Connect with us

Instruction

The Mental Game: Go Beyond SMART Goals

Published

on

In my last article, I discussed how to kick-start your focus and create positive actions through the use of goal setting. Due to the positive reception and requests for more details about SMART goals, I would like to follow it up.

SMART is an acronym that stands for:

Specific — Measurable — Attainable — Realistic — Timely

It’s a fantastic guide for how to write powerful goals that we use daily with all of our students at The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy.

Goals should be written in a specific manner, as opposed to general. For instance, it’s better to write the goal, “I want to practice my short game” rather than something general such as, “I want to improve.” Saying you want to “improve” gives no specific direction, but focusing on short game provides more detail.

The conscious and unconscious mind is like a missile. If the mind is launched with no parameters, then your thoughts can end up going in any direction, just like a stray missile. If you provide a specific target, however, the launch is all but assured to hit its target. Giving a specific direction for your mind and body to focus on is critical to setting goals.

The goal of “I want to practice my short game” can be taken further by adding a measurable component. Writing “I want to practice an hour a day,” provides even more detail and is a great way to measure your progress. At the end of every day, you can ask yourself, “Did I or did I not practice for an hour today?” You will be able to easily tell if you accomplished your task. On top of this, you can have a calendar at home and check off every day that you practice your short game for an hour, making it easier to track your progress.

Goals can be made both attainable and realistic with two simple questions: Can I? and Will I?

  • Can I accomplish this goal? If yes, the goal is attainable.
  • Will I accomplish this goal? If yes, the goal is realistic.

If you can answer: “Yes! I will practice my short game an hour a day.” Then your goal is both attainable and realistic.

The final and perhaps most important component to SMART goals is making sure the goal is timely and/or having a timeframe, also known as a deadline. To add a dimension of time to this goal, write something like: “I will practice my short game an hour a day each day this week.” You can also add another time frame and actually schedule a specific time to complete your goal, which I highly recommend! Simply saying from 5:30 p.m. t0 6:30 p.m. will provide a complete direction so your mind knows exactly what you need to do!

  • Specific: “I want to practice my short game.”
  • Measurable: “I want to practice my short game an hour a day.”
  • Attainable: “I can practice my short game an hour a day.”
  • Realistic: “I will practice my short game an hour a day.”
  • Timely: “I will practice my short game every day this week from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.”

While SMART guidelines are a great concept for structuring your goals, you can do even more.

Two tips I tell our juniors and pros are:

  1. Make sure your goals are written and stated positively.
  2. Make sure your goals are moderately difficult.

Writing a goal like, “I don’t want to get angry during today’s round” is not a positive goal. It keeps the mind focused on what to avoid. When the mind is focused on what to avoid, it makes that idea more likely to happen. Saying or thinking, “Don’t get angry” tells the brain, “get angry, get angry, get angry.” Therefore, the goal must have a different focus, such as: “stay focused” or “keep calm.” This simple shift in language is very powerful for your goals, mindset and success.

Writing a goal, which is easily attainable, does not motivate a golfer. A scratch golfer may write a SMART goal like, “I will shoot 80 or better today.” But, it likely doesn’t make that golfer excited and passionate. As we discussed in one of my previous articles, “Goals are the fuel of greatness,” goals should not only keep you focused, they should also drive you. Therefore, golfers will benefit by making goals that are attainable and realistic and also challenging.

Consistently writing SMART, positive, challenging goals is one of the most sure ways to continue to progress in golf. Get into the habit of doing this weekly, and you will be on your way to personal greatness.

Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Dan Vosgerichian Ph.D. is owner of Elite Performance Solutions. Dr. Dan earned his doctorate in Sport Psychology from Florida State University and has more than 10 years of experience working with golfers to maximize their mental game. His clients have included golfers from The PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Web.com Tour, PGA Latin America, as well as some of the top junior and collegiate players in the country. Dr. Dan has experience training elite golfers on every aspect of the game. He served as The Director of Mental Training at Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, as well as a Mental Game Coach for Nike Golf Schools. He’s also worked as an instructor at The PGA Tour Golf Academy and assistant golf coach at Springfield College. Dan's worked as a professional caddie at TPC Sawgrass, Home of The Players Championship, as well as an assistant to Florida State University's PGA Professional Golf Management Program.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: The Mental Game: Go Beyond SMART Goals - GolfWRX | SmartphonesSmartphones

  2. Bill Schmedes

    Jul 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Another great article by Dr. Dan!

  3. Pingback: The Mental Game: Go Beyond SMART Goals | Spacetimeandi.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Instruction

Tip of the week: When, why, and how to draw your wedges

Published

on

Top 100 teacher Tom Stickney explains when you’ll want to draw your wedge approach shots in to stick it close (and how to do it).

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT3
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK6

Continue Reading

Instruction

Tip of the week: Where to leave the ball

Published

on

Top 100 teacher Tom Stickney explains how, rather than blindly firing at pins, thinking about where to leave the ball and where you want to putt from are key.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK6

Continue Reading

Instruction

Matthew Wolff swing analysis – Part 1: Starting the swing

Published

on

This is going to be a fun series because it will take us back a good 14 years on YouTube with some of our videos!

The whole golf teaching industry just got smashed with a major disruption and we here at Wisdom in Golf are loving every minute of it! So enjoy our series, whether it is a walk down memory lane and a great validation for what you are working on or of you just got a nice wakeup call as to what is now possible for your golf game!

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW2
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP4
  • OB4
  • SHANK7

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending