When people talk about emotions, we often picture someone crying or displaying strong feelings and facial expressions.
Emotions are more like a landscape; there is a variety of emotional expressions, verbal communication, and body language that goes with REACTION.
You may experience a range of emotions, but think of three (3) to start with:
SAD, MAD, and GLAD
Golfers need to learn how to control the first two, because the feelings of “sad” and “mad” take a lot of emotional energy from the body. To be “glad” demonstrates a calm state of feeling positive, strong and happy which gives energy back and fuels your passion for more golf.
The idea of a emotional landscape means that, emotions will change depending on the various levels of stimulation. Change also effects your ideals as a player (your standards) and more importantly the ability to solve for yourself.
Lately in sport that is a lot of emotional drama and attention getting. This simply indicates a weak self esteem that you need to be comforted, paid attention to every time some little thing happens with your game, as well as personal life. It is easier to vent, criticize or struggle than actually change yourself, grow and come up with your own solutions.
Developing golfers need to SOLVE on their own in order to handle
adverse situation later in life.
Emotional control is learned, modelled and supported to reach an even higher potential.
This section of your mental training is about how you can develop a very strong emotional landscape that once again leads to consistent performance. When you face a tough challenge in your sport, imagine using these tools to get through it and also come back better than ever!
Coach Lorie has observed that emotional tools often are needed even more when an athlete is injured for example. The one thing athletes want to do is play, so when this is taken from them there is a lot of emotional build up and unresolved difficulties. If you can open your mind to work on strong emotional tools before change occurs you can reach your personal best goals without all the stress and negative feelings. Save your emotions for positive, productive energy.
Athletes need to spend time on their emotional reactions to everyday events. In general the amount of negativity and high distress in our world brings this skill set even more to the forefront. How do you stay positive in a negative world? Even if you have a negative response to something, you will still have to SOLVE or make a plan to change, improve or MOVE ON! These so called non-cognitive skills are referred to as emotional intelligence or emotional smarts in the literature. ( See Author: Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence)
Coach Lorie calls these (17) collective skills, your emotional landscape. In this case you build your landscape as an essential part of building a better brain. The idea is that these elements make up a foundation for coping with change, adversity, injury and outside pressures to consistently perform well out on the course.
The brain can store certain responses over time to situations that are both good and bad. Golfers need to store emotions that add to their game, not take away from their overall focus and concentration for certain shots such as the approach and making that critical putt.
Below is a list of emotional reactions. Please complete the exercise for yourself and then send me your feedback.
Coach Lorie has placed these in perspective to emotional reactions that are considered by humans as either positive to negative. Please decide which emotions are commonly triggered for you as a developing golfer or professional.
As I said, negative responses will involve higher energy demands from your brain. This is why people who are consistently negative have more health concerns and they play inconsistently. Conclusion: positive responses lead to better performance and a higher state of wellbeing.
Please read the following (3)expert statements to learn more.
“ Positive people cognitively process more efficiently and more appropriately. If you’re in a negative mood, a fair amount of processing is going to that mood. When you’re in a positive mood, you’re more open to taking in information and handling it effectively.”
Dr. Sigal Barsade Wharton, University of Pennsylvania
“The emotional brain responds to an event more quickly than the thinking brain.”
Dr. Daniel Goleman
“ Under these conditions, the key to getting the mind to go on standby—to stilling the minds compulsive thinking—lies in recognizing, accepting, and working with the emotional upset. Once you address the emotional undercurrent, once it is no longer churning inside you, the mind can switch off and quite literally leave you in peace.”
Sharon Rose Summers, Meditation – Deep and Blissful
After reading these statements, which has the most meaning for yourself as a golfer? Do you churn inside, react emotionally all the time? Do you have positive days and then the next day worry over every shot? This is all wasted emotional energy. The key to improved golf is steady improvement each day as you work on one element, not six! You are responsible for your own emotional regulation. Answer the question, “how do you want to feel out on the course everyday?” That answer should be very revealing.
We will cover in your Emotional Landscape the following:
1. Self Regulation
2. Optimistic Thought
3. Calm Control
6. Self Appraisal
“A constant reminder of our ardent nature, emotions surge through us at every second of the day.” Dr. Carmen Harra
You can change these emotions from the left (negative) to the right (positive) in 24 hours!
You cannot be positive every moment, however you need to control, solve and express your emotional triggers so that you can feel more in control of your golf game as a whole.
Do not hold emotional distress in for days on end. Talk it out and come up with a plan.
INSTRUCTIONS: Circle 3 negative emotions you are having trouble with. Now Circle (3) positive emotions you wish to have. See how far you get changing your emotional landscape. Again consistency is the key.
Emotional rollercoaster’s, going up and down will be harmful to your health, athletics and success. See how far you can manage your emotions with a stronger level of self control and correction by doing this simple exercise.
Respect /Positive Joke/Friendly
Helper/Share/Put others first
Advancing to the next level of golf you need more positive qualities which is obvious.
Negative leads to decreased performance on the course and practice range simply because the brain sends the wrong chemicals! You become too hyper, tense and sometimes even confused as to what you may be doing wrong. You question your backswing, your grip, your stance and suddenly the whole movement is wrong.
If you are upset, identify the source first and then come up with a SOLUTION that helps you let go, reset and move on to the task or relationship at hand.
Stop yelling at your caddy, they can see you are doing too much.