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:: Pro Tips :: Staying in the Zone

Staying in the Zone
by Patrick J. Cohn, Ph.D.

Question:
In the middle of a good round, one of my playing partners asked me why I was playing so well. This snapped me out of the zone because I started thinking about why I was playing well. How do I keep myself in the zone when this happens?

Answer:
It is common for a player to go in and out of the zone during a round of golf. Players that often play in the zone will have trouble staying in the zone for an entire round of golf. Just knowing you are in the zone (awareness of your extraordinary play) sometimes snaps you out of the zone. If in the middle of a round you are trying to figure out why you are doing so well, this only pulls your energy away from the task of playing golf one shot at a time. Analysis can lead to paralysis in this case.

Your partner's comment could be a psych out tactic used to disrupt your rhythm and push you out of the zone. Whether this is an intentional psych out or not, don't let the comments of others distract you from what needs to be done. Stay focused on playing golf one shot at a time, let go of how well you think you are playing.

You make matters worse when you start thinking about the golf swing or putting stroke and try to understand why your swing is in the slot or what you are doing to make putts. If others compliment or comment about your game say, "Thank You," let it pass, and get back to playing the game of golf one shot at a time. Forget about your score and why you are playing well. Refocus on your next shot.

One last thought: don't get caught in the "when-will-I-mess-up-this-round syndrome." A golfer who is playing well might sabotage the round by waiting for something bad to happen (a double or triple bogey), and thus it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Try to play on with the confidence that you can finish off the round well and you will not mess up the round even though it has happened to you in the past. Beware of making false generalizations.

This success tip is based on Dr. Cohn's book, "Going Low."

Courtesy of http://www.peaksports.com/


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