Keys to turning around negative self-talk
It is normal to have negative thoughts while on the golf course, and those thoughts are valuable when they help you identify places on the course you want to avoid. However, negative thoughts become problematic when they take your focus off your target and intent.
To increase awareness of your self-talk, take notes on your scorecard during your next round. Write a plus sign for positive thoughts and a minus sign for negative thoughts next to the hole number after finishing the hole. Do you notice any patterns? Does your self-talk change after a good hole? After a bad hole?
The goal of self-talk is to control the message no matter how you play. If you notice patterns that change your self-talk, create a plan to control the message. Before your round, write your self-talk on the top of your scorecard. For example, if you want to stop talking to yourself about previous swings, write “next swing is the most important swing” to bring your thoughts to the present.