Vijay Singh’s mental game has been on the cutting edge many times over his PGA TOUR career, but most commentators only talk of his incredible work ethic. Sure he pounds thousands of balls and has a great fitness regime. Yet, when he emerged from a putting slump in 2008 long enough to win the FedEx Cup Championship, his performance had much more to do with our mental training together.
And he had no problem telling you so. If you had the chance to read his post round comments after winning the Deutsche Bank Tournament, you would have heard clear insights into where his head was at.
WILL TO WIN AND CAUSE FOR CHANGE
When Vijay won a tournament in a playoff against Sergio Garcia in his last win prior to the Deutsche Bank tournament, he had to make a bomb on 18 just to get into a playoff. Here are his comments:
“I absolutely put all my energy into making that putt, and that’s not the way to putt,” Singh said. “It was one of the worst feelings over a putt. If I didn’t have the will inside of me to make that putt, the heart to make it, I don’t think I would have made it.
“That’s when I decided you’ve got to have an attitude change.”
Vijay realized he couldn’t play long term that way without burning out. He went on to say later about his sporadic play with missed cuts then wins, then another missed cut and then another win: “My unconscious mind had a lot of stored-up bad thoughts in there, and that was the key, to get rid of all that, and I think I’ve done that,’ Singh said.
As an mental game coach I teach players to understand the relationship between their conscious and subconscious mind. And how to benefit from their natural tendencies. This turbocharges your mental game whether you’re a high or low handicap player or a pro. Much like how Vijay Singh’s mental game had improved.
SEEING AND FEELING EXCELLENCE CREATES IT
Vijay goes on to say: “(The) attitude change, it’s kind of worked right through the whole golf game,” Singh acknowledged. “I told myself I am the best putter in the world before that tournament. Instead of just talking about my putting, I started talking about the rest of my game, as well. It kind of carried on.” (You could easily see the changes in Vijay Singh’s mental game during the time we worked together in 2008)
(Note: If you watch golf at all you know how poorly he was putting this whole year so his change of attitude caused his putting improvement. Not a technical change.)
“I’m standing on the tee and thinking that I’m the best driver of the golf ball before I hit it. That is a great way to go ahead and it takes away all the negative thoughts, and that’s what we all strive for.”
I had the opportunity to work with Vijay as he transitioned out of his putting woes and into the 2008 FedEx Cup Championship. I don’t write this to boast or brag, but I was at the very core of his success. I taught him invaluable mental practices that when implemented had paid off tremendously.
If you are an athlete with certain struggles, mental training can help. I believe in my work. I believe in your success.
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