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And now todays article
The age old questions are: How much does my mental game really affect my actual game and is it really that important? The answers are 100% and Yes
There is a lot of emphasis in todays golf world on talent. This is fostered by the focus on results, numbers and rankings. We know the best of the best are highly talented but we might forget that their ability to be consistent and perform well under different circumstances is a by product of their inner talent not only their physical talents.
It is my contention that talent is overrated. Talent is not the key element of your game. It is a portion of your game that relies on how well you allow it to surface. How many people do you know who are talented yet do not perform up to the level of that talent? There are many golfers who dream of playing the PGA Tour one day who struggle with this same challenge. They rely on talent alone and it only takes them so far. Do you play up to the level of talent you believe you have? Do you even know how much more talent you could tap into?
Highly notable people like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam, Wayne Gretzky or Larry Bird all understand that unleashing their tremendous talent was going to happen most consistently when they used all of their resources to excel: meaning their inner talents.
People who rely on talent alone often find that they run into a wall at some point. This is because talent will only take them so far. Being your best requires much more than talent. Youve heard it many times before when coaches or athletes use words such as heart, desire, mentally tough or some other phrase that has little to do with physical talent. Movies like Rudy and Remember The Titans reinforce this truth. When I first arrived on the practice range of a professional event I knew they were all great players and marveled at how well everyone struck the ball. I wondered, why any one of them didnt win more often?
There is an inner game and there is an outer game and if you dont think one relies on the other; think again. Talent without a highly developed inner game is unfocused talent. Its raw talent without a compass. My clients used to think the inner game and outer game were separate entities; like a seven iron and a 3 iron. This is not true. The inner game is THE driving force that produces the outer game. It is what allows you to not only unleash your talent but it also helps you improve it and expand it as well.
Ive witnessed many talented golfers who decided that talent was enough to get them what they wanted and that hard work would be the ticket to get them there. Working hard toward a goal is great but they soon discovered that without a developed sense of the inner game and how it truly functions; their outer game would suffer. Their performances were inconsistent and driven by tension and a lack of freedom in their game.
Every book on Sports Psychology or Peak Performance offers you the key elements or traits of a top performer. All the traits are great and of course, theyre important. However, these key traits are not new. Theyve been the same for a hundred years and theyll be the same for a hundred more. Anyone who is proficient at demonstrating them is in a position to be their bestno matter what theyre doing. The ultimate question is: how do you best demonstrate them?
Talent alone is not enough. When you put more of your attention on your inner talents you will uncover a power that can lift you to new heights.