My Round was Doomed from the Start

I went out early this morning to play a quick 9 and take advantage of the warming Chicago weather.  All the progress I made the past three weeks absolutely vanished.  Nothing felt right.  I didn’t feel comfortable over any of my shots except for my putts.  I missed the majority of my shots to the right when my natural miss is to the left.  Pretty much nothing felt good on the course today and I actually think I know why.

Recently I have been trying to focus on my comfort level going into each shot.  I wrote a post a bit ago about how my only two swing thoughts were standing closer to the ball and bringing the club back in between my two extremes (too steep and too shallow) on the backswing.  It helped me relax and hit much better shots.

This morning, however, I wrote down 6 goals for my round today and I think this was a HUGE mistake for me.  I wrote down:

1. No three putts

2. No two chips

3. No shots OB

4. No Double Bogeys

5. Break 40

6. Commit to every shot

The only goal on that list that I think was positive was the last one.  I found myself thinking about how each shot would effect my goals I had written down.  I wasn’t focused on the shot as I was hitting it, rather I was focusing on avoiding the negative outcome as it pertained to my goals.  My mind was swimming with scenarios before, during and after each shot.  It was not enjoyable and my shots suffered dramatically.

After having the afternoon to reflect on my play this morning I feel confident saying that writing down those goals was a mistake.  I think the premise behind writing down goals is a must for players who want to truly get better, but I went about it the wrong way.  All of my goals, except the last one, has a negative connotation behind it.  They all refer to a negative that I was trying to avoid instead of a positive I was trying to achieve.  I think my goals were spot on, bu I would word them differently next time.  Here is how I would write these exact same goals for my next time out:

1. Hit smooth putts and focus on proper speed

2. Be aggressive on chip shots

3. Pick good targets on every shot

4. (Would remove this altogether)

5. (Would remove this as well)

6. Commit to every shot

I would remove the goal of no double bogeys and break 40 because if I am able to execute on all of the other goals those will inevitably fall into place.  I could feel myself letting the negative thoughts enter into my head and my game this morning.  On every tee shot I was thinking “No shots OB” instead of pick a good target, set up properly and commit to my shot.  It makes so much sense not to let the negative thoughts come in, but I still let it happen and I know it will be a struggle for me going forward.

I think a new goal for my season aspirations should probably be to commit to using positive goals and fighting out the negative thoughts as much as possible.  Hopefully I can get out tomorrow and rectify my awful performance today with some good solid swings and some even better swing thoughts.


3 Comments to “My Round was Doomed from the Start”

  1. Love your re-focusing goals. Don’t think about the negatives!

  2. It happens to all of us. Have you read “Golf Is Not A Game of Perfect” by Bob Rotella? It’s helped me focus more on the course and could help you achieve your goals. Your work ethic is certainly there!

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