The 5 Saboteurs


Everybody wants to shoot lower scores. Every golfer I know would love to play with greater consistency as well. As I work with and observe different golfers both on the range and on the course I have noticed some common characteristics that have a definite impact on performance. Ive identified five aspects that can be both performance enhancers and performance saboteurs. These habits have both a positive and negative aspect to them. When players do them well their performance can be positively affected. When they dont, performance can be sabotaged. I call the negative side The 5 Saboteurs.
Take a look at these performance habits and see if you are enhancing or sabotaging yourself. Here are The 5 Saboteurs (that are also performance enhancers!):
1. Awareness
Lack of awareness can lead to any number of challenges on the golf course. Awareness is one of what I call The 9 Habits of Success. When we are aware of the external environment we are more open to input and can make better decisions. When we are aware of our INTERNAL environment we are keenly connected to our thinking patterns, the messages we send ourselves, our emotional noise and physical tension. When we are not aware of these things they can all potentially create performance sabotage.
2. Preparation
Preparation for any shot is of the utmost importance. This includes fully preparing your mind, body and emotions to be at peak level to perform. Are you clearing negative thinking? Are you moving past negative emotion? Have you prepared yourself to hit the best golf shot YOU are capable of? When working with golfers they discover they might not be as prepared to be successful as they once thought. Here is where the link to awareness takes place. If you are not aware it affects how you prepare.
3. Club / Shot Selection
As basic as this seems, when we are not aware of our external environment or internal environment it can lead to poor choices on the golf course. It is often reported that one of the most glaring mistakes amateur golfers make is in club and or shot selection. When we prepare properly and we are highly aware; we are in a better position to make the best choice in any situation.
How many strokes do you give away to the golf course due to poor club or shot selection? Take a closer look next time you play and identify those areas on the course where a different choice might have saved you some strokes.
4. Interpretation
Ive often stated one thing peak performers (or anyone who is successful in life or in sports) do better than others is: they see things differently. What does this mean? It means they have developed the art of interpretation. They literally interpret events in a way that triggers them to think, feel and do things that help them perform better. Rather than seeing a poor shot; they see an opportunity to take on the challenge to recover, possibly par the hole or escape with a great bogey. Rather than seeing themselves as playing poorly and negatively affecting their game; they choose to see themselves taking control and triggering an ideal performance state. Interpretation is one of the five saboteurs because how you interpret people and events on the golf course will directly affect your game.
5. Celebrating Success
One of the things I notice when speaking to golfers is a lack of attention on things they do well. When I ask about a particular round the first comments tend to describe what DIDNT go well. It seems easy to focus on what DOESNT go well rather than what does. This doesnt mean we dont acknowledge or notice what we do well; it means we react with greater intensity to negative results. This limits what we feed our brain and put into our memory bank. Its important not only to acknowledge what you do well, but to take it in, feel it and focus on it as well.
How many of these Saboteurs show up in your game?
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