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What You Should Think Over the Golf Ball

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I get asked all the time what I'm thinking over the ball. This video finally answers it - the answer will surprise you! If you struggle with the mental game, this will help you a ton!

Mental Game Articles:

Mushin Golf Introduction

Mushin Golf - Carrying it Over to the Course

Golf and the Ego

Spring Golf - How to Always Play Your Best

You Are an Athlete

How to Practice Golf

Confidence in Golf

10 Principals for Solid Golf

One of the most common questions I get asked all the time is, "What are you thinking over the ball?" As you saw there, that was a normal pre-shot routine for me, and I didn't have a whole lot of time to think of much of anything. The reality is, I don't think about anything over a shot. If you're thinking a lot, you hopefully are doing that on the practice range or just playing a practice round. If you're going out to play golf and you're actually keeping score, you can't think anything. You really have to learn to clear out your mind and let your subconscious take over, because if you're thinking a bunch of different random, jumbled-up thoughts, it's impossible for your body to coordinate those into a coordinate, athletic, dynamic movement.

The trick is, of course, how do you work on your golf swing and still play golf at the same time if you can't be thinking anything over the ball? That's where practice comes in. You have to get enough repetition that this stuff gets burned into your subconscious mind so you don't have to think about it at a conscious level. At a conscious level, you're really gonna be able to process one thing at a time, and that may be one drill that you could be working on. So you're working on your takeaway. Okay, well, that's the only thing I can really think about. But if I'm going off to play golf for a score, I can't even think about that. I've just gotta feel it. I've gotta rely on what I've done to this point to get me here, and hopefully I've done the reps and done enough work in front of a mirror that that movement has settled in.

However, if I haven't, I've got no prayer of going out and playing good, consistent golf. This is where everybody makes a mistake. They go out and do reps in front of a mirror or at the range they do a hundred or so, and then they think they can go out and play and it's just gonna stick. You've never learned anything in your life like that. Golf is not gonna buck that trend. So it's really important that you understand the concept of how your brain really learns, and you slowly start stacking pieces on as your brain can handle them. If you rush the process, it's just gonna take twice as long to get half as far, because you're not really gonna be making any progress; you're gonna keep making steps backwards when you go out and play if you have to consciously think through every single little movement in the whole golf swing. It's impossible.

So what I want you to really understand is that the whole goal is that you do all the work away from the golf course so that when you show up to the course, you're ready to play. And by play, I mean have fun. Go out there. It's a game, remember? And if we're hitting the ball well, it's a fun game. But if you're not, it's really challenging, and the reason you're not gonna be hitting the ball well is you haven't done enough work away from the golf course doing your drills and repetitions, because when you show up to the course it's too late. You can't think your way through around a golf consistently. You might be able to do it once or twice, but you're never gonna be a consistent ball striker until you get up over the ball and you pull the trigger without having to think about it and you're gonna be able to do that when you put in the reps and work.

But if you still struggle with understanding the mental side of the game, I've written about a dozen articles on it that help you understand the process that most great golfers go through when they're ready to hit a ball. Obviously it's way simpler than you think, but it's just learning to do something a little bit differently, learning how to clear your mind so that your body and your subconscious can do what you've trained it to do rather than you trying to coax it into doing something it's not quite prepared for. So I've put some links into the description. I want you to go and look at the mental game articles if you struggle with learning how to take everything onto the course and being able to consistently hit the ball the way that you want to. I can almost guarantee you're overthinking it and you're making it harder than it really is.

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