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Old 10-08-2015, 08:13 PM
thirtydirtybirds thirtydirtybirds is offline
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Default The mental game

So lately I've been doing more yard and field work than actual rounds. In the field I am finally getting good consistent shot placement at and around 300', which is my goal this year. In the yard I'm on fire out to 60'. I can land inside a 10' circle of rope around my basket probably 85% or more of the time. Overall I'm pretty happy with my progress off the course.

On the course; however, I'm all over the place. It almost seems like I'm overthinking and under thinking my throws at the same time. My accuracy is way off the second I start actually "playing a round." It's a pretty recent development, a month ago I was at least hitting my lines. I know it's a mental hiccup, I can play hole one over and over again before and after a round with great results, but when it's game time I go all crazy armed!

Any body else run into this, and what has helped rope in the mental part of your game?
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:28 PM
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HyzerUniBomber HyzerUniBomber is offline
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There's countless ways to sabotage yourself, but the easiest way to flounder is to not commit to the shot. You're spending all this time learning how to throw and putt, when the time comes to play a round - get 100% out of your mind and let the body do what it knows how to do.

Trying to fix or analyze or remember anything beyond "stay loose" during a throw is trouble. Any strategy thought should be done before you're setting up for a shot.

I may have mentioned this before, but I used to visualize myself as a cheetah slinking up to the pad, completely loose and ready to accelerate. That's all I would allow myself to think about... Loooooose.

Eventually you just get out of the way of yourself.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:44 PM
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Among many things, consider than in field work, you throw the same shot repeatedly. On the course, you throw fullspeed/putt/fullspeed/upshot/putt....etc. I, at least, find this a bit harder to keep my form in line because of this.

If you practice in an open field and play a course with lots of obstacles, or even woods, it may be that your fieldshots aren't as precise lines as you think.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:28 PM
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Putt for D'oh Putt for D'oh is offline
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"...90% mental, the other half is physical" RIP Yogi Berra

In some other sports I have more experience I talk about 'brain-on' and 'brain-off' people. That is some people who, in order to perform, need to be actively thinking about everything going on in the moment and others who (me) need to accomplish thinking ahead of time and let the body do its thing in the moment.
I believe the majority of athletes are brain off types and IF you find your mental game is a hindrance to what you KNOW your body can accomplish, chances are you are too.

For me personally it is finding a good focus point. It is very personal. I need to focus on my pull and disc angle. If I think about footwork I shank. If I think about weight transfer I shank. If I think about that tunnel I shank bad. If I think about grip, I shank epically.
Find a good focus for you. Should be something positive. Follow through or the line you are going for or the basket or the big open space 50' from the basket whatever but you can find this aND stick to it.
A guy I throw with recommends a book "Zen and the art of disc golf" I think I need it for putting, but the overall message is true for the whole game.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:29 PM
RobA RobA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirtydirtybirds View Post
So lately I've been doing more yard and field work than actual rounds. In the field I am finally getting good consistent shot placement at and around 300', which is my goal this year. In the yard I'm on fire out to 60'. I can land inside a 10' circle of rope around my basket probably 85% or more of the time. Overall I'm pretty happy with my progress off the course.

On the course; however, I'm all over the place. It almost seems like I'm overthinking and under thinking my throws at the same time. My accuracy is way off the second I start actually "playing a round." It's a pretty recent development, a month ago I was at least hitting my lines. I know it's a mental hiccup, I can play hole one over and over again before and after a round with great results, but when it's game time I go all crazy armed!

Any body else run into this, and what has helped rope in the mental part of your game?
I would say the first step in the mental game is having realistic expectations and being patient. It is easy you get frustrated if you think you are going to nail every drive and can every putt. Focus on the next shot, not the last shot.
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:58 AM
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I'll always take an opportunity to recommend the book Golf Is Not A Game of Perfect. It helped me out quite a bit. I had a bad case of the yips at the beginning of the season. I finally broke down and bought the audio book after 4 putting in a sanctioned event. Shank from 5' out, shank the come-backer which hits the cage and falls directly under the basket, lose my **** and try to slam it in while walking away and in the process hit the bottom of the cage which knocks it out of my hand for another stoke.

One thing in the book that really calmed me down was this: If you have an average score of say 54 on your home course through a season, you might have an all time best of say 48. That 48 is something to be proud of but it is also an outlier. If you start getting in your head because you aren't on course to tie your best through 9, you are probably going to hurt your game and end up above your average. Accept the fact that you shoot mostly 54's with the level of skill you currently have. Don't Bobby Knight yourself because you aren't shooting a score that actually only occurs about 10% of the time.

Step up to the hole, visualize your target and flight path, trust your body to execute. No swing thoughts. No form adjustments during a round. Practice is for when you are practicing. During a round, play with what your brought to the course. If you can commit to doing nothing else but that for 18 holes, you will shave several strokes without changing anything else.
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:38 AM
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davistd0 davistd0 is offline
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Most people are great at focusing on the shot during practice and they throw terrific lines, hit big putts, and stay out of trouble. But once a scored round (tournament/league) begins, the throws are all over the place and they consistently score worse than expected. The difference is that they switched from focusing on the shot to focusing on the score. Let your score be the outcome of every individual shot. Always throw a shot you are confident in.

Throw the shot, not the score.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:19 AM
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I've been playing terribly in tournaments for most of this season (dropped from 921 to 906 throughout this year), mainly due to losing all confidence in my putting, which then started to bleed into other facets of my game. Outside of tournaments, I play like I know I can play, but when the pressure is on I have been crumbling.

What I started doing that seems to help me the most is just not letting my mind wander from the shot at hand. The moment I start thinking about the last shot, the last hole, the next hole, someone else's shot, how the field is doing, or anything other than the shot I am walking up to, I try to actively steer my mind away from that, back to THIS shot. But it's tough, sometimes I can think I am concentrating on this shot, but still somewhere in the back of my mind I am sulking over that missed 15 footer.

When I am truly focused, I become confident in the shot, and confidence is everything.

In that same vein, I stopped lining up putts for more than 5 or 10 seconds max, visualize the line, 2-3 practice swings and then throw; that's as long as my brain can actually concentrate on the putt. If I sit there for 20s, by the time I actually putt I find I was no longer even thinking about the putt.

Last edited by roggenb3; 10-09-2015 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 10-09-2015, 10:46 AM
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The mental game...I'm right there with you. Sometimes you can be you're own worst enemy.
Shameless plug: http://www.heavydisc.com/2015/04/the-mental-game.html
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