Bad Thoughts in The Middle of Your Putting Stroke

What Happens When You Focus Too Much on Your Stroke

Carl wrote in to say that he has a putting drill to add to the one’s I suggested for freeing up the putter (works for chipping too). Before I get to that, here’s what he asked:

“How do you back off from a putt when you start to feel you are loosing control of your putter face on your down swing? I cannot practice this as it never happens when I am doing my drills or just warming up on the putting green before play.”

Carl: I don’t think you want to practice this. Here’s why…

If you are in the middle of your stroke and you feel as if you are losing control, it’s too late to save the ship!

And if you are focusing on the stroke, your mind is not in the right place. A hyper-focus on stroke can actually prevent you from making a free stroke–as discussed in previous tips…

When you focus too much on stroke:

  • You are not reacting to the target.
  • You are focusing more on mechanics.
  • You evaluate how the stroke feels.
  • You are too stroke bound and thus trapped in over thinking.

What’s the Solution?

You have two options:

Plan A: Get your mind right before you step up the address the ball.

Plan B: Back off or restart your routine if you feel tension, fear, or a negative thought over the ball.

You can’t wait until you are in the middle of the stroke to abort the shot. You want to back off before you start the stroke.

The advantage you have in golf is to get mentally prepared before you hit the shot (I know, many golfers use this extra time in the wrong way–over thinking for one).

Related Article: 3 Tips to Cure The Putting Yips

You might be thinking… But Dr. Cohn, I would never hit a putt or chip shot if I had to back off every time I felt tension or anxiety about the result!

Exactly, that’s why you will not find a quick fix or “cure” to the yips…

You have to deal with the fear, train yourself to focus on the process, do the right kind of practice, and regain your confidence by hitting putts and chip shots freely again.

All of this happen before you play golf!

And that’s why I created Breaking the Yips Cycle. You learn how to do these before you go to the golf course.

Additional Drill for Freeing up The Putter:

I said I would share another drill that’s worked for Carl…

He said that looking at the hole when putting or chipping is a great drill because it trains you to focus on the line or target instead of obsessing about a smooth stroke.

And he’s right. The eyes tend to follow the putter head when you have putting problems, but this only leads to over control!

Check out our Video of The Week:

This week, Dr. Cohn helps parents and coaches understand the problems with trying to perform perfectly:

Sports Parents Success Video 7: Athletes Who Try to be Perfect


Overcome The Yips and Enjoy Golf Again!

Golf Yips

Golfers, do you suffer from:

  • Anxiety, tension and over control of the stroke or swing?
  • Performance anxiety about what others will think?
  • Inability to wing the club freely on the course, despite the fact that you can in practice?

Check out: Breaking the Yips Cycle

Golfers: Learn how to overcome the fear that keeps you stuck in a vicious cycle

Instructors: Learn how to give your students the mental game edge.

Coaches: Help your team members play with freedom instead of fear or tension.

Breaking The Yips Cycle: How to Putt, Chip, And Pitch Freely and Enjoy Playing Golf Again

What are Golf Psychology Students Saying?

“I wanted to tell you I have broken out of the yips short putt issues. I have won 2 of the last 3 competitions. Right now my putting confidence is sky high. I HAD the putt yips for past 6 years. I contribute the success to two of your drills. First focus hard on the hole, forget about all else. It took awhile to get the 100% focus, but I could see the results coming. Then your advice “Let go and trust your ability.” Immediate result. Wow what a relief. Having putted for so long under yip pressure, I now feel I can be put under extreme pressure to win the club championship. I now look forward to short putts.”
~Ian Dodd

“I was pleased to find your website and tips to address the mental issues with the yips. Your drills made sense to me. Other people only tackled technique. That isn’t the problem with me as I can stroke them all nicely on the practice putting green. I can even hit the long ones on the course. I will keep working at it and thank you for your interest.”
~Pat Collins


Download Our FREE Anti-Yips Putting Drills

Do you spend most of your practice time trapped by stroke or mechanics on the practice green?

Are you unsure how to practice to hep you overcome the putting yips?

Golfers: Learn how to putt with freedom using proven putting drills!

Download our FREE putting report and drills to help you unlock your putting potential today!

What are golfers saying about our putting yips drills?

“Patrick–something seems really weird here. You are giving out so much good material to help with the yips, and I feel like I am stealing from you! I really like your style! You don’t see that very often–ever as a mater of fact! You are an amazing guy!”
~O’Jay Omlid

“I went on to the putting green right after receiving your mail. What a great feeling of freedom. No tense at all, smiling and more consistent than ever before. I have great rounds during the years, but you have taken me to a new level with you tips for the yips. I am very grateful – if you visit Denmark I will invite you out for dinner.”
~Søren Meinertsen, Denmark

Overcome The Yips With Expert Mental Game Coaching!

Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.

You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!

What are our mental coaching students saying?

“I write you because it’s been 6 months since I started the program Breaking the Yips Cycle. Before that I was putting with a long putt and due to the ban on anchoring I switched to a short putt and started your program. The yips program has helped me a lot. I have been able to focus on what matters instead of thinking about the outcome or fearing a yippy stroke.”
~Ricardo Abogabir C.

“I’ve had the yips for 30 years. With the anchor ban, I thought I needed to quit golf. It was frustrating hearing golf experts and commentators state that no amateur was going to quit golf because of the anchoring ban. Obviously, these experts don’t know anything about the yips. I’m so glad I found you. Your drills really helped. It might sound silly, but the biggest thing that helped me is knowing that the yips is mental. It might sound crazy, for someone to have the yips for 30 years, and not know it’s mental. I also believe I know my reason for having the yips, and I see how my insecurities in every day life contributed to the yips. Thank you for your help.”
~Kevin Stankewicz

Leave a Comment