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 How To Build Optimal Performance States For Your Golf 
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Post How To Build Optimal Performance States For Your Golf
How To Build Optimal Performance States For Your Golf
by: Steven Latham

This article is about accessing optimal performance states for your golf.

Have you noticed how you feel when you walk into a dentist surgery? What about walking into a packed athletic stadium to watch your team?

In certain fields of Neuroscience there are associations called 'anchors'. Anchors trigger certain states a person experiences. The key to optimal preparation for golf is to have those anchors working for you. As I mentioned above, never pick up a golf club without being in a resourceful state. By ensuring you are in an optimal state every time you pick up a club, you will build strong resource anchors for good feelings when playing golf.

It's important to build conditioned responses that are useful for you on the golf course. You can learn how to access resourceful states on the golf course making the game more enjoyable. Below is an outline of a process to follow to build optimal performance states for your golf. The process is a content example of the 'Circle Of Excellence' developed by Dr John Grinder. Have a pen and a piece of paper close by as you will need it for this exercise.

1) Find a quiet place, like an office room or an entertainment area where you will not be interrupted.

2) Take a moment to imagine what its like when you're playing golf. Get a sense of how you feel, what does your body feel like, are you aware of how the club feels in your hands? Get a sense of what you can hear. Can you hear the wind or other players talking? Get a sense of what you see. Where are you, are you on a particular hole on a golf course, what does the fairway look like?

3) Imagine an imaginary circle out in front of you on the ground, you can mark this out in your mind, it might be an imaginary blue circle or a spotlight on the floor. Do this in whatever way feels right for you. This circle will be used to build your 'Circle of Excellence'.

4) Standing outside the circle, think of what resources you would like to have when playing golf. For example, you might want to be confident, trusting, relaxed, playful, balanced, or have a rich sense of feel in your hands. Choose the resources you believe are right for you.

5) One by one, recall a time when you have experienced that resource. For example, the first resource may be confidence. Recall a time when you felt completely confident. You can select a memory from playing golf, or you can even choose to access a confident memory from somewhere else, like your work or another sport. As slowly or as quickly as you are able to, access this resource by remembering what you can see, hear and feel when experiencing that resource. When you have a rich description of that experience step into your imaginary circle. Spend a few moments, about 10 seconds in the circle, then step back out.

6) Complete step 5 for every resource that you have written down. Remember that you don't need to use only golf memories, you can use experiences form any endeavor that will be helpful. Remain in the circle for about 10-15 seconds each time, allowing the resources to integrate into a new state.

7) Congratulations! You've built an optimal performance state for your golf. Don't be put off by how easy this was, sometimes progress is easy!

The final step you need is to ask yourself 'when would I like this state in the future?' Imagine what it will be like playing with your new performance state. Spend 15 seconds getting a sense of what that will be like.

If you want to, you can complete the same 7 step process to build an optimal learning state for practice. Now that you've completed this process, accessing optimal performance states on the golf course will be much easier.

To get your FREE copy of Chapter 1 of my Golf Psychology Drill Book, visit

About The Author
Steven has played golf at a high standard, playing American collegiate golf on scholarship and also winning various junior and open age amateur events.

He has a University degree as a Psychology major, holds the Graduate Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and is continuing with over 8 years study so far in applying human performance psychology to golf.

Steven's work has appeared in various media including Smarter Golf Podcasts, The Golfer, FHM, and JNJGF Backspin magazines, and is the current Golf Psychology contributor to Golf Australia magazine.
The author invites you to visit:

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Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:56 pm
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