This response raises some important questions to think about:
- How do you define or assess a successful performance?
- If your confidence is solely based on scores or results, how many successful outcomes do you need under your belt to feel truly confident?
- Lastly, consider what happens to this confidence when you are approaching a new level or tour experience or going through a slump?
You’re then left with HOPE as a strategy, feeling anxious, over-whelmed, and never in control of your performance.
Many athletes talk about ‘performance’ and they actually mean ‘results.’ There is a distinction. Performance is the input or your recipe you create to maximize your chances of achieving the outputs (result).
Performance is not results. Results are results.
Put another way, performance is the HOW and the result is the WHAT.
To play golf at the level you want more consistently and feel confident in what you are doing, you have to focus on your performance building blocks as much as you do the results.
A results-only focus will set you up to believe that ‘you are only as good as your last result’ and that can be scary when you are in a rut and haven’t strung a few solid rounds together for a while.
When you focus solely on results as your foundation for confidence in your game you will respond poorly to performance slumps, and fall into the all too common pattern of worry, doubt, and dramatic meetings with your coach about a swing over-haul to find form.
Top players not only achieve great results consistently but also love to compete. This is because they understand their recipe for winning, and don’t go into events hoping things will go their way.
They go in confident in a game plan they have tested, and they focus on quality preparation that is NOT based around tweaking their swing or hitting it well.
Here are 5 ways for shaping your performance focus and building a reliable recipe for true confidence:
- Your pre-shot routine is the number ONE ingredient in your performance focus. Develop and refine a sound pre-shot routine that establishes clear commitment to your shot selection regardless of how well or how poorly you are striking the ball.
- Give your pre-shot routine and shot selection process a regular check-up.
- Know your strengths and find ways to maximize these in your game.
- Understand “what makes you tick” as a player and practice replicating these skills, shots, and habits.
- Practice your tournament day habits from your morning rituals to your warm-up.
Dr Jay-Lee Nair
Visit Dr Jay-Lee to learn how to shape your performance process at the Singapore Sports Medicine Centre.