Whenever you go out to play golf it’s a good idea to ask yourself this question.
What is my Intention today?
Most golfers go out and play without giving this any thought. So by default they play with intentions that have no benefit to them and in fact can keep them from learning and improving.
If you don’t set the right intentions for your round then the only intentions that you will have will relate to the score.
Things like, shoot a good score, to play well, to lower your handicap. Or alternatively to not play badly, to not look foolish or to not let your handicap go up.
Since the aim of golf is to always shoot as low a score as possible then what use is having this as your focus for the round?
Does it help you in any way?
In my experience of coaching many golfers who get stuck and encounter problems, these kind of intentions do more harm than good.
I’ll tell you why……
Are you in control of your score? I mean complete control over it ?
If you think that you are then I’d advise you to take a reality check. If you can control your score then why not just shoot a 65 next time out and when you’re done go and sit in the bar with a cigar.
You can influence the score but you cannot control it.
So having an intention that revolves around something that you can’t control can only lead to a few things. Frustration and disappointment.
It’s a common fact that golfers who obsess about the score perform below their potential.
Having a healthy disregard for the score and focusing on the things that are in your control is a much better way of achieving your ultimate goal of playing well.
Over emphasis on results leads to poor performance. Worrying about the outcome of your shot or the outcome of the round makes us lose focus. We are so concerned about what’s about to happen that we do not pay enough attention to what is happening.
If you’re struggling with a particular part of your game then perhaps you can apply this same principle. Let go of the outcome and pay more attention to what you are doing.
Setting an intention that’s going to help you to get the best out of yourself will help you not only perform better but also to feel better. If you don’t have an intention that is going to help you to learn and develop, then usually you will revert back to default,
” I want to play well and shoot a good score”
and this will usually only lead to frustration and disappointment.
Here are some useful intentions that you can set. Your mind will always want to focus on results and the score as I mentioned.
Good Intentions Ideas
Accepting your mistakes – Being kind to yourself
Not overthinking your swing – A simple playing focus for the whole round
Having a positive but realistic outlook – Relishing the challenge
Noticing when you think of your score/handicap and coming back to the moment
With all of these intentions, the important thing is to be committed to them and to check in regularly with yourself. If you stick with your intention, then you can learn from each round and develop your mental abilities in this area.
Imagine that you were better at all of the intentions listed above. Do you think you would play better golf? I’m sure you would.