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 individual's belief about himself or herself, including the person's attributes and who and what the self is."
In listening to Brooks Koepka at the press conference after winning the 2019 PGA Championship, it is obvious that he see’s himself not only as a great athlete—probably one of the best, but that he also see’s himself as one tough hombre, someone who truly believes in his ability to get the job done in Major championships, no matter what.
He’s been quoted as saying; “I’m lucky where I’m physically gifted a lot more than other people and I’m a lot stronger than other guys, mentally, physically.”
Winning 4 out of his last 8 Majors is testament to not only his extraordinary playing ability, but also his deep seated belief in how he see’s himself when he competes against Major championship fields.
The following widely published quotes describes his outlook on Major championships.
“I think sometimes the Majors are the easiest ones to win... There’s 156 players in the field, so you figure at least 80 of them I’m just going to beat. You figure about half of them won’t play well from there, so you’re down to about maybe 35. And then from 35, some of them just – pressure is going to get to them. It only leaves you with a few more, and you’ve just got to beat those guys.”
One of the journalists asked Brooks the following question, and I found his answer to be fascinating;
There’s no doubt that Brooks Koepka is a tough player, and he see’s it as a virtue and something to be proud of.
At one point in the final round when Dustin Johnson got to within 2 shots of his lead, Koepka kept his cool in the trying conditions.
He has said that he enjoys being pushed to the limit and “sometimes you feel like you are about to break mentally, but that's what I enjoy.”
Brooks Koepka has more than proven to us the importance of developing your self-concept as a mentally tough golfer, and that his self-concept in Major championships is perfectly aligned with his ability to play world class golf.
NEVER AIMLESSLY BEAT BALLS AGAIN
THE ELITE GOLFER IMPROVEMENT SYSTEM