Improve Golf Performance: Believe, Recognize, Apply

April 26, 2014

April’s Theme is Peak Sports Performance

Although I often focus on helping golfers improve their performance, I also help sporting clay shooters, athletes and non-athletes as they implement my suggestions and mental training in their lives. You may notice your performance level in your sport, but you also have a performance level in everything else you do: work projects, relationships, time with yourself, work around the house, and things you do for others. In all aspects of your life, your performance can either be on par or off. You either live what you are capable of, or you experience lack or limitations due to ability; which incorporates your mental state at the time. You can’t ever separate your mental attitude, mental acuity, alertness, skills, pros versus cons, from anything you do. It is there and a part of every single moment of your life.

In this blog post, I am pulling the following suggestion from my mental golf product, as a means of helping you improve your golf performance: “I believe in myself and my ability to play golf well. I have come a long way, learned a lot about how I play golf and am now easily applying that knowledge each time I play”.

As you look at the above statement you can see how you can apply this not just to golf, but many different aspects of your life. You know when you have confidence in a particular area, such as with your job working projects, guiding people through meetings, or maybe with social or sales skills. You know that when you believe in yourself, you have the ability to do well in that area, and you perform a lot better than if you had doubt when going into that situation. As you believe in yourself when playing golf, then you automatically improve your performancefrom how you played when you doubted your abilities.

You can look around and see evidence of this with other human beings who doubt themselves in areas, that maybe you have confidence in. That’s no different than you – for the areas you have decided and believe you are good in versus those you are not so good in. So say to yourself before you go out for our game: ‘I believe in myself and my ability to play golf well.‘ And that belief will really impact how well you play.

If you took some time to gather evidence and see this as true for yourself, you would start looking at the progress you have made and what you are doing well every time you play, versus complaining about the bogeys or the shots that did not go as well as you’d like. There are plenty of opportunities to find positive reinforcements; it’s just a matter of what you decide to focus on. So this does not have to feel farfetched for you. It’s completely 100% available to every human being, and it doesn’t matter what level of a golfer you are. Believing in yourself and your ability to play golf wellwill positively effect your performance.

Some golfers tend to get stuck on this because of how they define ‘playing golf well’, you want to be careful about that. Are you defining it with absolute perfection, that you should be at a certain handicap or playing with so many birdies or pars in a round? However you define it is really your limitation.  If you have already decided that you are only playing golf well if you have three birdies in a round or if you are winning then you will struggle to have that belief or confidence in playing golf well unless those conditions are met–(I work with tons of people that unless they are winning, they think they are playing poorly – period. For them, there is no other option). You must be introspective and look at how you define “playing golf well”, and loosen up on yourself. Get a reality check, look at your personal progress and what you are doing well. I can guarantee 100% that if you start doing that, you will progress in your sport faster and more efficiently than you ever have before.

Define what ‘playing golf well’ really means to you, and find evidence in your own personal experiences where you played golf well, or where a belief in yourself helped you play golf better than you have before. That will help you build more confidence and belief in yourself and your ability to play golf well going forward, which will help youimprove your performance.

After belief, you need to reflect upon all your years of playing golf and say to yourself “I have come a long way”.Recognize that you have come a long way and learned a lot about how to play golf in the process. Look for the proof of how far you have come. Think back to when you first started playing and look at the different areas where you have improved: your chipping, putting, driving, planning, initiation, trust and confidence. Look at all these areas and many more, and see how far you have come. This is the gathering of the evidence and proof that will build your confidence and belief in yourself and your ability to play well.

Next, you want to take the information you have gathered and apply it. Don’t go out with fear or expectation or worry about how you are going to play, how many bogeys you will get or if you will pull off certain shots. Each time you go out there you need to recognize how far you have come and what you have learned along the way, and do it with confidence knowing that you are easily applying that knowledge today. Try and maintain the attitude that you will learn from today and move forward. Each time you play, you are learning and growing and perfecting your golf game, and progressing in your abilities. I am pretty sure that is a lot different than how a good number of you have been doing it.

Take some time right now, and look at believing in yourself and your ability to play golf well. Look at how far you have come, look at what you have learned along the way, and make a decision to apply that every time you play. It is a matter of doing the best you can each time, progressing along the way, and your performance will improve as a result.

Continue to see how far you have come, rather than expecting perfection as your measure of ‘playing well’ – or however you define it. Unrealistic expectations will keep you feeling less than or like you are “not good enough.” You will likely end up being negative towards yourself, your life or your game (like tires spinning in mud). Improving your sport performance will take you a lot longer from that point of view, if ever, so make sure you set a realistic definition of ‘playing well’ for yourself.

I am sure this will be beneficial to you; now it’s just a matter of getting to work on it! If you need any extra help, please contact me. Try this out, not only in your golf game, but in other areas of your life as well. You will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you improve your performance. Thanks for reading. InJoy your day!

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