same mental effect on the Pro as it does to the average players. They try to let it go and move on to the next shot leaving it behind. This can only be done with practice like any other thing we want to master. We must master our emotions to play our best and learn to lift ourselves up rather then beat ourselves up. The sooner you take this approach on the course the better you will play. So the next time your out playing on the course talk yourself up not down. I bet you’ll be surprised at the end result.