Relax Your Way To A Lower Golf Score
Article by John Weir
Did you know that you can play better golf, enjoy your round more, and consistently lower your score simply by learning how to relax your mind and body? The legendary Bobby Jones said, “The enemy in golf is tension.” If tension is the enemy then relaxation is the key to unlocking our best abilities.
This idea is not a new concept in any way however in my experience as a peak performance coach it is something that is intellectually understood but not consistently applied to our game. There are two reasons for this. First, people are told they need to relax but many do not actually know how to do this. Second, many golfers are unaware that their bodies are tense when in fact they are before taking their shot. When their shot doesn’t go as planned, these golfers immediately assume it was a mechanical issue rather than tension in their body that threw off their swing.
The easiest way to fix your swing and golf at peak performance is by incorporating relaxation training into your practice regimen. Below you will find step by step instructions for a relaxation exercise called the Neuro-Muscular Progressive Relaxation. This exercise will teach you how to discover hidden tension in your body and how to rapidly release it so that you consistently swing your best.
The Neuro-Muscular Progressive Relaxation:
Step 1: Find a quiet place where you can sit back and relax for a few minutes.
Step 2: Close your eyes and start the process of relaxation by doing deep diaphragmatic breathing.
Step 3: Imagine that your body is divided into 9 regions or muscles groups.
Muscle Regions:1. Feet and Ankles2. Lower Legs3. Upper Legs4. Hips and Buttocks5. Abdomen and Lower Back6. Chest Muscles7. Shoulders and Arms8. Upper Back9. Neck
Step 4: Start in region number 1 and focus all of your attention on the muscles of your feet. Take a deep breath in and as you do tense all the muscles in your feet as much as possible for 5 seconds while holding your breathe. Next, exhale your breath, simply release all the tension as fast as possible, and let the entire muscle group relax completely.
Step 5: Move up the body to region number 2 and focus all your attention on your calves and muscles below your knee. Take a deep breath in and tense all the muscles in your lower legs for 5 seconds while holding your breathe. Exhale your breath, release the tension, and let all these muscles relax completely. Continue this tension/release cycle for the remaining 8 muscles regions of the body.
Step 6: Once you have progressed up the body and completed the tension/release cycle in the 9th muscle region, spend a few moments conditioning your mind for success by repeating a positive affirmation or mantra before opening your eyes.
On Course Application:
If your swing isn’t clicking on the course, chances are you are harboring tension somewhere in the body. Instead of messing with your swing mechanics, which could throw your game off even more, focus on releasing all the tension in your body to increase the execution of your swing. To achieve rapid relaxation on the course, simply condense the exercise described above from 9 individual muscle regions to 3 larger groups (lower body, mid section, and upper body). This technique enables you to release all the tension in the body in just 15 seconds or less. Apply this exercise before all of your shots until you feel yourself swinging more loose and relaxed. In situations of struggle, your performance will rebound much faster with this approach rather than losing trust in your swing and making tweaks to it on the course.
By applying this technique into your practice regimen it will benefit your game in many ways. It will teach you the difference between when your body is relaxed versus tense. This technique gives you a simple way to relax on the course to calm your nerves and consistently swing your best. Finally, it will keep your body loose, relaxed and feeling good so that you can enjoy your round of golf even more. Put it to the test and prove it for yourself. Your game will thank you.
About the Author
John Weir is a board certified hypnotist, NLP master practitioner, and peak performance coach. He is the creator of the Mental Caddie which is a 6 disk audio program designed to condition the subconscious mind for success on the golf course. For the last 3 years, John has been a faculty member of the National Guild of Hypnotists and has been teaching other professional hypnotists how to utilize hypnosis to improve golf performance. To learn more about John go to http://www.johnweironline.com and if you are curious about how to use your mind to lower your score this year go to http://www.mentalcaddie.com for all the details.
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