I was asked an excellent question by PGA Professional Damon Lucas about how we cultivate self-belief in our players. I thought I’d share my response to him with you for interests sake.
“It is difficult to answer your question easily without giving you a little more background into a small part of what we do...
As we know, everyone’s level of self-belief as it relates to managing thoughts, feelings and actions under perceived pressure is different. With that said, there are a number of factors I can share with you that in my experience have helped our students to perform better when they believed they had to...
One of the things I find fascinating is watching press conferences of athletes and high achievers. I listen carefully to and pay particular attention to the way they describe their experience, the type of words in the sentences they use, the particular phraseology they choose, the quotes they enjoy sharing, and how they describe them self in the context of the situations they find themself in as they compete.
Self-image psychology reveals much about the way we perceive ourself in different environments and the term self-concept is a general term that describes how we think about, evaluate or perceive ourselves in the context of a situation. So to be aware of ourself is to have a concept of ourself.
Baumeister (1999) provides the following self-concept definition:
THE PERfect golf swing paradox...
Why do so many ambitious golfers spend so much of their time getting tied up in knots trying to perfect their golf swing technique?
Well, there are numerous possible reasons, but let’s look at the most obvious ones.
The need to perfect your golf swing gives you;
✅ A sense of purpose.
✅ A goal to aim at.
✅ Something to be proud of.
✅ Something that makes you feel confident.
✅ Something that makes you part of the trend.
Sometimes you find yourself on the golf course with more than your fare share of bogeys or worse.
You know those times when your B (average) game for no particular reason departs you and leaves you with a D (dumbfounded or disastrous) game that produces some big numbers on your score card.
Now, some golfers when this happens will simply lose their mind, clubs will fly or break, golf bags cop a hiding, and often this is accompanied with...
YOU MIGHT HAVE AN ADDICTION!
Golf swing addiction is real.
Ask amateur and professional golfers who are constantly tinkering with their golf swing if they addicted to fixing their swing, and in many cases they will flatly deny it.
The simple definition of an addiction is that it is something you cannot stop... 🤔
The practice fairways the world over are the homes of golfers trying desperately to fix imaginary problems with their golf swing.
And every golf ball they hit reinforces the depth and strength of their addiction pushing them further away from ‘playing the game’ instead only playing with their swing.
Imagine just for a moment that you decided that you wanted to become a successful professional golfer, but you knew your game wasn’t nearly good enough to meet the standard required.
Fortunately however, you have the financial resources to hire the best instructor money can buy to help you improve your game.
You can travel anywhere in the world, and you can stay for as long as needed, to learn from this golf instructor.
Who would you take lessons from, and what would you take your lessons on?
Now I don’t know you, but I can almost guarantee 100% that you would...
ARE YOU A PHONEY OR A PHENOM?
Success in life whether on the sporting field, in the work place, or anywhere else for that matter, gets down to one clearly defined purpose...
It’s called your Major Definite Purpose (MDP). Your MDP is the ultimate goal that you wish to achieve in your life.
Are you currently a phoney or a phenom?
Do you truly work as hard as you can to get what you want out of your life, or...
I’m not sure truer words have ever been quoted regarding the obvious divide in ideology between the golfers and coaches that focus on perfecting golf swings, and the golfers and coaches that focus on perfecting golf scoring.
They are mutually exclusive schools—even though many would vehemently disagree.
The reality is that...
Yes coach its been six weeks. And the good news is that I’ve been playing a lot better thanks to you.”
“I’m sorry Sally, but I can’t take the credit for your good play, it was all because of you.”
“Well, I’ll agree to disagree with you on that one coach. Suffice to say I’m surprised because it’s the best I’ve played for a long time. I made the cut in my last four tournaments, and I finished in the top 10 twice.”
“You shouldn’t be surprised that you can play like that Sally because you have played well and won in the past, so why not again?”
“I don’t know coach, I guess I was surprised because with all the struggle, I’ve been used to people prodding and critiquing my swing—especially when I didn’t play good. It’s what I got used to.
“Sure Sally, you had become very good at telling a particular story to yourself, and anyone else who would listen about a golfer named Sally who has struggled for a long time with her game. So how was that going for you?...”
“Well, not good.”
“That’s right, you got really good at learning how to not play very well. You also got good at learning how to sabotage any success that potentially could happen to you Sally.
“Hi grandpa how are you?”
“Mark! how are you buddy, what are you doing out here today? Where’s your mother?” “Mum dropped me off and will pick me up at 4pm. Grandpa I wanted to see you and ask you some questions for a school project for Career Week.”
“Really, what can I help you with?”
“Well, you’ve been teaching golfers here at the club for a very long time, and I have to ask a family member some questions about their job or career, and you were the first person I thought of.”
“Wow Mark, I feel privileged that you would think of me first.”
“Yeah, all our family have ‘normal’ jobs Grandpa, but you have a strange job compared to them. Actually, I don’t know anyone else who does what you do.
So I thought you could help me with my questions, as I want to do something different to the rest of my class.”
“Well, I’d be more than happy to help you to understand my “strange job” haha. I’ve got one more lesson to do, and then I can sit down with you to discuss your questions. Why don’t you sit in on this lesson, maybe it will help you with some of your questions.”
“Ok, that’s a great idea.”
“Go sit over there next to my computer.”