If you’ve been playing golf for a while now, you’ve probably noticed that staying focused is always the key to making your best shots.
However, it’s also one of the few sports out there that can take several hours to complete, so it’s no surprise that clearing your mind before taking a shot can be quite a task. So how do you clear your mind before a golf shot?
The key answer here is to keep your calm and stay focused on your target. Luckily, there are several methods and tactics that are tried and proven to work in order to help you clear your mind while playing. Let’s have a brief look at those tips!
1. Remember to Breathe
The first thing you need to do to stay calm and clear your mind is take some deep breaths. This is because being nervous with lots of things on your mind might make you breathe quickly.
This increases your heart rate and stresses you out even though you may not be aware of that. Additionally, it will have an impact on your hand stability and was found by multiple studies to increase the chances of errors in technical sports like golf.
There are several studies that recommend diaphragmatic breathing as a viable method to fight stress. To do that, you’ll need to breathe in 4 seconds and breathe out in 8 seconds for a couple of minutes.
Deep breathing will not only help your mind and body relax, but it’ll also provide your muscles with more oxygen, which reduces fatigue after a long game and improves your recovery time.
2. Positive Thoughts Only
Another way stress can find its way through your mind is by bombarding you with negative thoughts about the consequences of failing to deliver the shot you’re aspiring for.
The thing is, stressing yourself over the shot and overthinking the results won’t help you get a better shot. Instead, it increases your cortisol hormone levels, also known as the “stress hormone”.
This increases your heart rate and will affect your focus on the ball, which only reduces your chances of a successful shot.
On the other hand, maintaining a positive attitude by envisioning your successful shot will help you relax and raise your chances of hitting that sweet spot!
3. Consider Chewing Gum
Have you asked yourself why many athletes and sports coaches chew gum before and during games?
The reason behind that is that chewing gum was found by tons of studies to clear the mind, reduce stress, and help you focus.
One study to assess the effects of chewing gum found that participants who chewed gum showed significantly lower markers of stress and anxiety than those who don’t.
The best thing about this simple trick is that a pack of gum will not add any extra gear to your golf bag and you can choose just about any type you enjoy to help you clear your mind while playing!
4. Start from Your Home
You can’t expect your body to perform well or your mind to rid itself of swing thoughts if it’s not supplied with enough rest and energy to do so.
A clearer mind starts from your home. Make sure that you always get enough sleep on the night you’re going to a golf course.
You should also try to go on stress-free days, so you should avoid playing golf before important meetings, deadlines, tasks, etc.
Moreover, make sure that you get proper food and drink water to stay hydrated. In fact, dehydration is found by a golf-specific study to impair accuracy, distance, and judgment, which can affect your game greatly.
5. Learn to Switch Your Brain Off in Between the Shots
The majority of time during a golf game is spent in between the shots. This is the time where a lot of players overthink their game, which can easily throw them out of their focus.
In order to clear your mind during the shot to focus on your technique, you have to learn how to turn your brain off between shots.
The best way to do that is to avoid thinking about your next shot and never think about your past shots, especially if you had an error. Ideally, try to focus on nothing but the scenery and remember to enjoy your time.
6. Try to Visualize Your Shot Before Swinging
One habit that many pro players do when they take a shot is visualizing their method and performing a few practice swings.
This technique might take time to work because you need to visualize all the details about the shot and imagine your posture while hitting the sweet spot. In other words, it comes with practice, so you shouldn’t stress it out in the beginning.
7. Avoid Being Too Aggressive With the Shot
Many golfers try to hit the ball as hard as they can for the maximum speed and distance, even if that affects their accuracy.
However, if you consider tuning down your shot power in order to get more accuracy and control of your technique, you’ll most likely get overall better results without stressing yourself.
Additionally, you can work your way up from that point to improve your distance without compromising on your accuracy and steadiness.
Bonus Tip: Create a Routine and Trust it
If you have a specific routine before a golf shot, such as counting to 3 on backswings and downswings, performing a couple of practice swings, drinking a sip of water, etc, always trust your routine because it helps greatly in clearing up your mind before the shot.
How Do You Clear Your Mind Before A Golf Shot Wrap Up
Golf is a challenging game that requires a focused mind and highly consistent coordination, which is why everyone is prone to making errors sometimes.
Always keep that in mind and remember that the best golfers in the world won’t always have their best days.
With these 8 simple tips, you’ll be able to clear your mind before taking a golf shot, which translates to better and more consistent results!