By Lanny Bassham
This article was originally written for a Golf Magazine. If you are not a golfer, don't turn away! Please keep in mind that this information applies to ANY sport or performance area!
If you discover that you are out of balance, your mental system should have specific strategies to correct the imbalance by managing the processes. That’s why it is called Mental Management®. Ideally, next you would try to increase the effectiveness of all of the processes while keeping them in balance.
Fig. 4 illustrates a loss of Conscious focus. Have you ever felt distracted while playing? If so, you might draw your circles this way. The loss of focus is a common mental error and your mental system must include elements to hold your focus on performance while executing the golf shot. A common error is to think about your score while over the ball. One solution for this problem is to run a mental program. A mental program is a planned, practiced sequence of mental activity that controls the Conscious mind while hitting the shot. We will look at that technique in detail in a future article.
Looking at fig. 5 we see a Self Image circle that is too large. This player is overconfident. The player stops learning and is susceptible to the false idea that he need not continue to grow as a player. Normally this person is taken to the cleaners by less-skilled players in a big competition. That usually gets their attention. The best solution is not to reduce the Self Image but to grow the Conscious and Subconscious circles by returning to a learning mode.
The key point is to learn to balance your mental processes. If you can determine that one process is smaller than the others you know where to put forth your efforts. If you are frustrated, YOU ARE OUT OF BALANCE.
Remember, no one can defeat a player who has his mental processes in balance UNLESS they face someone who has larger circles and is also in balance. In future installments we will look at specific ways to build these mental processes and increase the size of your circles.