Mental toughness is really about focus, that is, what you are focusing on or thinking about during the golf swing. And just like putting, chipping, and pitching, learning to focus properly takes a commitment to practice.
I like to think about controlling focus like a TV remote control. When you are thinking about things that make you feel bad, like your bad golf shots, you need to change the channel. When you are thinking about things that make you feel good, like a great shot you hit, turn up the volume. However, unlike using a remote, which takes very little practice or effort, you will have to teach yourself how to focus by practicing every day, just like you should do with every other aspect of your game. Pick a time during the day, and make that your “focus practice” time.
I have found, in my experience, that the cause of poor golf shots is a separation in the mind, not the body, which is only the effect. A “separation” is an empty space, holding nothing and doing nothing. When you learn how to fill that “gap” by being completely focused and committed to the swing, the results of your shots will certainly improve.
And one thing to remember when “changing the channel” is to have a good program to change to. When a bad shot is on your mind, replace it with the thought of a great one. So, have some of your great shots memorized to replace the bad ones.
Glennon E. Bazzle, the golf columnist, is author of Anatomy of the Perfect Golf Swing, founder and CEO of Global Golf Institute, certified golf instructor and member of United States Golf Teachers Federation since 1995, and Master therapist specializing in sports massage since 1961. Contact: 205-322-4054 or 504-583-6842. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org