A lot of golf pros and experts talk about practicing with an engaged mind.
This is awesome advice and I think it could help a lot of players. The more engaged our mind is, the more effective our effort becomes. Makes sense right?
But there is one problem.
You know you have to be engaged, but HOW do you become engaged? Is there anything you can specifically do to force your mind to do it?
I think there is, and I’m going to share a little bit about it right now.
When we’re practicing or playing, we are thinking about our game. Some of those thoughts might stick, but most fizzle off into the dark pit of cognitive waste. Having some thoughts stick might actually be the best case scenario too.
I’m sure we’ve all seen The Guy at the range go through a 102 rapid fire “power fades” without spending one second of thought on his swing, or anything for that matter. That’s none of you right? Perfect.
Well whichever player you are, there is one way you can force yourself to engage your mind. Want to know how?
Write it down.
Its as simple as that. Writing out original thoughts with no concern about who might read it and what they might think is as mentally engaged you can get. You will make sense of your thoughts by being forced to organize them into understandable terms.
There are two main benefits of writing things down:
The more you write the more opportunity you have to “fill in the blanks”.
How does writing help with discovery?
When we put our thoughts on paper, we can use our newly freed mental capacity to analyze and improve the thoughts we put on paper. Its like doubling our brain power. New ways of doing things and better ways solve certain challenges will begin to surface.
What about reflection?
I see a lot of players going in circles with the way they think about their game. It might be a long, drawn out loop over a couple months, which is the worst, but nonetheless, they are spinning their wheels.
When you’re writing things down you give yourself a reference point to reflect on. The ability to see where you’ve come from is a big help in discovering new ways of thinking. It promotes growth and progress and eliminates stationary reeling.
How do I get started?
Get a golf notebook. Staples or any office supply store usually sells them for less than $2. I have a pocket notebook that fits nicely into my golf bag. This works best for writing right at the point a thought enters my mind.
You don’t have to share it with anyone, so don’t filter anything. The more you write, the better you’ll get at it. The better you get at writing about you’re game, the better you’ll get better at thinking about your game.
This is the simplest, and most effective way to completely focus your mind on improvement. You don’t have to spend hours writing a masterpiece either. It can simply be a matter of spending 5 or 10 minutes reflecting on your round or practice session. Answer a few questions about what you learned and what you could have done better and add anything else you think is relevant. The only rule of your golf notebook is that there are no rules.
Simple things like this will help you intelligently improve your golf game. If you thought this was helpful, you could click here to get new posts for free, or you might share this on Facebook or Twitter.
Either way, thanks for reading, I’ll talk with you soon!