Improve Your Golf Mental Game with the STOP then GO Method

During The Masters, we often see everything from the most improbable to the down right amazing. This year was no exception.

On most Sundays at The Masters, it is anyone’s tournament. However on this Master’s Sunday there was one clear competitor who would adorn the green jacket, and it had little to do with his talent.

Jordan Spieth is a shining example of how it is not only technical golf training that makes a champion. At the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy (GGGA) we train our students in 5 different areas: Technical, Fitness, Strategy, Mental, and Personal. While each area is important, it takes the right combination of each area for golfers like Spieth to reach their full potential.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the importance of effective goal setting. At age 14, Jordan Spieth began by stating his, “ultimate goal [was] to win the Masters.” While having goals can give you direction, it also takes solid beliefs and positive self-talk to guide your goals and keep them going in the right direction.

This year’s Masters tournament was full of talent and incredible play, beyond talent, what set Jordan Speith apart was his belief system. Jordan, as well as other young golfers such as GGGA Pro Morgan Hoffman, are always able to grow from their experiences. A famous Buddhist line suggests, “The mind is everything; what we think, we become.” In relation to golf, if we get in the habit of constantly critiquing and punishing ourselves with our words than we will continue struggling to find solutions. Have you or someone you known ever experienced this?

Our golfers at GGGA will sometimes come to the mental training staff with thoughts such as, “I always miss this shot” or “I will never break my scoring goal.” These phrases and thoughts create challenges for golfers because what we say to ourselves, both internally and externally, shape our beliefs about our potential. Once we are in the habit of believing certain things then it becomes difficult to see anything else.

After losing the lead and finishing second by 3 strokes in the 2014 Masters tournament, Spieth talked about the event as “all positives” mentioning that even though he is an emotional player it is important to him to channel that emotion into positives and disclosed how excited he was for next years Masters tournament.

At GGGA, we sometimes see students who have limiting beliefs. Our main goal is to combat their negative statements and turn them into positives. Using awareness is key when learning how to improve your golf mental game with a STOP then Go Method. We use this method when we want to teach our students to catch themselves thinking negatively and quickly STOP these thoughts. Some people like to tell themselves “stop”, others use visualization and actually see a stop sign and pair that with saying “stop.” Nevertheless, once you have stopped those thoughts it is time to GO and replace those thoughts with positive statements.

While we can learn valuable lessons from young talents such as Spieth, our own efforts will dictate our path to success. Feel free to try out our STOP then GO method or reach out to us at [email protected] with any questions you have about developing your own plan for positive action. If you have any other questions or would like to read more about goal setting or how to combat motivation killers check these articles out along with all our other great advice.

Muhammad Ali once said, “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” Challenge your limiting beliefs, put positive words into motion, and remember to think like a champion.

Written by: Mental Coach Skylar Jewell