Friday, August 11, 2017

Mental Composure In Disc Golf - The Mind and Body Connection


Like many sports, disc golf is a multifaceted game that requires practice and determination to improve your skill set. The physical aspects of executing a putt or tightening up your driving form are important, but just as essential is developing your mental composure.

One’s mental game can truly make or break a round, or tournament for that matter, even if your physical skills are on point. Letting the pressure of a bad shot or a spit out get into your head can create some devastating results, so let’s explore some various aspects to practice when you’re out on the course.

What’s Your Style?

Some players push putt and some prefer the spin, and just like the variations in our physical styles, mental games can look differently too. Are you the kind of player who has ice in your veins? One can only think of 4x World Champion Paul McBeth when we imagine a competitor that isn’t phased no matter what happens on the course.

How about those who are expressive, whether it’s putting on a show for the crowd or experiencing some rage on a difficult hole? If wearing your heart on your sleeve is your style, you might question how those ups and downs affect your overall mental composure. While we see certain players take the win from time to time, it’s usually the calm and consistent ones that find the most success.

Home Course Disadvantage

Another element that seems to have an effect on one’s mental state is during competition at your home course. There’s something about knowing each hole like the back of your hand that perhaps gives players too much confidence in their game. Approaching each hole with this attitude can sometimes lead to poor performance, despite your experience and certainty.

When this phenomenon occurs, it’s tough to shake it from your brain. You tell yourself: “I play here five days a week - what’s happening?” and once that thought permeates your mental game, it’s hard to refocus.

A Mental Routine

 The last element of mental composure that can make a huge difference in the success of your game is creating and executing a mental routine during both your casual and competitive rounds. The putting green is usually where this comes into play, as we have our own mantras that we repeat in our head.

Sometimes our mental routine is largely associated with our physical actions, and if we don’t have an extra putter in our other hand, spin our disc a certain number of times, or emulate any other motion we usually do, we can’t get into the proper headspace to execute.

Improving our mental composure takes time just like developing any other element of our game, but it’s almost harder for a lot of people, as casual rounds just don’t simulate the same mental state as tournament play.

If you’re looking to beef up your mental game, playing in local competitions just might be what you need to strengthen this muscle. What are some of your tricks for keeping calm under pressure and maintaining a positive state of mind during your rounds? Let us know in the comments below!

4 comments:
  1. I've only done a few tournaments. I was at my home course a few months ago were I average 0 to -3. Heart bounding shaky hands and 2 rounds later I ended up with a +16. I was so mad at myself, didn't play for a week. I'm entering more tourneys to work on my mental game and hopefully start working the jitters out. Got to work on relaxing and keeping it fun.

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  2. I play about 30-40 tourneys a year and the main thing i focus on is having fun. If i have a bad hole i will be upset in the moment but once i hole out it's forgotten. I don't carry bad shots/holes on to the next hole. Each hole is a fresh start. A bad drive or approach is an opportunity and a challenge to get up and down to save par.

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  3. I find that my play is much more on point when I simply focus on the music I have playing, or on sound of the birds chirping. I already know what I need to do, so if I can relax my mind, and silence the voice in my head and not concentrate on the drive or putt, I do much better. The muscle memory is there. Relax and calmly execute.

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  4. Read "Golf is not a Game of Perfect" by Dr. Bob Rotella. I have read it almost 3 times now and it has improved my mental game immensely.

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