A few years ago I was asked to be involved in a Ladies Luncheon out at the beautiful Royal Melbourne GC. I was stationed at the short Par 3 13th of the East Course and as each group of Ladies came through the 13th hole, I would discuss a few components of the Mental Game.
After spending a little time discussing Broad and Narrow Focus when it comes to the game of golf, I got each lady to hit their tee shots into the Par 3, playing about 110m. These Ladies came through in groups of 8, meaning that hitting a tee shot in front of a group that size can be a little intimidating. One pattern we saw with the first 5 tee shots was how rushed these Ladies were when hitting their tee shots, just wanting to get the tee shot over and done with, rushing their processes and trying to get their experience over and done with as quickly as possible.
I began to discuss the similarity between visiting their favourite restaurant and hitting a golf shot. When receiving their starter dish and glass of wine, they take their time and enjoy every mouthful of both the starter and each sip of wine. Appreciating and being present to each subtle flavour and texture involved with their dish, taking their time and being completely present to the experience.
Hitting a golf shot is no different! I begun to discuss that playing a round of golf consists of 18 different starter dishes with every shot being similar to every mouthful of their favourite starter dishes. I mentioned that if they can begin to treat each golf shot like a mouthful of their favourite dish, where they take their time and enjoy the experience of executing the shot to the best of their ability they would feel more in control of each shot and enjoy their golf more.
This new association had an immediate positive impact on their performance with each lady taking more time and slowing down the experience of hitting the shot. Taking their time to enjoy the challenge of the tee shot helped to dramatically slow down their brain activity which is one of the most powerful aspects of performance.
When we see players rushing their processes, a high percentage of the time it is a window into their minds and how active their minds are during their pre shot routine.
So if you can begin to take your time and enjoy each shot in a similar way you do with your favourite meal or glass of wine, you will begin to slow down your mind's activity and begin to access a more calm/relaxed state during performance.