Did you know that you have on average 60,000 thoughts per day?!
How many times have you noticed negative self talk?
“I knew I’d miss that shot!”
“My game is awful!”
“My putting is useless”
“How stupid was I to choose a 7 iron?”
Notice your thoughts
Getting out of our heads and into our senses doesn’t mean that thoughts disappear, it’s about noticing them and letting them go, like clouds passing in the sky. In fact, when you start being aware of your thoughts, it might feel like they increase at first!
When you notice a thought, just acknowledge it and let it go, coming back to the activity you are focusing on. It’s completely normal to wonder if you’re “doing mindfulness right” when you’re trying to focus, trust that it works and let the thought go.
Catch yourself having the thought, notice it and let it go. Each moment is a new moment and a new opportunity to clean the slate through being in the present moment.
Informal practice is any routine activity that is done mindfully. If we are really paying attention to the activity, then we are being mindful. Break your game up with little checkpoints and take the time to just “drop in” and let go.
Start with one activity and you’ll find more with time and experience.
Step 1: Choose a routine activity and decide how long you’ll hold your awareness with it
Step 2: Slow down the activity slightly and notice the sensations and thoughts
Step 3: When your mind wanders, bring it back gently to the activity
1. Mindful walking between shots or holes:
- Consciously notice how it feels as you deliberately take each step
- Experience walking with all of your senses
- What can you see? Choose a colour, for example, what can you see that is blue?
- How many different kinds of birds can you hear?
- How does the wind feel on your skin?
- What can you smell? Taste?
- Feel the air going in and out of your nostrils.
2. Mindful tasting and drinking:
- Use your drink bottle as an anchor and do it mindfully each time you take a drink
- Enjoy the first mouthful of your snack, slowly and mindfully… reeeaaaalllly taste it and feel the sensations… try it with some chocolate or a sultana… divine!
3. Mindful preparation:
- Mindfully replacing and taking out the next club
- Placing your marker or tee mindfully
- Focus on a rhythmic positive phrase in your mind as you prepare or take a shot. You might like to time it with your in and out breath (eg in-out, peace-calm, let-go)