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Archive for the ‘ Mental ’ Category

4 ­Step Mental Practice

Every Golf instructor out there preaches visualization and if you’ve been with me for awhile, you know that you don’t actually have to “see” anything in order to work on your game in your mind. In other words, a better term than “visualize” is to “mentally practice.”

This allows the golfer to do it his way. Having said that, I keep hearing from golfers who struggle with this whole concept no matter what it’s called. They can’t seem to imagine themselves swinging correctly even if they can do it on the range or a practice swing. This video is going to help you by breaking it down into 4 steps so you can really get some mental practice benefits now to improve your swing…or any other part of your game.

 

4-step mental practice

In today’s video, you are going to learn another advanced technique for doing turbo-mental practice. It’s long been proven that mental practice can be just as good, and sometimes better than real practice…especially if you’re practicing bad habits.

Often, golfers tell me that they have trouble seeing or imagining themselves swinging correctly or that they can’t see anything at all.

golf swingHere’s what you do: Let’s say you swing just fine on the range and maybe even in your practice swing but when it comes to actually hitting a ball, your like a totally different person.

Well, at some point, from the address until the end of your swing, it changes…or it breaks down in some way right?

Now this is going to take a little self awareness or observation from an instructor to find that point, but let’s say you’ve figured out that your swing breaks down right here at the beginning of the downswing. Maybe you speed up or drop your shoulder or crunch up or something like that that you don’t do in your practice swing.

Finding that point is helpful but not necessary. You could just start this process anywhere near the beginning of the swing and work your way through the whole swing using these steps.

Anyway. If you are having trouble mentally practicing a full correct swing, Step 1. take your club in slow motion and get to that point where your swing breaks down. Maybe you get to the top and then you rush it down and you get all out of whack right there. Stop at that crucial point where it would go out of whack.

Feel it, see it.

Step 2. Slow motion your way through that point but don’t finish the swing. Just focus on that small area of movement.

Step 3. Now, do the same thing with your eyes closed and imagine you’re still able to look at where your body parts should be. Do this a bunch of times.

Step 4. Put the club down, close your eyes or stare at a wall or something and imagine doing it again just like step 3

The key here is to create a new habit of getting through that breakdown point and only focusing on that in your mental practice….not the whole swing. It’s much easier to do and actually more effective to break it down that way.

Once you can do step 4, do it all day, everywhere until you’ve got the move down. Fall asleep thinking it, wake up thinking it, day dream about it. This is truly my biggest secret for how I first broke 80.

IMG_20112013_100701I’m Craig Sigl and

your swing is good enough to go low

Golf Score Improvement Plan

If you’ve looked at golf instruction online for any amount of time, you no doubt have experienced that dreaded issue: “Golf instruction confusion.”

I’ve said it many times before that I fully recommend that you pick your swing and physical game instructor and you commit to him/her teaching. That means you have to ignore other advice while following those instructions.

It’s the same thing with the mental side of the game which is why you are here. In this next video, I’m going to make it really simple for you as I answer one of my followers who is in the midst of some confusion on how to use my teachings.

Go here to watch

Greens and fairways,

Craig

 

 

80/20 Improvement Plan

Hello Craig,

I joined as a gold member and purchased the CD’s 3 weeks ago. I have over the past 3 rounds improved with some really great shots in particular my irons. getting 3 or 4 pars a round.

My problem is this: I have so much stuff that I want to listen to it becomes over whelming. Can you suggest a plan that I can follow on a daily basis that will help me get some focus and direction. I am a qualified NLP practitioner and hypnosis as well so I know this stuff works. I am probably putting to much expectations on myself.

A plan to follow would be great with the things that I should focus
on first the the next then the next…………………… etc,

thanks, Tony

Hi Tony,

Thanks for being a customer!

preshot-routine-down-pat1. The first thing you need to do is get your preshot routine down pat. Go over the elements of the preshot routine that I teach and make sure you incorporate them all and do them religiously. The point of that is to train your unconscious mind to take over once you begin the swing or putting stroke. Most important!

2. Once a day, break out your favorite wedge and chip for 5-10 min if you can. Into a bucket in your backyard is fine. If weather is bad, chip into a couch or sofa inside.

3. Listen to a favorite song on your way to the course that has your special golf rhythm that you will hear in your head while on the course. You will sing this song while swinging.

4. During warmup on the range before a round, do everything you can to simulate that you are playing a hole. Do not go from Wedge up to driver like everyone else does.

5. Just before going to bed at night, for now, do just one of the golf hypnosis sessions that for the area of the game that you believe will give you the most bang for your buck. Do that session for one week or so and then move to the next one for another week, and so on. Don’t try to go into all the sessions at once and mix them up. Pound into your unconscious mind the concepts that you know will give you some stroke savings now. You need to get some confidence that you can affect your game through the mental game as soon as possible and then you can build on that.

This is 80/20 golf improvement and the secret to lower scores faster.

Greens and fairways, Your swing is…

Golf tips: Stop battling your golf swing

I’ve decided to do a regular series of videos where I answer questions that come to me in email and blog posts from golfers.

This one below comes from a golfer who more than just struggles to find his swing but has been learning from me how to connect with his inner perfect golfer self.

I give you a simple step-by-step progression bridge the gap between a tense swing and an energized, yet relaxed swing.

I’d really love to hear your comments below the video.

Battling your golf swing

Title: Golf tips: Stop battling your golf swing

Dear Craig,
I feel like every full swing is a battle. I tend to think of the swing while making a swing. I have also
tried thinking of nothing, humming, & focussing on the target all with the same result. besides your other
suggestions have you any comments that would help. John.

Hi John,
Is there anything in your life that you do maybe for fun or pure enjoyment but that DON’T MATTER if you win or lose?

An example is playing cards with friends.  Or, playing a game or a round with a teenager or son or daughter. You know what it’s like when you are excited to put your mind to a fun task and have the great feelings of competition that come with doing it with someone you care BUT, there’s no downside. If you lose, no big deal (to most of us that is.)

Do some of these things, on purpose.  Connect with the thought and feeling of doing that as much as possible. Whether what I’m going to tell you next is going to work for you or not depends on how much energy and attention you put into this BEFORE you go out to the course.

  • 4507043_xxlReally pay attention to what it’s like doing these things.
  • Bring those thoughts and feelings over to your swing in the backyard (no ball).
  • Bring that over to swinging at a whiffle ball in the backyard
  • Bring that over to swinging at the range without a ball
  • Bring that over to swinging at the range with a ball
  • Bring that over to swinging on the course without a ball

…then to hitting a ball.
Through the whole process, you are focusing on the thoughts and feelings that you generated playing with your grandkids
or playing cards with friends.

Progress through the steps above and don’t move on to the next step until you get the one before it.
You want to get this new message into your entire being for why you play this game…and then the battle will be over.

What Can Sammy The Squirrel Teach Golfers?

Well, another President’s Cup is in the history books. The international team made a huge comeback on Day 3 but Tiger Woods provided the winning point at the end. The way these guys played in the rain was what impressed me the most,

except for one thing…

Sammy the Squirrel.

What?

It seems that a baby squirrel Davis Love III rescued stole the show for a day and was all in the news.

When I read or hear about things like this, my mind instantly goes to the psychology of what people think and how they act about such curiosities…and how it might affect a round.

I mean, this little squirrel wayyyy overshadowed the tournament for awhile.

I just had to do a video on it that I think you will enjoy and learn a little something for yourself for your game.

 

Title: What Can Sammy The Squirrel Teach Golfers?

Fix Your Golf Game, Fix Your Life

IMG_1403I started out on this journey to just Break 80 in the score of golf.

…and I did that

but golf has given me much more than I ever asked of it. The quest for a better score led me to fix my life.

Truly, I was a mess about 15 years ago. I hated my job, my marriage was a bust, my immune system was shot and I was sick all of the time, I abused alcohol, and even did a stint on anti-depressants.

…and my golf game was stuck in the 80’s

In the video below, I am going to answer a golfer who wrote to me about his personal traumas and how this relates to golf improvement just like myself.

It’s a little longer than my usual videos but I give him and you the key to my recovery in life and breakthrough in golf.

I’d really love to hear your comments below the video.

Greens and fairways,

Craig

Title: Fix Your Golf Game, Fix Your Life

GolferMike,

First off, I really sympathize with you. You’ve gone through multiple major life stressors that even just one of them could take a person down. The quick answer to your question is a resounding no…you don’t need to rectify your life for my work to help your golf game.

But I want to do better than that for you.  It’s awesome for me when I get emails from golfers worldwide telling me how their game has improved. But I don’t  just do this to lower golfer’s scores. 

In fact, I wouldn’t take the time to make all these videos and the years of writing posts and the technical headaches I go through daily to keep all these website functions working…unless I was making a difference in golfer’s lives OUTSIDE the course.

There’s a little bit of personal development help in everything I’ve ever created but my latest project: “From Range To Course” has my highest level teachings that help to change core beliefs at the unconscious level.

You mentioned “I can never do enough or be enough” as an example of a limiting belief that folks carry around with them their whole lives like a ball and chain.

13235606_xxlI get that. I used to carry around: “I don’t deserve” and “I’m small, so I don’t count” for many years. THAT is what held me back from scoring lower in golf…not my swing. When I cleared that, my scores went down.  I never changed my swing on the way to scoring in the 70’s.

AND, there’s definitely hope for everyone out there to clear your interference patterns (mental junk) and re-program some values that are more in line with your purpose for living the rest of your life here.

It all starts with understanding and mastering emotions. And the biggest one is FEAR. You need to understand that FEAR is your biggest hangup in golf and life. The reason you miss 3 foot putts in competition is FEAR.

It’s also why you can hit the ball great on the range and not on the course.  Now, there’s only 2 kinds of fear we experience.

1. Fear of physical harm to the body. and

2. Fear of emotions.

There’s nothing else. Fear of physical harm to the body is a good thing and it keeps us safe. But fear of emotions is what drives us daily. Why? Because we don’t know how to deal with difficult emotions like Boredom, Sadness, Loneliness, Inadequacy, Guilt, (which we bundle up into one word we call: STRESS) and so we go about our lives trying everything we can to avoid them at all costs.

8683767_xl

But, you can’t.  That’s a failing strategy because you are going to feel bad at times no matter what.  It’s much more empowering and fear-destroying to, instead, MASTER your emotions.  I go into more detail in my program “From Range To Course” which is all about eliminating fear and mastering emotions.

I’m going to say something that I think is really profound that sums up the basis for mastering your emotions and mental state that will help you with your golf game for sure, but more importantly, your life and here it is.

Pain, physical and emotional…are inevitable.

Suffering is optional.

Suffering comes from a resistance to “what is” or a resistance to reality.

AND, It makes it so much easier to stop resisting reality when you live your life with a purpose or meaning.

Read Victor Frankels book: Man’s search for meaning if you stuggle with that concept.

working with client

Every day I work with athletes in my office and via phone and Skype to help them live this way: purposeful…that’s the secret to performing to your potential. If you’re interested in that, just reply to any email I send you.

Mike, my golf products will not only help you with your game, but they will help you integrate your current reality with a perception about your reality that works for you…and that will generate more good feelings and keep out the fear…and your scores will go down as a by-product.

greens and fairways,
your swing is good enough to go low.

How To Stop A Golf Temper Tantrum

temper tantrums featured image

Golf is a fine touch sport. We don’t throw our bodies at each other. We don’t have to be on alert most of the time. We can take our time and initiate our action at our own time and pace and none of it depends on anyone else playing with us or against us.

…Therefore, we need a finely balanced level of energy and relaxation in order to allow our fine motor skills to work to potential.

After fear, the 2nd most destructive thing to a golf swing or putting stroke is anger or frustration.

In today’s video, I’m going to give you my best tips for how to deal with this so that you don’t carry your frustration from playing poorly over to the next shot. Pretty basic, but we often forget the basics.

Greens and fairways,

Craig

Title: How To Stop A Golf Temper Tantrum

How many times have you missed an easy putt or duffed a simple chip shot and gotten really angry? I mean REALLY Angry with yourself, angry at your ball, your putter, the world and you are just dying to throw your club or take a chunk out of the green with your putter right?

I’ve seen it a lot and in my old days, experienced it myself and it’s not pretty. It’s bad form to act like these guys and nobody is going to want to play with you if you do this too often…

What are you supposed to do? First off, if you are a hot head like Sergio Garcia, prepare for it in advance.

Now, I’m going to go against conventional wisdom here by saying that if you find yourself in that rage state, you’ve got to get that excess energy expressed out of your body otherwise it’s likely to cause you to carry tension over to the next shot. Suppressing it is not always the best strategy.

And therefore, for those golfers who are prone to temper tantrums on the golf course, what you need to do is find a way to get that energy out without being a jerk.

Yelling is a great way to get the anger out. Why not grab your towel and put it over your mouth and yell into it? This would be much more acceptable to other golfers and might even get you some sympathy. We all know what it feels like and they would appreciate the courtesy of you muffling it…and you get it out!

How about getting one of those stress balls and squeezing it while walking between shots? The point is to Get away from other golfers and do your thing in an acceptable way.

You could run to the next hole, your partners would appreciate that a lot more than you throwing your club or cussing out loud now wouldn’t they?

Let me sum up the message here for this video…the point is to accept that you are angry, get the energy out of your body and then put the whole thing behind you.

Once you are done with the excess energy, the way to clear it is to FORGIVE yourself. Make a statement to yourself that it’s over and done with and say these words out loud or to yourself: “I forgive you Craig”

This is a magical sentence and our body can trigger into a much better golf state from just that. It’s much better to Master your emotions than suppress them.

greens and fairways,
your swing is good enough to go low.

How To Quiet The Golf Mind – part 2

I’ve been asked many times how to turn off the constant negative mind chatter some of us have while playing (and in our daily lives).  I made a couple of videos to address this issue for you and today I have part 2 below.

If you missed part one, go to:  http://golfshortcutsecrets.com/quiet-golf-mind-part-1/

In part 2, I am going to give you one of my most efficient and powerful mind tactics to directly deal with this issue.  It also works really well in helping you fall asleep at night in addition to helping you control your thoughts.   I’d love for you to try it and let me know how it goes.

It might seem a bit silly at first but it flat out works.

Greens and fairways,
Craig

Transcript

Title: How To Quiet The Golf Mind – part 2
http://golfshortcutsecrets.com
Title: Quiet The Mind part 2

So in this video, let’s go over Technique #2 to get control of and quiet the mind from destructive thoughts.

What you want to do is to Become an observer of yourself and your thoughts. This is a little more fun for me and what I normally do. What this means is you pretend you are a third party, outside of yourself, hearing all the thoughts that come in to your mind…and you do a commentary on them.

This is what it might sound like when I do this:

“Hah Craig…you’re a pretty funny guy. Look at you thinking about the last 2 holes where you missed 3 foot putts thinking that has anything to do with your next putts.
(Pause, new negative thought comes in)
Huh…here comes another useless thought…wonder where that came from. Oh yeah, it was you…hahaha.. And now you’re walking faster than you usually do…could you slow down…can you start thinking about what your feet feel like as you take each step….This is interesting that you’re now talking to yourself and having a conversation with your worry wart self. Why don’t you have a conversation with your perfect golfer self right now instead of your worry golfer? That might be even more interesting. …and I can go on and on with this.”

..and sometimes I do…AND it’s very effective.

You could also do a variation of this and pretend you’re a sportscaster commenting on the thoughts that come up as you play.

Hey, it’s Johnny Miller here following Craig Sigl who just walked up to the 14th tee after running his putt 10 feet past the hole and 3-putting…..you gotta wonder about Craig’s mental state right now…can he put it behind him…etc etc. You can actually make yourself laugh with this one.

So what’s going on here with this mental tactic?
I’m here to tell you that there’s some magic about taking yourself out of yourself and observing yourself. You literally leave the box you built for yourself and expand into much higher-level thinking…perfect for playing in competition. Everyone can do this quiet easily. And it’s fun!

With either technique, the key is to DRIVE YOUR FERRARI mind. Get in the front seat and kick the autopilot out. You do this in other areas of your life, you can do it on the golf course.

Greens and Fairways,

Craig

How To Deal With Annoying Golfers

You finally are able to carve out some time to work on your game down at the range mid-week. You get your clubs set up, do some stretching, and then you follow my advice on how to work on your game by imagining actually playing the course.   You pull out your driver like it’s the first tee and go through your routine.  You step up to the ball and just as your about to take your swing back, a couple of guys 3 stalls down start laughing rather loudly and your focus is destroyed.

What do you do?  How do you handle it?

Isn’t golf supposed to be a gentlemanly game with etiquette and consideration for other golfers?

Well, if you’ve been golfing at all lately , you know that has been degrading over the last 2 decades.  But, you can turn this around to your favor.

Watch the video to find out.

Greens and fairways,
Craig


Title:Golf Tips: How To Deal With Annoying Golfers

Hi Craig, Today I went to the driving range to practice, there was about 6 guys and ladies hittting some balls.Then two guys pitch up and start hitting balls. Need I have to tell you the talking, laving,joking so that everyone there has to know they are there. Am I a bad guy if I wish they can finish and go home so that everyone there can concentrate to practice? Or advise how to overcome this behavior.

Unfortunately, there are people like this out there. Uncaring, inconsiderate and lazy.

Seems like you’ve got a choice in action

1. You can walk over and politely ask them to be a little quieter so that everyone can focus on their game
just like in a regular tournament. You might be a little squeamish about confronting someone like that but I also think that’s a great way to teach yourself how to overcome fear

or

2. You can use what they are doing as a “test” of your ability to focus. It’s all how you look at it.
Tiger Woods dad used to try to distract him in practice on purpose to build up his focusing ability.
He would throw clubs in front of him and make noises and Tiger said it was very helpful when
tournament time came because nothing could distract him after what his Dad used to do.

In other words, you can see it as a golden opportunity to practice your mental toughness focusing ability because let’s face it, it’s going to happen to you out on the course. You might as well be prepared for it.

AND, this goes to a bigger point I’d like to make about managing your mental game. It’s the idea that things SHOULD be different than they are.

“My game SHOULD be better right now”

This green SHOULD be smoother

The players ahead of us SHOULD play faster

The people at the course SHOULD be quieter

Get rid of SHOULDs and Musts. All they do is get you frustrated and you are much more likely to play well in a good state than a frustrated one.

greens and fairways
your swing is good enough to go low…

How To Quiet The Golf Mind – part 1

There’s a famous quote from Sam Snead when asked what he thinks when he’s about to take his shot: “Nothing”

Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t know how to think about nothing for any longer than about 2 seconds at most.

Just like a hammer or a screwdriver, our mind is an amazing tool if we know how to use it. Without that knowledge, a hammer can create all kinds of destruction in the wrong hands. I am fascinated by the workings of our mind and how we can apply its power to golf and if you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know that I believe that scoring has much more to do with how we think than the technique of our swing.

The old sports psychology formula: Performance = Potential – Interference is very true and in today’s video, I’m going to help you get rid of some of that interference to your scoring potential.

This is part 1 and I’ll be putting out part 2 very soon. One of the benefits I give golfers is relief from all the standard “shoulds” in typical golf instruction. This video is one of those.

Greens and fairways,
Craig

Transcript

Title: Having trouble “Quieting Your Mind” on the course?

One of the more common problems I hear from golfers is the inability to “quiet the mind” during the swing or putting stroke. They have negative or destructive thoughts floating around in their head creating doubt, anxiety, worry and fear….which leads to tension and ultimately ruins the shot.

Here’s a typical comment I received:

“The thing that bugs me the most is remembering the holes and shots on those holes that got me in trouble and, although I try to put them out of my head, I repeat the same things that got me in trouble in the first place. If I can just get rid of the negative thoughts and vibes on these holes I’d score pretty well.”

You hear so many pro golfers talk about “thinking nothing” during their swing and so many golfers beat themselves up for not being able to control their mind like they think they should.

Well, you could spend a couple years learning how to quiet your mind by doing meditation. Go sit quietly in a room with the intention of expanding the space between thoughts. This can work and many people gain greatly from meditation but most golfers just don’t have the patience.

If this sounds like too much, well then I’ve got great news for you so let me free you up to be you:

You DON’T HAVE to quiet your mind during your swing in order to play brilliantly!

I’ve got 2 mental techniques to help you with this.

Technique #1. I like to teach my golfer clients, who struggle with this, a powerful new way using a metaphor.

If your golf mind were like an automobile, you would be a Ferrari…and all you need to play the game is a 1968 VW Bug! In other words, you have more brainpower than you need to play this game well.

The problem is, the Ferrari is designed to go fast out on the open highway. That open highway is the highway of thoughts. In other words, you want to drive your Ferrari on some good open highway or it’s autopilot could find some bad roads to travel on (like the commenter above).

What does this mean in reality? It means, you’ve got to give your Ferrari mind useful or at least neutral things to think about, and prepare in advance, that list of things to think about while on the course.

And when on the course…drive your Ferrari on those thoughts! Stop trying to slow down that Ferrari and just give it some good road and let it fly!

What that does is crowd out the negative thoughts. It’s kind of like a teenager putting on headphones with her favorite music so she doesn’t have to hear her little brother’s endless chatter.

Come to the course with a list of things to think about and put them on a 3×5 card and stick it in your bag. Pull it out whenever your thoughts are running wild and getting in your way. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

Notice detail of what your 5 senses are taking in at the moment.
Imagine that you are going to go on a year-long travel trip to the most amazing place on the planet. Start packing your bags and boxes for that trip. What would you bring?
Imagine winning the lottery and what would you spend it on?
Contemplate the vastness of space or whether or not aliens or bigfoot really exist. You might even start a conversation with your partners about it!
Try to go through your mind and remember the first names of everyone you know or ever knew.

Potential subjects to think about are endless! Use when needed. Go on to part 2

How To Get Over A Bad Round Of Golf – part 2

So I finished part 2 of how to get over a bad round of golf.

I actually had a bad streak of rounds…4 out of 5 in fact until I finally broke through with a 77 on a championship course.

Like everything else in golf, contrary to the golf industry, this is 90% of the time, a mental problem and not a physical one. Golfers go crazy trying to “fix” what they think is wrong and create more problems in the process.

…can you say David Duvall?

I give you 2 techniques in the video below to come back and ride the see-saw of you playing this game back up to the top. As usual, I say things in this video that many golf instructors would never teach.

You watch and see and make the call yourself. I might just save you a bunch of time and money.

Transcript

Hi Craig Sigl here. This is part 2 of “How To Get Over A Bad Round”

Getting right to the point here, there are 2 things you need to do in order to wipe out a bad round from your psyche.

1. and this is the most important. You’ve got to come to some sort of a resolution thought about the whole experience. In other words, come to a conclusion that you can accept and live with about what happened that allows you to move on. For instance. After my bad round, I just tell myself that I have those bad rounds every once in awhile to remind myself that you never master this game and that is why it is so addictive and also satisfying when I do have a great round. It’s the contrast of high scores that make the low scores I shoot such an awesome feeling. Part of the deal!

We don’t need to understand what mechanically went wrong with our game necessarily in order to come to a conclusion. If a mechanical flaw in our game is obvious, then sure, go ahead and get some instruction or work it out on the range if you know how to deal with the issue.

What you don’t want to do is walk around with an endless thought stream of “Why did this happen to me, I need to fix it” It happens to everyone like I mentioned in the first video. And here’s the key: More than likely, there’s nothing wrong with your game. There’s often nothing to fix! Don’t go trying to fix something that isn’t broken.

Golf is a weird game. One day, you go out there and you hit every fairway off the tee and a few days later, you can’t hit a one. And then a week or two later, you’re back to hitting every fairway! Be patient because more than likely, this is going to be the case for you if you take my advice here in this video

Because your golf swing or putting stroke isn’t necessarily like a machine where parts get broken and have to be replaced like a car. No. Human beings cannot be reduced to their parts like a machine. Sometimes all you have to do is wait it out…

which brings us to the 2nd thing you need to do to get back on track.

2. Distance yourself from the event. When we think of our choke or bad round, it’s like an object taht seems like it’s right there around or in front of us. We sense it being close to us. Maybe that it surrounds us! What you want to do is some kind of imagination or mental intention to get away from it…literally.

You can think of the choke and then “push it away or behind you” You can walk away from it yourself. You can drift off to sleep at night and “breathe it out of your body” There’s lots of ways to do this. Be creative. Your way is best for you. Just get some distance between you and that round. It’s a mental intention.

To make this easy, I recommend that you not play any golf for awhile. Give it a break. Allow those overall good feelings you have about the game come back on their own without being contaminated by your latest round. They will. They always do if you give yourself some space to clear it.