Many clients call wanting to improve some aspect of their game. They want to be more confident. They want to feel more relaxed on the course. They might want to handle pressure better, be more focused, visualize more clearly or simply enjoy their round more than they do right now. Rarely, do players call and request more patience. They dont think about it as a Peak Performance Trait. How wrong they are! Patience is an important characteristic that enables you to negotiate a shot, hole or round of golf at your highest level. The loss of patience can be the difference between scoring well and not scoring well.
The recent Masters tournament was a blazing display of patience, in my opinion. When you look back at Tigers early rounds you will see a series of shots and circumstances that could have easily led him to feel down causing him to push and over struggle and strain. However, with patience he was able to regroup and be determined to come out and play better golf. Patience, patience, and more patience. As much as any other factor, patience helps you override and overcome obstacles and those less than desirable situations.
Here are some ideas that can help you develop the important performance quality of patience:
The Round Is A Journey
Whether youve heard this before or not it is important to expand your mental outlook as it pertains to a round of golf. It really is a journey and not a destination. Any point along the journey is nothing more than a point you are traveling through to get to the end of the journey. All journeys consist of joy, smooth sailing, obstacles, overcoming and more. When you expect these up front, the journey becomes more interesting. When you see the round as a journey it is easier not to get caught up in one moment or one situation
Focus on NOW
The present time is the only time that is real. However, the mind tends to wander by dredging up the past of projecting into the future. The real juice of any journey is in the present moment. Take note how often your mind is wandering between the past and the future. You may be very surprised how little of your attention is actually on here and now. One way to raise your awareness is to ask yourself this simple question: What time frame am I in right nowthe past, present or future? the moment you ask the question your mind will provide you an answer.
Know when youre impatient
This may sound simple but it is not. Many players become impatient without being aware of their impatience. They simply go about things the way they always do without realizing it. I have a friend who tends to be impatient when it comes to putting. Rather than take his time, read the putt, gain a clear line and vision, he impatiently does a quick read and addresses the ball. He does this completely unconsciously. He is not even aware he is impatient. If I asked him if he would describe himself as impatient on the green he would say no. Take note of whether you short cut routines, speed up your address positions or the golf swing itself. When my friend finally made a conscious effort to be patient on the green, he experienced a terrific day on the putting surface.
Being patient does not mean losing aggressiveness. Being patient merely means that you can see the bigger picture and not get lost in one event or even a series of negative events. A round of golf is an amazing opportunity to take the Heros Journey.Every hero encounters the ups and downs and ebbs and flows and learns to use and learn from all of it. Tiger is a Masters Champion once again because of this inner invisible quality called PATIENCE.
Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed FlowZone program: Your Resilience Factor: Adapt and Excel in any Environment Workshop and TeleCourse that takes performance to the next level. 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). Contact: David Breslow 847.681.1698 Email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net. For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.