It is important to be aware that this trait can become a strength with an understanding of how to shape and adapt this trait in your daily habits.
Blueprint #1. Personal Standards Perfectionism
Characterized by extremely high personal standards for performance, persistence toward goals, and a propensity for neatness and precision. Players who fit this profile are typically hard working and intense. This trait can have positive consequences as it energizes action toward goals without a fear of failure. On the flip side, it is also linked to extreme and obsessive behavior that is all-consuming.
- You tend to adopt intricate pre-game rituals and pre-shot routines that require a lot of energy to execute and can cause over-thinking.
- Technical changes and new tournaments can be met with resistance, as you prefer rigid highly controlled routines in your preparation for competition.
- Switching off is difficult and you feel the need to work all the time or be thinking about your game away from the course.
- Celebrating your achievements does not come naturally and you must work extremely hard to acknowledge a good training day or solid round.
Finding Balance in your Striving for Excellence
- Keep your routines simple and efficient allowing room for your intuitive self to shine. Strip it back to include only thoughts and actions that are practical, flexible, and serve a clear purpose.
- Set boundaries and rules for yourself to switch off and involve others to help you do this.
- Celebrate the small victories and set clear goals so you know exactly what defines a good day on the course in terms of behavior.
This type of perfectionism is linked to the most destructive consequences, including depression, anxiety and low self-confidence. Athletes who fit this profile perceive a great deal of external pressure to achieve high standards and it is people pleasing that drives their perfectionistic striving.
There is no room for error in this type of perfectionism, which leads to fear of failure with extreme self-doubt and concern over mistakes.
- You are overly focused on swing or technical checking before tournaments.
- Relying on superstitious rituals that you believe are connected to playing well.
- Poor emotional control on the golf course because in your mind “errors are not acceptable”.
- Predicting poor results before the game has started when you do not feel everything is in place.
Switching Focus to Re-calibrate your Perfectionism
- Stop trying to please others and focus on being good to yourself. Establish a strong emphasis on personal goals and standards in your game. Positive self-reflection is key.
- Work hard to see errors as part of the game, not matter how small or how big they might seem. An error is an error all the same on the scorecard. Your reaction to mistakes is far more crucial to your performance.
- Spend time reflecting on days when you performed well but everything was less than perfect in terms of how you felt, prepared, and played. Recognize that error exists in great performances.
Dr Jay-Lee Nair - Sports Psychologist