Problems dont improve you. This statement immediately goes against the grain of popular belief when clients first hear it. They are a little surprised by this because they believe that working through problems is normal and that the struggle that goes with it is to be commended. Dont get me wrong, everyone has challenges to work through on and off the golf course and Im not negating this part of your journey at all. Many of us have worked through real problems (personal or professional) and are stronger and better for it. Im talking about the problems that are self-generated and can be reduced or even eliminated. Youd be surprised how many of them fit this category and these sabotage your gam
When some people notice their problems they may unconsciously hold their problems very close to them. How do they do this? They:
Think a lot about it
Worry about it
Try to figure out how to get away from it or change it
Talk a lot about it
As a result, golfers struggle to play their best and many even believe that playing great golf should be a struggle because its their norm experience. When its not a struggle and things seem to go well, its a wonderful bonus but not the normal expectation! My question to you is; why is it assumed that playing well has to be a struggle? This is the mindset of the Finite Game golfer (see article titled, Your Peak Potential: Finite or Infinite?).
Brad, a 9 handicap contacted me because he was frustrated with his game. Hed been shooting higher scores this season and his handicap was now up to 13. He knew he was better than that and when he realized he was only making excuses (i.e. had things on his mind) he decided enough was enough. I heard you help people make quick changes, he said. Yes. I can teach you the insights that can definitely help you see quick changes but theyll also last in the long run too if you apply them, I replied.
Brads next comment was, Im pretty good at dealing with my problems. In fact, I fight through a lot of things when I play. Soyoure good at coping with a lot of your performance problems are you? I asked. Yes. I do it a lot, he replied proudly. What would you say if I told you that you could almost eliminate your so-called problems and play your best golf more often without struggling? Is that really possible? he asked bewildered.
Heres what I mean when I write, problems dont improve you. Up to 85% of the problems golfers face are things theyre creating in the first place! Brad was shocked to hear this and didnt believe itat first. He assumed the problems he faced were supposed to be there (because they always were!) and his way of working on them was to arm himself with coping skills, which he had plenty of. Brad believed that coping was the best way to fight that battle. If you believe that coping is the key, take a close look at the synonyms for the word cope and you may think differently. They are:
To struggle with
To muddle through
To get by/survive
Even if youve played well, does this pretty much describe many of your rounds? I asked. Unfortunately, it does Brad replied. Is struggling and getting by, what you really want? No! he said emphatically. Brad, like so many others, thought that struggling with problems through a round was a badge of honor in and of itself. After all, when you tough it out youve accomplished something, right? Brads problems didnt improve him even though he believed that struggling was normal. What Brad didnt realize, was that he truly was creating most of the problems he was working so hard to deal with. Brad quickly discovered how he was doing this and he also began to see that he was struggling far more than he needed to. He came to understand that his problems indeed did not improve him. He stopped coping and started creating more of what he wanted. He moved from playing Finite Golf to playing Infinite Golf and his experience changed on many levels; mentally, physically and emotionally. Golf became fun again and he was playing UP to his potential more often. Of course, he still faced issues on the course but he stopped generating many of his old, so-called problems and this allowed him to easily work with anything that came his way.
Take a look at your game. Is playing your best more of a struggle than it needs to be?