As the round progresses however, and things dont go their way something changes. This golfer may now become a bit frustrated over missing some short putts or putting drives off the fairway. Frustration may turn into anger and even more poor play and at some pointthose clubs might just get the old heave ho!
Okmaybe a bit on the dramatic side but it is true that a well intended round of golf can turn into a not so good time cant it? When this happens weve LOST the funny instead of looking to FIND the funny.
One of the things I invite players to think about and practice is to find the funny. As funny as this may sound; it can make a big difference in your game. There are some real benefits to finding the funny and they are:
- Improve your emotional state
- Re-direct the focus of your mind
- Put things back into perspective
- Relax your physical body
Not bad for doing a simple thing like finding the funny is it?
Finding the funny is a choice you make before you play the round. When I was the Director Of Mental Toughness at the National Tennis Center in New York, I was present during the U.S. Open one of tennis four grand slam events. I remember the athletes from Australia were some of the most relaxed players who knew how to compete AND put things into perspective. Their attitude of I did my best; now lets forget it and go out and have a good time stood out heads and shoulders amongst the throng of players from all over the globe who participated in this annual event.
These players were able to find the funny for themselves. They had three important keys working in their favor. These keys are to remember to:
Stop taking yourself TOO seriously
You are human and you will make mistakes. You will hit poor shots and you will miss easy putts. Amateurs put themselves under unreasonable pressures and expectations about being perfect that even the pros wouldnt go for! Taking yourself too seriously creates tension in the body and also creates a hair-trigger emotional state that over reacts to situations
Laugh At Yourself
This can be difficult for some of us. If we take ourselves too seriously there is a tendency NOT to find ourselves, or what we do to be funny either. Great players laugh at themselves why cant you? Can you laugh at yourself when you make an error? Can you see the humor in how you look and act? Can you laugh at a bad bounce or bad break on the course? You always have a choiceyou can resist and fight reality or you can laugh at yourself, regroup and move on. Try itit will take the pressure off!
See The Bigger Picture
One of the things I liked about the Australian players is that they kept things in perspective quite well. Nothing was the end of the world to them. They knew there would be another shot, another tournament and another day. This does not mean they didnt take their performance seriously. They did. They worked as hard on their games as anyone else AND they also knew where to leave it alone. Play hard. Give everything you have and when its doneits done. Narrow perspective causes the body and emotions to tense up and overreact. Keeping the bigger perspective in mind creates more relaxation and allows you to feel free to go for it more often.
Find ways to find the funny when you play and you can take the pressure off and not only enjoy your round but perform more relaxed and free!! Good Luck!
Copyright 2004 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers a highly acclaimed Perform In The FlowZone' program for sports and business. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio, etc. For more programs/services/products or sign up for a free newsletter (write newsletter in subject box). Also, review the new series of Performance Training Manuals available online! Contact: David Breslow at 847.681.1698 Email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715