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Mind Games: A Good Walk Spoiled 

This column applies to any activity requiring being totally present. Golf is a perfect example.  

Why does a game that is supposed to be fun and relaxing often turn into a frustrating, miserable experience? It’s time spent out in nature (manicured as it may be), with friends. What could go wrong? A person addresses the ball, hesitates, tightens his or her jaw, pulls the club back and promptly A. digs a trench, B. misses the ball entirely, C. hits the ball right, left, straight up or anywhere other than it was intended to go.  

What follows is swearing, striking the club on the ground, throwing it, or for the more reserved folks, closing the eyes, shaking the lowered head, dropping the club and muttering under the breath to quit playing the stupid game while walking dejectedly away from the tee.  

If a bet is involved, things can get even worse.   

All of the above is what’s happening on the outside. On the inside, the golfer’s mind was not in the present and not on the ball. 

There could be memories of past bad shots, perhaps on the same hole, thoughts of the times he or she felt humiliated after a terrible shot, or imagining the future and actually visualizing the ball rolling pathetically off the tee, hitting a tree, dropping into the rough, sand or water, friends laughing, losing the bet. The golfer may even be thinking about the good advice from the pro or the bad advice from a friend. 

THINKING is the problem! 

After practicing the swing thousands of times, it is a program in the subconscious. Thinking is in the conscious mind. It needs to be quiet to let the subconscious do its job.  

Trying to think through what should be an automatic performance will only mess it up. Missed kicks or free throws, bad pitches, blanking out playing a song or singing the National Anthem, missing a ballet step or forgetting the words of a rehearsed speech or poem – these are all programs that have been practiced over and over. The conscious mind is in the wrong place at these times. 

So, get your mind out of the game and just play! FBN 

By Don Berlyn  

For more information, contact me at 928-699-8263, or visit     


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