The Importance of Emotional Management in the Golf Mental Game

Today, I want to talk about emotional management and the golf mental game approach in general. What does that mean? It means managing your emotions better. Unfortunately, a lot of us are triggered in our environments where we’re negatively affected throughout the day, right?

We see our boss. We have somebody cut us off in traffic and then we negatively get affected. Well, I want you to turn that around and think about how you want to be. And use something I call an anchor. Now, anchors have been around for a long time. I learned from my studying of neuro-linguistic programming that you can shift your emotional state at any time, yet we sometimes feel like we don’t have control over that. I want you to think about an anchor as something that will trigger a positive emotion now.

Think about what would be an emotional state that would serve you in the future? A lot of my clients, it’s about confidence. It’s like, “I want to show up at that presentation with confidence,” or the athlete, “I want to go to that tournament with confidence.” Be clear first on what’s the positive state that you want to have. That’s the first step.

Next thing, once you’ve clarified that positive emotion, remember a time in your past that you actually were in that state, when you were confident and you were determined and you were ready to go. We’ve all had those moments, come on, that you’ve been at that peak state. So, we’ve clarified what we want. We are now remembering something that we’ve done in the past, and now I want you to relive it with as much detail as possible.

You’re going to close your eyes; you’re going to play that over and over again, and “Oh yeah, that was awesome. Oh yeah!” When you relive it with as much vivid detail as possible, it becomes real again, doesn’t it? As if you’re doing it right now.

We’ve identified our emotions. We remembered a past experience that we felt, and now we are just reliving it over and over and over again in our memory.

Setting an Anchor: A Technique for Managing Your Emotions in Any Situation

Now, when you feel like you’ve got that thing 3D, IMAX, it just is full detail, now what we do is call set the anchor. Now, for me, I use a physical gesture. I put my thumb and forefinger together and it reminds me of the time I had the most confidence. I remember it and then I push my fingers together. I remember, pushing my fingers together.

Now, when I need that confidence, all I do is press my fingers together and that anchor fires the association with confidence. You don’t have to use a physical gesture. You could use a statement. You can use a word. Some people even use a song. That may not help you as much if you’re in the middle of a meeting, but it’s very important for you to have something that’s unique to you, and that … it’s not like me doing a big high five and that’s my anchor, it’s something subtle but right there, reminds me of confidence.

Right there now, reminds me of the state I want to be in. So this is … what we call setting an anchor, I want you to be very clear on what’s the positive state of your intention. Next, remember a time where you were in that state. Third, relive it with as much detail as possible. And then fourth, you want to put something unique, a physical gesture, a word that now is associated with that memory and with that state.

Then, you have it at your disposal. If you’re having a bad day, or if you’re ready to go … it reminds you and sets you now in a new emotional state. Using an anchor is going to help you now master your golf mental game.

Flow Golf Podcast TV | Rick Sessinghaus & Hallam Morgan / Golf mental game training
Flow Golf Podcast TV | Rick Sessinghaus & Hallam Morgan