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I stand on a tee nervous and excited my score is in good shape and I’m ready to go. There’s trouble in the form of trees and bushes to the right and out of bounds to the left. Whallop! I hit a big old slice into the bushes. “I’ll hit a provisional” is my pissed off comment. The provisional is the shot you must take if you doubt finding the first ball.

The Provisional version of myself steps in, puts the ball on the tee and with a quick glance down the fairway smashes the ball straight down the middle of it. The ball has gone so far I now don’t even want to look for my first shot. I hear a small voice in my head of a Scottish friend’s favourite comment when this happens “You know what they say in Scotland big man… anyone can do it second time” He was right.

My provisional self is like the cooler version of me, he doesn’t give a crap, he’s already pissed off and he’s getting on with it. Would I want to be him all the time, hell no he’s a maniac but he does get the job done. There’s no scared thoughts involved, he’s set free of the panic that lives inside me, but that is the gift I’ve delivered to him.

Now it’s getting a little me, myself and Irene, but there’s got to be a happy medium. A place where you can step outside of the stress and anxiety of the world, and into a fully functioning action machine.

So this leads me to wonder, is the art of relaxation delivered firstly by playing through the thoughts of what is the worst that can happen. Play through a bad shot in your mind first. All the teachers will say see the shot and then make that happen, only concentrate on the shot you want to hit and swing easy. But that isn’t a release enough in itself in my experience. Trying to just copy a great shot never quite seems to be as easy as it sounds.

Try this. As you sit there try to relax, be really relaxed and chilled out. Are you able to command it from yourself, are you able to really feel the strain and stress leaving your body. Maybe yes maybe no, it’s only when you try to do something like hit a golf shot that you will feel you weren’t really relaxed at all. You can fool yourself into thinking that you are but there’s no real gauge to measure it on.

Now let’s try this. Try to tense every single muscle in your body. Make your hands in to fists and squeeze as hard as you can, pull that face you do when you’re trying to open that damn jam jar and it just won’t budge. Then release everything, now I think we all agree that’s relaxed, you don’t need to question it because it’s exactly what it feels like, and you haven’t asked your body to relax but to release.

I don’t want you to attract the thoughts of worst-case scenarios though. I just want you to run through them first and move on. I know you will agree that it is easier to think of a disaster, than it is to think of the great things to come. So why not give it the attention first and then relax into what we really want to happen? I know it’s a new way of thinking.

Let me tell you one simple law of the universe to finish. It is impossible to feel scared and grateful at the same time. It’s impossible, try it, see if you can be gratefully scared. So why don’t we scare our selves first and then relax in to a grateful world where it’s much more fun. Ok some will say why not just go to grateful first and skip scared. If you can do that then yes, but for me a little scare tactic helps me to be much more happy and grateful.

Here’s an example, you stand looking at a pond, which has been placed between you and the green. You’ve hit a few balls into it in the past but you try your best not to remember doing it by focusing on what you want. Whether you like it or not there is fear inside you though. Why not flip it, give the fear 5 seconds to think of the worst that can happen, which is generally a ball plopped in the middle of the pond, and maybe even another from the ensuing drop. Now that thought stresses you out.

Take a breath.

The worst has already happened in your mind and you are still here. You are on a golf course hopefully with people you like, maybe even love. There’s fresh air in your lungs and you are happy and grateful to have the chance to hit another golf shot.
Now you look at the flag fluttering in the breeze and prepare to deliver some magic and the ball right next to it. You see the shot in your mind that you want to hit and simply in your new relaxed, happy and grateful state let it happen.

Your provisional self has been released from worry and fear of living up to great expectations. The worst has already played out and the fact you remain with the pressure off gives you a chance to really go for it.

This is currently working for my golf and in my life. I let the pressures come and I ramp it up for 5 seconds, I give it a brief amount of my imagination before releasing and putting my imagination to work on what I really want to happen. and the results have been a much more relaxed and happier me.

Give it a try and let me know what happened. Did it help or hinder your game or life, or the game of life ha. Have fun with this and everything else you are trying to figure out. There’s no right or wrong way to do anything just the fact that you are here and trying is amazing enough.

Go be great! Thanks for reading I am so Happy and Grateful you dropped by.

Cheers

Paul

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