When I see Tiger Woods back playing in PGA Tour golf tournaments the one trait that stands out the most for me is his attitude of never giving up on himself or his dream.
Tiger has had his fair share of trials in recent times but he is undoubtebly one of the most determined individuals around and we can all learn a lesson from him about the importance of believing in your ability and striving to tap into a bigger chunk of your amazing potential.
I want to relate a wonderful experience I had recently with a young golf professional ringing me out of the blue to discuss the state of his game and whether I could get him to play better. In my professional life I really couldn't tell you how many times I've similar calls but it is many times over the past twenty years or so.
I met this young professional some years back when he was an assistant professional and was in the area playing a tournament. He came out to the golf range where I ran my golf school with one of my old students to say hello and talk about his game.
At the time he was arguably the most successful assistant professional in the country and endowed with the sort of skills that you need to have to become a successful professional tour golfer, namely super confidence and a low score game. When he rang me last week we talked for an hour about the state of his game and his disappointment at his performances since he became a tournament player. I listened carfeully to all the reasons why he thought he was playing poorly and that he was considering leaving the tour to get a job in a pro shop if he couldn't find the old magic in his game again.
I explained to him that you don't lose the skills you've developed just because you're not playing up to your expectations.
What happens is that you start to use strategies that are not as useful and when you play poorly you employ these strategies continually which get in the way of your performing at your best.
The key is to get back to what worked by replying the successful performances over and over with great detail and to make sure that you're going through this experience from your eyes rather than as a spectator. This is precisely what this young professional did for just one week and the good news is that in the next event he played in he shot 17 under par finishing tied for third and winning a cheque of nearly sixty thousand dollars.
If you've been struggling with your game for some time and you don't seem to be able to find your confidence, don't dispair; focus your thoughts on what you want to achieve rather than what you don't want to achieve. It's easy to sell yourself short but that won't help you in the long run.
Do yourself a big favour and decide from now on to eliminate the negative criticism you have about yourself and your game. Develop the habit of spending ten to fifteen minutes everyday imagining the positive performances you have experienced with all of your senses involved.
See it, feel it, talk it, taste it and smell it. The more time you spend getting into the ideal state to perform the more it will lead you to feel empowered, confident and courageous twget your game back on track sooner.
Until next time,