Mental Skills and Golf

All of us have a mental state that affects our performance. The more we can develop our skill at controlling that mental state, the better we will perform al of our other skills.

What Are mental skills ?

Mental skills are the internal skills that enable us to perform successfully the technical skills (physical skill) that we have already stored within our subconscious, or to learn those new skills that we wish to store in our subconscious. Examples of these mental skills are concentration (our ability to focus or attention), energy control (being ‘pumped up’ or ‘psyched up’), self-confidence(self belief) and our ability to use our imagination effectively (the ability to visualse).

The degree of skill which we have in each of these specific areas is reflected in our body language and in the words that we use, but most of all, it is reflected in our physical performance.

We use our mental skills in every area and in every minute of our lives. In whatever we do it is our brain that drives our behaviour, and therefore our brain that is responsible for our performance. Our brain ‘houses’ the mental skills we have ; it sorts and interprets the stimuli that we receive through our seses — i.e. what we see, hear and fell — and on the basis of this interpretation, the brain drives what we do physically.

What most people fail to realise is that it is possible to train these inner skills. In the same way that we can design specific excercises to help us improve our swing technique, we can devise ways of improving our mental skills, and as a result improve our performance. In fact, it’s sometimes easier to improve our mental skills than our physical skils, as the excercises that are shown later in this blog post can be practised off the golf course as well as on it.

Psychology in golf