Just about every golfer battles negative emotions on the course and a golfer must learn how to overcome these emotions for peak performance to occur. Golf is not just a physical game, it’s also a mental and emotional game. A round of golf boils down to 90 seconds of physical performance versus 4 hours of mental and emotional management. Your ability to control your mind and emotions are often times the biggest determiners of success on the golf course. Most golfers understand that negative thoughts and emotions can destroy a round but few actually know strategies to overcome the negativity once it sets in. One of the easiest and most powerful ways to shift from negativity to optimism on the course is by changing your body language. The way you hold and use your body greatly influences the way you think and feel. This article explains how body language affects you mentally and emotionally as well as will provide you a simple yet very effective exercise that you can do at home that will increase your level of performance on the course.

An important thing to understand about the mind-body connection is the principle of congruence. The principle of congruence means that your subconscious mind is always striving to make your thoughts, emotions, and body language congruent with each other. Here are two very simple examples to demonstrate the principle of congruence. During times in our lives when we are laughing and smiling it is impossible to feel depressed. The opposite is also true. If you are frowning and hanging your head it is impossible to feel good.

Let’s take these examples one step farther. I am positive that if I were to ask you to describe to me how a confident person holds their body that you would be able to provide a very accurate description. Your answer would probably describe something similar to this. The confident person would be standing tall, with their shoulders back, their head held high, and so on. If I were then to ask you how they move, I am confident that you would be able to accurately describe this as well. You would probably answer that the confident person moves with a sense of purpose and determination. They make powerful and confident gestures, and walk around with an aura of authority.

On the flip side of things, if I were to ask you to describe a person in a negative state of mind I am confident that your answer would be totally different. You would more than likely describe someone with their head down, slumped shoulders, scowl across their face, and moving around in a sluggish, lethargic way. If a person carries themselves with this type of body language it is virtually impossible for them to feel good due to the congruence principle. Thoughts and emotions must always be congruent with the body.

The easiest way to shift out of a negative state is simply by changing your body language. By deliberately changing the way you are holding and using your body, you simultaneously change the flow of emotions. It is very important while on the course to be monitoring your body language to make sure it is congruent with a state of confidence and self-assurance. By doing this and making adjustments when needed, you will notice an increase in your confidence addressing any shot, your ability to execute at a higher level, and elevate your enjoyment of the round.

Now that you have an understanding of the importance of your body language in controlling your emotions on the course, let’s take this understanding into the next level of learning; integration. Here is an exercise that you can do at home that will give you a personal experience into how your body language affects your emotions and to help you determine your ideal body language for peak performance on the golf course.

Step 1: Find a place where there is plenty of space to move around, and somewhere you can be alone and free to be yourself.

Step 2: Pretend to be an actor for this exercise. Give yourself full permission to really get into this exercise and play the role. The more you get into this exercise the more you will benefit from it.

Step 3: Act out the role of a confident person. Pretend you are filming a movie and you are playing the part of a person with unlimited confidence. Start by adjusting your body in the standing position to reflect that of a confident person. Ask yourself questions like these and align your body appropriately:

  • How does this person stand?
  • How do they hold their head?
  • How do they hold their shoulders?
  • How do they breathe?
  • How would their face look?
  • What do they do with their hands?

Once you have adjusted your body to reflect this confident person, begin moving around the room as this person would. Ask yourself questions like these to get into the role:

  • How does this person move?
  • What speed do they move at?
  • What gestures do they make?
  • How do they express this confidence in themselves?
  • What are their movements like?

Give yourself at least 5 minutes to act out this role of a confident person and become aware of the way it makes you think and feel. Notice that as you stand and move around as this person that it naturally causes you to feel more confident, powerful, unstoppable, and in control. If you are struggling to feel this then get more into the role and make bigger shifts in your body language.

Step 4: Act out the role of a negative and defeated person. Again, pretend you are filming a movie and you are playing the part of a person with a pessimistic attitude. Start by adjusting your body in the standing position to reflect that of a negative person. Ask yourself questions like these and really get into the role:

  • How does this person stand?
  • How do they hold their head?
  • How do they hold their shoulders?
  • How do they breathe?
  • How would their face look?
  • What do they do with their hands?

Once you have adjusted your body to reflect this negative person, begin moving around the room as this person would. Ask yourself questions like these to get into the role:

  • How does this person move?
  • What speed do they move at?
  • What gestures do they make?
  • How do they express this negativity in themselves?
  • What are their movements like?

Take at least 5 minutes to act out this role and become aware of the difference in your emotions as you play this part. Keep yourself in this pessimistic body language and try to feel confident and positive without changing your body in any way. It is impossible.

Step 5: Shift your state back to confidence by doing a pattern interruption. Clap your hands together forcefully, make a power gesture that the confident you does, and dramatically shift your body language back into alignment with the confident self. Once you do this and shift your body language, keep yourself in this position and notice how easy it is to now feel positive, confident, and self-assured.

If you let yourself get into this exercise then you have just learned something extremely valuable about yourself. You have identified the body language, postures, and gestures that you use when you are confident versus pessimistic as well as that you can shift your emotions using a pattern interruption like clapping your hands together and altering your body language. This information will serve you tremendously on the golf course.

First, it has given you the blueprint to how you need to be holding and using your body on the golf course to be congruent with confidence and peak performance.

Second, it will give you the awareness when you shifted to a negative state by monitoring your body language.

Finally, it gives you the ability to shift your emotions on the course by breaking the pattern and shifting back to body language that reflects confidence.

Put this knowledge to the test. You will be amazed at the difference it makes in your level of performance and your enjoyment of the round.



Source by John B Weir

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here