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Old 09-14-2019, 12:44 PM
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Olorin Olorin is offline
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Default Thoughts on the Mental Game

Table of Contents
Amateur’s Creed
Attitude
Bad shots
Confidence
Curiosity
Focus
Hot Streak:
Improvement
Opponents
Plan
Pressure
Putting
Routine
Short Game is Key
Thinking:
Tournaments
Training

Ideas adapted from Golf is not a Game of Perfect (page numbers in parentheses) and Golf is a Game of Confidence by Dr. Bob Rotella

Amateur’s Creed
“Amateurism, after all, must be the backbone of all sport, golf or otherwise. In my mind an amateur is one who competes in a sport for the joy of playing, for the companionship it affords, for health-giving exercise, and for relaxation from more serious matters. As a part of this lighthearted approach to the game, he accepts cheerfully all adverse breaks, is considerate of his opponent, plays the game fairly and squarely in accordance with its rules, maintains self-control, and strives to do his best, not in order to win, but rather as a test of his own skill and ability. These are his only interests, and, in them, material considerations have no part. The returns which amateur sport will bring to those who play it in this spirit are greater than those any money can possibly buy.” Richard S. Tufts, past president of Pinehurst and of the United States Golf Association

Attitude
• Be kind, encouraging, gracious to myself. Treat myself the way I would treat a friend I’m playing with.
• Optimism- dwell on the positive
• Does it do you any good to get angry? NO! You only get tighter and more negative (p. 117). No matter what happens with any shot, accept it. Acceptance is the last step in a sound routine. It’s not what happens to you, but how you choose to respond to what happens to you, that makes you good.
• Conservative strategy and a cocky swing.
• The power of the will is the engine of every great athlete.
• Attitude makes a great putter (p. 220)
• Disc golf is a game played by humans, so mistakes will be made. Know how to respond to mistakes. Enjoy the challenge. Bad alternatives – fear and anger – only hurt you.
• On the first tee expect only to have fun and focus your mind on every shot.

Bad shots
• Accept bad shots, shrug them off, and concentrate completely on the new shot. Golf is not a game of perfect (p. 114). Everyone has bad shots; they’re part of the game. Know how to respond to bad shots (p. 221). You must learn to love the challenge when you throw a disc into the trees or a tough position (p. 221).
• Demanding perfection is deadly; you’ll do worse. (p. 117). Get over the idea of wanting to throw only perfect shots (p. 115). Athletes who become self-critical perfectionists are flirting with trouble.
• Choose, as an act of your will, to forget bad shots and remember the good ones. Have selective memory. Enjoy your good shots; savor and celebrate the good shots (p. 131). Remembering the bad shots is bad thinking and too harsh.
• Dispel doubt and anger (p. 73). Anger and negative thoughts sabotage the next shot.

Confidence
 Remember the best shot that I’ve ever had from that position.
• Trust what you’ve trained. Train the swing in practice and trust the swing in play.
• Confidence is crucial to good disc golf. Confidence is the sum of the thoughts about yourself.
• Confidence can be consciously acquired (p. 125). You can learn it; you control it.
• Confidence is thinking that your disc is going to the target.
• It’s more important to be decisive than correct when playing any disc golf shots, especially putts.
• Be selective about thoughts and memories. Monitor your thoughts and ask, “Will this thought help or hurt my confidence?”
• Courage is fear turned inside out (p. 138). Courage is a necessary quality in all champions, but an athlete cannot be courageous without first being afraid (p.222).
• The decisive choice is the right choice. After choosing a disc and the type of shot be confident that it is the right one.
• Throw the shot you know you can make, not what a pro would do, nor even what you think you ought to be able to do (p. 148)
• "After a couple of bad shots, it seems as if the game has become our enemy. All we think about is how we are going to miss the next shot. All we seem to be able to do is berate ourselves with negative comments about our lack of ability. Our focus is on the hazards and trouble rather than at the desired fairway...One of the toughest mental skills to acquire is remaining confident when your game takes the train south for the day. However, no matter how poorly you are playing, you can always choose to remain confident... Confidence is a choice ...You have the choice of having a good or bad attitude and the freedom to change your attitude. If you make the correct choice, then the chances are much greater that you will become a better player and the player you want to be." ~ Gregg M. Steinberg, Ph.D., Mental Rules for Golf

Curiosity
• "The key to learning about anything in life is to be curious about everything. Golf offers us the chance to satisfy our curiosity in a variety of ways. The most obvious is by traveling to play courses we haven't seen before. Any golfer can eventually play well if he plays the same course over and over. We can only prove to ourselves that we have truly improved our game, however, by taking our game on the road." ~ Gary Player, The Golfer's Guide to the Meaning of Life
• "This notion of curiosity is taken a step further by entering competitions. No matter what level of golf you play, there is always a competition available to you at the club, local, and state levels. To avoid playing in them is to push curiosity into the corner and to never learn the things about yourself that competition reveals to us. Embracing the revelations that are brought to us by curiosity serves to enrich our lives." ~ Gary Player, The Golfer's Guide to the Meaning of Life

Focus
• The brain and nervous system respond best when the eyes focus on the smallest possible target. The smaller the target, the sharper the focus, the better the concentration, and the better the results (p. 61). A target aids concentration, prevents distraction (p. 62). Lock your mind on the target.
• When facing a tough shot it is doubly important to focus on a target (p. 67).

Hot Streak:
• A hot streak results from trust and unconscious smoothness. It is a serene feeling of confidence. Allow no doubts in your mind. Try to replicate the hot streak state of mind (p. 50).
• There is no such thing as playing over your head. A hot streak is just a glimpse of your true potential.

Improvement
• Confidence, concentration, composure. Desire, determination, discipline. Patience, persistence, and practice (p. 29). Optimism.
• Practice must work on both your swing and your mind.
• Takes patience to wait for practice and good thinking to bear fruit (p. 221). There will be failure, frustration, and disappointment along the way. (p. 29) A player has to enjoy the process of trying to improve. That process, not the end result, enriches life. (p. 29).
• Everyone goes through periods when he does the right things- practicing efficiently, thinking well - and gets no immediate tangible results. This is the point at which successful people bring to bear the power of faith, patience, persistence, and will.
• Dreams are the stuff of passion and tenacity (p. 20)
• Champions- are strong willed, have dreams, and make a long term commitment to pursuing those dreams. (p. 25)
• You need a healthy balanced commitment to improvement. There needs to be a commitment of intelligent effort every day, in spite of weather or measurable progress.

Opponents
• Opponents are 1. The game itself, 2. My mental attitude, 3. Other people

Plan
• Walk, or review, a course backward from pin to tee (p. 153).
• Balance reward and risk. Have a game plan with flexibility for adversity, weather changes.
• You must play every significant round with a game plan (p. 152).

Pressure
• You choke when you let anger, doubt, fear, or some other extraneous factor distract you before a shot (p. 171).
• Choking is not synonymous with being nervous. Being nervous actually helps you play better (p. 171).
• Focus the mind, block distractions, stick to your routine and strategy as if no one else is around (p. 173).
• To overcome pressure: 1) Stay in the present and keep your mind sharply focused on the shot immediately in front of you, 2) Avoid thinking about mechanics. Instead try to be looser, freer, and more confident, 3) Stick to your routine and your game plan (pp. 180-181). Decide that bottlenecks in the course will not bother you.
• The only one that can put pressure on you is YOU. Pressure is something that you create, not something that results from someone else’s action(s). So.....relax. (Craig Gangloff)

Putting
 Choose a small target like a link of chain or a spot on the pole.
• Putting is the key to scoring. “Drive for show; putt for dough.”
• Look at the target, visualize the line, and throw (p. 76).
• Decisive action is important in putting (p. 104). Spending too much time lets doubts and negative thoughts creep in (p. 109).
• Putting is about confidence that it’s going in. “Hitting a putt in doubt is fatal in most cases.” (Bobby Locke).
• Attitude makes a good putter. To be a good putter you must make a commitment to good thinking (p. 99).
• A good putting attitude is free of fear (p.101).
• Ask “Is my attitude giving my puts a chance to go in?” vs. “Am I making putts?”

Routine
• Have a sound pre-shot routine that you do every time. The goal is to instill an unwavering belief that your shot is going where you want it (p. 72). This takes consistent work.
• Look at the target and throw (p. 76).
• My pre-shot routine:
1. Decide on the flight path.
2. choose a disc
3. choose a small target and focus on it.
4. visualize the flight path
5. Release level
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Old 09-14-2019, 12:45 PM
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Olorin Olorin is offline
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Short Game is Key
• Preeminence of the short game- the approaches and putts (p. 82). Improving the short game adds confidence to the whole game (p. 85). Practice 70% of the time on putts and approaches (p.88).
• From inside your threshold distance think about holing the shot (p. 91).
• Disc golf potential depends on the short game, attitude, and how well a player thinks.
• As distance improves keep loving the short game and seeing it as important.

Thinking:
• Focus on the present. The past is gone; the future has not happened. All I have is the present. Quiet you mind and focus tightly on the shot to be played.
• Take control of thoughts and influence events, don’t let events control your thoughts. (p. 31)
• By and large people become what they think about themselves.
• You have to choose to think well. (p. 31) A player can, and must, decide how he will think. (p. 36). A golfer has free will, so he can choose how he thinks (p. 48). The optimal state of mind is something a player must work on patiently every day.
• Don’t think about mechanics. You can’t throw consistently well if you think about mechanics as you play (p. 40). Never work on mechanics on the course (p. 41).
• Throw away expectations and just play (p. 118). Have these goals 1) Have fun, 2) Think well, 3) Enjoy the process.
• Negative thinking is almost 100% effective. Consciously put bad thoughts out of your mind and turn to thoughts that build confidence.
• Focus on what you want to happen.
• To score consistently a player must think consistently. Thinking consistently is a habit that requires disciplined effort (p. 128). A sound, consistent pre-shot routine makes it easier (p. 220).
• Players need selective memories to retain the memories of great shots and forget the negative ones. This will help one grow in confidence. (p. 221)
• Free will- you can decide what to think about while contemplating a shot (p. 136). Free will gives strength and power. Choosing how to think is a crucial decision (p. 219).
• If you can win the battle with your mind and emotions and play your best game, then you’ve won.
• You cannot let the first few holes or putts, good or bad, determine your thinking for the rest of the round.
• Strive to be looser, freer, more confident on every hole you play. Combat getting tighter, more careful, and more doubtful.

Tournaments
• The night before do your best to relax. Lie down, close your eyes, and visualize the outcome that you want to see. (p. 210)
• If you compete, then believe you can win.

Training
• Have a training mentality and a trusting mentality (p. 196). Train in physical technique then trust what you’ve trained.
• A Trusting mentality is essential in getting ready to play competitively. Spend 60% of practice time in the trusting mentality.
• Practice so that making the shot is unconscious, automatic.
• The quality of practice is more important than the quantity (p. 222)
• Spend majority of practice time on the short game, especially putting.
• Simulate reaching a goal by imagining it so vividly that you think that it has already happened. See it, feel it, hear it (p. 208). Simulate all of the sensory experiences. Prepare your mind for shooting scores and it’s easier to stay focused.

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Old 09-15-2019, 10:15 PM
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sidewinder22 sidewinder22 is offline
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Some inspirational words of wisdom about the mental approach to the whole game and life from Moe Norman, arguably the best ball striker ever...

The easiest thing to see is the obvious, "what the swing looks like!" and that's all they focus on, and are missing the point entirely. The brain is the generator, not stupid muscles. What a terrible thing to waste, those 5 and half inches between the ears. That's what you win with. That's what makes you half million a year. The body can't make you half million. You are what you think you are. If you think you are beaten, you are. Success begins with one's will. It's all in the state of mind. You got to think to high to rise. You got to be assure of yourself. Life's battles don't always go to the stronger faster man, but the man that wins is the one that believes he can.

One of the saddest things is this world is that we are not being much taught between the ears. We are taught too much mechanics. Not enough about motor skills, manual dexterity, imagination, orientation, administration, enthusiasm, alert attitude of indifference, stimulus response, progression of power, expansion of the circle, the deltoid of the lead shoulder, the torso and legs, the elasticity of the body, the axis of your spine, your left brain right brain, your kinesic mind, your body mind, all this has to do with golf, this is how winners think.

Winners look up, losers look down. Winners see what we want to see happen. Losers see what they don't want to happen. Winners know how to dress ourselves up. We overcome nerves by not putting so much value in everything, it's just another walk in the park, what have I got to lose - a lousy golf ball? what else? If I lose it, I'll get another one, hit it. This is what people today are not being taught, the inner part. How to win, how to be yourself, how to believe in yourself. It's always the dang hope and fear, hope and fear.

There's no secret mechanics, only hard work, get that mind right. If you have leadership, poise, composure, mentality. Oh man that's strong, instead of hope and fear, lack of awareness, lack of this and that because they are afraid of their own self. They are afraid of success and winning. I gave myself a chance, because I believed in myself. A missed golf shot never hurt my golf swing, only my vanity. Vanity is a luxury of fools.

What is happiness? Happiness is achievement. What's the father of achievement? Motivation. What's the mother? Encouragement. The fine golf swing is truly achievement. Man may lie, cheat and steal for gain, but he will never obtain the golf swing. To gain a golf swing, man must work. It's work without toil, it's intoxication without hangover, it's stimulation without the pills, it's defeating yet it takes courage, it is humbling, it enables the human spirit, its price is high yet its rewards are richer.

Golf is truly happiness. Better than being in jail. I know a lot of guys in jail looking out those bars that would love to be on that green fairway. What do we do when we get on the green fairway, we put ourselves in jail. Throwing clubs in frustration, tell ourselves we are dumb. Instead of patting ourselves on the back, we kick ourselves in the butt. We always downgrade ourself and make ourself feel worse. I tell myself I've done it before, I can do it again, and better than before, and I did.

There's nothing in life you got to do, you have to want to do it. I want to hit the ball good, I don't got to. People don't know how to get out of their own way. Their mind is always racing. Never relaxed and playing subconscious golf. Stabilize, energize, contain, then release. Force, form, hold, release. What does everybody else do? Strike, steer ,stare, and stall... and that's bogey golf.

A person must first change their mental attitude, and then and only then will his ability produce positive results. This game requires either an art or a knack of slinging the ball to a defined target area. The fascinating thing about this game is it takes a keen sharp mind as well a good physical makeup to itself. Knowledge of the game and oneself is the equalizer that eludes many a striker, not talent, no, knowledge. It doesn't matter if you are writing, typing, playing the piano, playing golf, the computer of our brain sends out electrical messages through our nerves to the golf muscles to help produce the golf shot. This of course means that our entire heart and soul plus your own personal character are a part of every shot you make. People in this game need an inner awaking, they need a more understanding of their own self and their own game.


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Old 09-15-2019, 10:16 PM
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sidewinder22 sidewinder22 is offline
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Bruce Lee...

Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.

Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.

Don't fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.

A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.

The highest technique one can achieve is to have no technique.

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.

Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.




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Old 09-16-2019, 10:32 AM
UhhNegative UhhNegative is offline
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"Putting is the key to scoring. “Drive for show; putt for dough.”

This one is actually different for disc golf. Ultiworld recently reported on an analysis that concluded that getting to C1 has more of an impact on score than putting.

https://discgolf.ultiworld.com/2019/...4-c1x-putting/

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Old 09-16-2019, 07:30 PM
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sidewinder22 sidewinder22 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UhhNegative View Post
"Putting is the key to scoring. “Drive for show; putt for dough.”

This one is actually different for disc golf. Ultiworld recently reported on an analysis that concluded that getting to C1 has more of an impact on score than putting.

https://discgolf.ultiworld.com/2019/...4-c1x-putting/
It's a myth in ball golf as well.
https://www.golf.com/instruction/no-...you-putt-dough

Gary Player - "You finish on the toe, to the make the dough."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1qav60rRSY#t=9m20s

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Old 09-16-2019, 09:04 PM
UhhNegative UhhNegative is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidewinder22 View Post
It's a myth in ball golf as well.
https://www.golf.com/instruction/no-...you-putt-dough

Gary Player - "You finish on the toe, to the make the dough."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1qav60rRSY#t=9m20s
My initial thoughts were that bad disc golf drives (in the woods) are far more punishing that missing the fairway cut on a (typically open) ball golf course. At least you typically still get to advance the ball from the rough in ball golf, but in disc golf you can be left with only a pitch out or worse: hit another tree and stay deep in the rough.

Stats seem to say I'm wrong, but intuitively it would make sense.
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Old 09-17-2019, 07:04 AM
ALT-J ALT-J is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UhhNegative View Post
"Putting is the key to scoring. “Drive for show; putt for dough.”

This one is actually different for disc golf. Ultiworld recently reported on an analysis that concluded that getting to C1 has more of an impact on score than putting.

https://discgolf.ultiworld.com/2019/...4-c1x-putting/
I think it applies for the 1000+ rated guys but how the average ma3 player? Whats gonna be more challenging mentally on the course, throwing it perfectly and missing a 25 footer for birdie or throwing a poor drive, mediocre scramble and hitting a 25-30 footer for par. We all know someone from each category, a good thrower who is not a great putter and the other way around. I think the first guy expects way more birdies and gets easily frustrated after a couple misses.
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Old 09-17-2019, 08:28 AM
UhhNegative UhhNegative is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALT-J View Post
I think it applies for the 1000+ rated guys but how the average ma3 player? Whats gonna be more challenging mentally on the course, throwing it perfectly and missing a 25 footer for birdie or throwing a poor drive, mediocre scramble and hitting a 25-30 footer for par. We all know someone from each category, a good thrower who is not a great putter and the other way around. I think the first guy expects way more birdies and gets easily frustrated after a couple misses.
Hitting way too close to home for me there. I used to have no problems throwing with the AM1 players but I'd score like an AM2 or AM3 player.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:17 AM
Suspect Suspect is offline
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Its stressful when you putt so well alone at the course or at home on a practice basket. In rounds vs others the confidence disappears...
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