Confidence is something every golfer needs to have in order to play to the best of their abilities time and time again. It is probably the most sought after performance trait of all.
What is your confidence level on the golf course? Does your confidence come and go depending on whats happening on the course? Most golfers slip into what I call Pendulum Confidence. Pendulum confidence occurs when we base our confidence on external results and outcomes. Unfortunately, when this is your approach; you are literally at the mercy of external events which you allow to dictate whether you feel confident or not. If the outcome is to your satisfaction you feel good; if the outcome is NOT to your satisfaction, you feel badly and if it occurs one time or more, a lack of confidence is almost sure to follow!
If your confidence is based on outcomes you leave yourself in a very tenuous position walking a tightrope trying to balance yourself in the hopes that you dont swing too far in either direction because if you dodown you go youre your confidence along with it!).
If you want to get off the tightrope, look at the following:
YOU ARE NOT YOUR RESULTS!
The results you get on the golf course ARE NOT YOU. If you are too tightly connected to your results, if you believe they ARE YOU, you will add a tremendous amount of unnecessary pressure and tension to your golf swing.
PERFORMANCE VS. PERSONAL CONFIDENCE
Begin to have the conscious awareness that performance confidence is different than personal confidence. Performance confidence reflects your belief that you have the mechanical tools necessary to perform the task. Personal confidence reflects a deeper sense in you that says Im confident as a person. Of course, they work together but the problem comes when performance confidence leaks into personal confidence. How do you know when this occurs? It happens when you get personal in your self-criticism such as Im no good or I never hit this shot well, what a loser. These statements take performance confidence into the realm of personal attacks and can lower confidence in a split second!
CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES
In my opinion this is one of biggest reasons golfers dont improve more quickly. Here is where the mind/body/performance reality takes over. Because the mind has a built in camcorder capability, it stores what you record. If you record negative situations, negative responses and memories of when you were not confident over a golf shotguess whats sitting on that tape? You guessed it! You cant tape a football game and come home expecting to watch a golf tournament can you? In effect, this is what golfers do. If youve recorded negative thoughts, pictures and feelings then THAT is what you have to recall and replay! How can you feel confident by recalling confident feelings if you never record them?
By celebrating and acknowledging your successes your camcorder will begin to record those thoughts, images and feelings as well. The problem is that too many golfers focus on WHATS NOT WORKING. Their habitual critical eye pays MORE attention to what they did wrong than what they did right. While some may mildly acknowledge what they did right, THEYRE MORE INTENSE ABOUT WHAT DIDNT GO RIGHT. Heres a simple question that will help you know if you do this or not.
What do you react to WITH GREATER INTENSITY; the outcomes you like or the outcomes you dont like?
Most golfers admit they respond with greater intensity to the results they dont like. If this is you; remember your camcorder will record what you focus on WITH THE GREATEST INTENSITY so thats what you have stored.
Try the following exercise:
Commit to finding at least ONE thing you can celebrate on every hole; no matter what the score on that hole. This will force your brain to search for those hidden moments you might let slip away. These are the moments your camcorder can now put on your tape. Find moments to celebrate what youve done well AND CELEBRATE THEM. Feel good about them, smile, put a bounce in your step or pump your fist or whatever!
When you begin to focus on whats working and feeling GREAT about it; you will find your confidence levels to be more consistent! Good luck!
Note: Please contact David directly via email (David@theflowzone.net) to learn more about the Executive Golf program for committed golfers, the FlowZone At Work corporate program and the ON COURSE performance based program designed for personal attention with David!
Copyright 2004 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers a highly acclaimed Perform In The FlowZone' program no matter where you live or play. 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