“I take the mental work very seriously. It’s the key to my consistency. What I find very meditational and very therapeutic for myself is journaling. When I’m writing I feel like everything just comes out. Golf is a competition with yourself. 5 seconds of action and 5 minutes of waiting. It’s all about knowing what’s going on in your head.” – Jon Rahm
Whether it’s at the end of each day or at the end of a round, a Post Round Review or “reflection” is important for the following reasons:
- We get to celebrate our successes and foster a more positive association with our game, or areas of our game
- We get to understand what in our process or the work we’ve been doing is leading to those successes. Success leaves clues…
- We get to understand the setbacks and failures we had, so we can learn from them and move on from them
In this mental game of golf lesson, I’m going to show you the daily journaling template that I use every day, whether I’ve played golf or not. If you follow this template, you’ll have a golf mental coach to speak to each evening for the cost of a notepad and pencil.
A Golf Mental Coach to Speak to Each Day
In your journal or notebook, start a new page each day and write beneath these headers:
1. Celebrate Success and Joy
What were the best moments of your round or day? Write down as many moments of joy that you experienced. This could be a great shot, a pattern of play or something about your mental approach e.g. my wedge play was very good, my attitude was positive, etc.
It could even be something about the experience unrelated to your game but that you can also be grateful for e.g., the color of the sky, the sun setting or the beauty of the course.
By highlighting these things with a vivid memory, you will feel more positive about your game and build confidence. When we “anchor” good moments and create a subconscious connection with them, it can trigger more positive feelings when we’re in the same situation again. E.g. If you are thinking about your great short game shots of the day, you’ll create a more positive association with your short game that will make you feel more confident about similar shots in your next round.
Additionally, by making a habit out of highlighting the “positives”, you’ll be more oriented to look out for positives in the future i.e. become more optimistic (which is synonymous with mental toughness and a trait of champions).
2. Examine the Process behind the Joy/Positives
Why do you think you were able to achieve your successes or experience that joy?
Your good play could be a result of the recent practice you are putting in on your technical and mental game. Try to pinpoint what’s helping so you do more of it in the future. Was it a better Pre Shot Routine? Even appreciating and being grateful for the beauty in your environment is a choice/action – you are noticing it, rather than looking down at the ground.
3. Reconcile with the Challenges and Failures
What were the setbacks and things you found challenging on the course (both physically and mentally)? Did you find driving more challenging than usual? Was it difficult to recover from a bad hole (mentally)? Write down what these things were.
Next, write about these things in a positive way – as if they are teaching you something. This will help you feel better about them and you’ll be able to move on from them, rather than keep you stuck.
This process will also help you be more accepting of setbacks going forward, as you’ll start to think “everything happens for a reason” and that mistake was supposed to happen to teach you something, instead of you ruminating on it or cursing your bad luck.
Everyday, there’s a learning opportunity to be extracted, instead of focusing on a negative narrative, such as “I’m just not good enough.”
Thanks for reading! If you create a habit out of journaling every day, you’ll increase positive energy and confidence, reinforce what’s working for you and figure out solutions to get past obstacles to become a better player. You’ll get a golf mental coach to speak with every night!.
If you want to receive regular mental game audios (we just loaded this one into the app) and access them at the push of a button, you’ll love the new Golf State of Mind App, which we’ve recently launched. Click here to get your Free Trial.