“It’s something you have to find from within. You have to keep pushing yourself from within. It’s not about what other people think and what other people say. It’s about what you want to accomplish, and do you want to go out there and be prepared to beat everyone you play or face.”
– Tiger Woods
Would you play better if you could hit your golf shots without the fear of failure? What if you could stand up to any shot and simply make your stroke without getting caught up in the consequences? Is it possible? You bet it is, and the answer isn’t in swinging the golf club perfectly or something like that. Well known New York golf instructor Mike Hebron once said that ”a good golf swing will lower the highest score you can shoot, but a good mental game will lower the lowest score you can shoot.” Swinging the golf club better will give you confidence, but as you know the mini tours are full of pro golfers who swing the golf club soundly but struggle with their confidence leading to higher score averages and frustration.
A key component of golf confidence is mental toughness. Mentally tough golfers condition their mind to think confidently so they are able to overcome the normal frustration and negative self-talk associated with playing golf.
What are the key psychological characteristics of mentally tough golfers?
? Mentally tough golfers have an unshakeable self-belief in their ability to achieve their goals in competition and they also believe that they have unique qualities that make them believe that they are better than their fellow competitors. And their competitors know it!
? Mentally tough golfers have an incredible desire and motivation to succeed. This motivation burns from within them, giving them the ability to continually bounce back from setbacks on the golf course with an increased determination to succeed.
? Mentally tough golfers remain fully focused on the shot at hand in the face of the normal distractions of competition. They are able to switch their focus on and off as required, and are not adversely affected by another golfers performance or their own internal distractions like nervousness.
? Mentally tough golfers are able to maintain their composure which allows them to regain control of their game following unexpected events or distractions. They embrace pressure and thrive on the pressure of a competitive situation by being able to keep their mind firmly in the moment.
? Mentally tough golfers accept that anxiety is inevitable part of competition and they know they can cope with it.
To develop unconditional confidence in your golf game start by learning to acknowledge the importance of mental toughness in lowering your golf scores and having more control over your game.
Understand that your thoughts will affect your feelings which will affect the way you play golf.
Get control over your negative thinking by giving yourself more than one option. In other words you have more choices than you think when you play so instead of getting frustrated or upset over a shot that didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, choose to simply accept the result and get on with the next one. This is the beginning of becoming tougher on the golf course. Let go of your old thoughts and behaviours and embrace new ways of acting.
In no time at all you will be hitting your golf shots with unconditional golf confidence leading to lower scores and more fun on the golf course.