Connect with us

Instruction

Unlocking Your True Golf Potential Is a Mindset

Published

on

Golf is such a great sport for anyone who wants to challenge themselves in an enjoyable manor, but sometimes we can become our own worst enemy when we are trying to improve our game. We often can be easily frustrated when we don’t live up to the expectations of the skill level at which we feel we should play. I’ve seen grown men and women act like spoiled children, almost crying with frustration on the golf course when their game isn’t going as they planned.

Yes, having a competitive mindset is healthy and a necessary part of growth. When a mindset is so fragile and juvenile that golfers easily allow themselves to become frustrated, however, they put themselves into a self-destructive state of mind that affects their body. They overflow their systems with a stress hormone called cortisol, which causes their body to go into “fight-or-flight” mode. It’s a great state to be in if you need to fight for your life or sprint away from a hungry tiger. The downfall is that cortisol overwhelms your body’s vital organs that are necessary for immediate survival, and at the same time, it shuts off your body’s other organs that are necessary for surviving your round of golf. The fight-or-flight state of mind will also put a damper on your ability to make rational decisions, which can be difficult enough for some of us on the golf course already.

Here’s the thing; golf is challenging… period. If you didn’t find it challenging, you probably wouldn’t enjoy playing golf so much. It’s kind of a catch 22; the very reason we enjoy golf so much is the challenge, though we become self-destructive if we find it too challenging or if things don’t go according to plan during our round.

We all have basic expectations of who we think we are and what we are expecting from ourselves before we start our round. If you’re a scratch golfer, you will expect that you will play your round somewhere close to par. Whatever level your play, you expect to play at a skill level that’s familiar to you. The moment you begin to play much better than what you feel is your current skill set, you will be in uncharted territory. You may get kind of excited and anxious, causing you to begin to overanalyze the situation. That may cause you to fumble.

The same goes if you are playing poorly and much worse than you are familiar with. You are again put outside of your comfort zone and will need to adjust your way of thinking to cope with it.

On top of carrying the burden of our own expectations around with us, most people also carry the burden of being over-concerned with what other people might think of them on the course. They want to look good, and this causes them to get trapped in a mindset that is only focused on results instead of improvement. So instead of daring to challenge themselves at the risk of looking bad if they don’t play well, they’d rather stay in their comfort zone and play it safe so that at the end of the day they will still feel comfortable with who they are. This makes it much more likely that golfers will focus on not screwing up instead of trying to get better.

Unlocking your true potential is a mindset, and it starts with you accepting what has happened and not worrying about what “might” happen (and most likely won’t happen if you’d just stop worrying about it). This mindset is all about losing your sense of self image. That person you think you are is preventing you from reaching your potential. If you want to play your best, quite simply, you have to lose that image of who you feel you are when you play golf. You can’t let the past or future own you, because it will prevent you from pushing your envelope of performance. Lose those expectations of what you think your current skill set is and play in the now, one shot at a time.

Many top athletes and musicians describe this state of mind as being in what is called the “zone” or the “pocket” of performance. You might have experienced this state of mind before, on or off the golf course. Being in the “zone” is a moment or moments in time when you aren’t concerned with anything except the task at hand. Your focus is so deep that you are unaware of any distractions, noise, or concerns of looking bad in front of others.

Being in the zone is for many a feeling of losing their sense of time and their sense of self, which makes perfect sense. Time is controlled by the part of our brain called the pre-frontal cortex, which is also the part of the brain that is self-critical and creates doubt in our ability.

Developing a mindset that allows you to tap into the zone so you can unlock your true potential happens when you get out of your own way. Stop being concerned with the results of here and now and start focusing on the process of improvement. Nobody gets there overnight, so get invested in the long haul so that when you are on the golf course you don’t trap yourself in a mindset that is full of expectations and frustration. You will play your best golf when you lose your sense of self and are engaged in the enjoyment of the challenge of each shot.

Developing this mindset is a skill that can be developed just like any other skill set on the golf course, and for most of us, it’s probably the most important part of our game that we need to work on. Your potential is out there, and only you have the ability to reach it. But you can only achieve it by having self-belief in your abilities and the drive to get up every time you get knocked down. The process to achieving your potential will come with the mindset and the drive of accepting what has happened so that you can keep moving forward.

Your Reaction?
  • 208
  • LEGIT16
  • WOW3
  • LOL2
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP4
  • OB2
  • SHANK9

Adam is a PGA Professional and TPI Certified Fitness and Medical Coach. He enjoys working with golfers of all ages and levels of expertise, and his approach is to look at every golfer as an individual to try to help them achieve their goals as effectively and efficiently as possible. He is also the author of two books: The Golfers Handbook - Save your golf game and your life! (available on iTunes and Amazon) And his new book, My Mind Body Golf Please visit the links below to find out more about Adams books. http://mymindbodygolf.weebly.com http://www.golfers-handbook.com "The golf swing may be built from the ground up, but the game of golf is built from the head down" - My Mind Body Golf Aside being an author, Adam is also a public speaker, doing workshops and lectures introducing concepts of athletic movement for golfers of all ages and levels of expertise.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Ryan

    Sep 3, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    I read until the word MANOR. I can’t suffer someone who doesn’t know the difference.

  2. Vombie

    Aug 30, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Be the duck yo

  3. Bob Jones

    Aug 30, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    All pep talk, no substance. How about telling us HOW to develop the mindset you recommend? That would be useful.

  4. mark

    Aug 30, 2017 at 10:35 am

    I played with an 82 year old this past week. We played from our tees, he played up at his tees. 5800 yards. His swing is what an 82 year old swing would be. Plays 5 days a week. This player shot 68/69 in a two day tournament. WOW. He believed in his-self. That’s all I can say….Wouldn’t believed it if I didn’t see it. I’m working on in-locking my brain….82 years old shoots 68/69. That’s money!

  5. alan b

    Aug 30, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Click on Adam Stevenson’s name and you will discover 7 great articles he posted on GolfWRX. He is a next generation golf instructor who appreciates physical fitness through his TPI certification.
    If your body is stiff and decrepit please don’t attempt golf, unless you commit yourself to intensive physical conditioning and golf-specific training. Just reading about it and trying it a few times doesn’t count.

    • Steve S

      Aug 30, 2017 at 9:44 am

      I have an old, stiff, decrepit body and I play to a 10-11. I would be a single digit if my eyes were better and I could still read greens. At 66 I’m playing the best golf of my life(from the white tees) because I have adapted my swing to my physical limitations and don’t attempt “low percentage” shots. This has virtually eliminated “blow up” holes for me. Do I have an occasional bad day, of course. But I have never enjoyed golf more. Part of it is my mental state which tries to savor every shot and every bad joke from my playing partners. As for as physical conditioning I do some light stretching everyday and work around the yard. I never lift anything more than 30lbs without help or mechanical assistance. Keeps my back pain free.

  6. alan b

    Aug 30, 2017 at 1:33 am

    “…almost every word”? How about:
    “Golf is such a great sport for anyone who wants to challenge themselves in an enjoyable manor [sic],…”.
    See, this is what happens when you are educated in phonics… your spelling betrays you!

    • alan b

      Aug 30, 2017 at 1:35 am

      Oooops ….. comment meant as a reply to Peter Schmitt at the beginning of this topic thread.

  7. alan b

    Aug 30, 2017 at 1:29 am

    It’s also known as “mind over matter” state of mind. However this only works for near scratch golfers who have conscious control over their body. They knowingly, consciously practice the parts of the golfswing and then assemble it into and automatic package for testing on the golf course.

    You won’t find these ‘players’ playing a prolonged round on the weekends. They secretly play on the weekdays and sometimes only 9 holes with 2 balls during twilight golf because 2 x 9 = 18 holes.

    Giving recreational golfers false hope is cruel so just let them buy new clubs and hope for the best. They can’t make a complete commitment to the game so psyching them up with psycho mumbo jumbo is useless, fruitless and plain wrong.

  8. nodoubles22

    Aug 29, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I realized this a while back when wondering why I could pull off escape shots – punches from the trees, flop shots, etc. – so much better when practicing them than I did in a “real” round. The conditions were exactly the same, but because I’d purposely put the ball in a bad spot on the course to work on playing from there, I could play the escape shot without the feelings of frustration and anger about the previous poor shot. It’s impossible for me to fully forget about a bad shot during a meaningful round, but I try to remember that the recovery shot will be better if I pretend I’d put the ball there on purpose. It does help a little.

  9. Scott

    Aug 29, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Is this a way to help yourself play better or except mediocrity?
    OK, then how do I take an honest assessment of who I am to unlock my potertial? I agree that I have gotten in my own way. But what is my honest assessment of me as a player, in order to unlock my potential? Am I the guy that has broken par or the guy that has shot in the 90s? If the answer is “yes”, and any given day I could do either, than why bother? If both, high and low scores, are an anomaly, then how is knowing myself going to improve my play?
    I think that I just blew my own mind.

    • Boss

      Aug 29, 2017 at 10:59 am

      You mean ACCEPT.
      No, you didn’t blow your mind. Not even close. That’s why you fail. lol

  10. Woody

    Aug 29, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Great article, the best line “That person you think you are is preventing you from reaching your potential”. Our own self perceptions are our biggest blocks to improvement and success. What a great article, I throughly enjoyed it.

  11. acemandrake

    Aug 29, 2017 at 8:20 am

    “But you can only achieve it by having self-belief in your abilities and the drive to get up every time you get knocked down.”

    True, but exhausting! Especially in this game where most of us hit more bad shots than good ones.

    I guess having (& keeping) realistic expectations would help ?

    • acemandrake

      Aug 29, 2017 at 8:30 am

      Is it even possible to play without expectations?

  12. Peter Schmitt

    Aug 29, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Great article and so very true. Completely agree with almost every word. However, just letting go of expectations and getting in the zone mentally is not a “just do it” kind of thing. Oh, how I wish that were the case, but most days I find myself frustratingly trying to figure out how to just unplug my brain. Knowing something needs to be done and knowing how to do it are two different things.

    • alan b

      Aug 30, 2017 at 1:36 am

      “Completely agree with almost every word”? How about:
      “Golf is such a great sport for anyone who wants to challenge themselves in an enjoyable manor [sic],…”.
      See, this is what happens when you are educated in phonics… your spelling betrays you!

      • Peter Schmitt

        Aug 30, 2017 at 9:12 am

        Yeah I did notice that. Hence the word ALMOST in my comment 😉

Leave a Reply

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

Instruction

Trackman Tuesday (Episode 2): Driver Loft

Published

on

Welcome to Episode 2 of Trackman Tuesday. In this weekly series, I will be using Trackman data to help you understand the game of golf in a little more detail and help you hit better shots and play better golf.

In this week’s episode, I look at driver loft. What effect does driver loft have on your shots and how important is it, really?

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK17

Continue Reading

Instruction

How Far Away from the Ball Should You Be at Address?

Published

on

How far away from the ball should you be at address? This video is in response to a question from Tom McCord on Facebook.

In this video, I look at the setup position. I offer a simple way to check your distance from the ball at address with your driver, irons and wedges.

Your Reaction?
  • 44
  • LEGIT5
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK4

Continue Reading

Instruction

Tour Pros Revealed: 3 Tests to See How You Stack Up

Published

on

You want to be better at golf, more consistent and longer off the tee. I am sure a lot of you would love to stop hurting. You would like these things with minimal work, if possible. You also want them yesterday. That about sum it up?

In the next 5 minutes, you’ll learn about the one thing that solves these problems for good. Before we dive in, though, I want to tee up three stats for you from my research.

  1. PGA Tour players can jump between 18-22 inches off the ground while LPGA Tour players can jump between 16-20 inches off the ground. Long drive competitors can often leap 30+ inches off the ground!
  2. Elite-level golfers who drive the ball 300+ yards can shot put a 6-pound ball more than 30 feet with less than a 5-percent difference in right-handed to left-handed throws.
  3. Elite golfers in the world can hurl a medicine ball with a seated chest pass just as far in feet as they can jump in inches (ie. a 20-inch vertical leap and a 20-foot seated chest pass).

What do these numbers have to do with you and your game? More importantly, what do these stats have to do with solving your problems? Let’s start by telling you what the solution is.   

Objective Assessment and Intelligent Exercise Prescription

Say that three times fast. It’s a mouth full… But seriously, read it two more times and think about what that means.

It means that before you act on anything to improve your health or your game, you need to objectively assess what the problem is and get to the root cause. You should use quality objective data to arrive at intelligent health and golf improvement decisions based on the long-term likelihood that they will be successful. We can’t just select exercises, swing changes or training aids based on what is hot in the market today or what the latest celebrity was paid big bucks to sell to us.

There is a reason why the infomercials you see today on Golf Channel will be different in 2 months. The same gimmicks run out of steam when enough people realize that is what they are… gimmicks. When looking to achieve your goals of playing better golf and/or having less pain, don’t just grab for the quick fix as so many golfers today do. 

We are in the information age. Information from quality data is power. Using this data intelligently, you can fix problems in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost. Hopefully, I am giving you the power to make a meaningful and lasting change in your game. I’m sorry to say that most amateurs will not be hitting 300+ yard drives despite what the latest marketing ploy will have you believe. But, if you know what tests you can do to measure the areas that affect your distance off the tee, you can at least gain insight into where your biggest return on your time investment will be. 

This is where working with a golf fitness expert can be so valuable to you. Not only can they help you interpret your results from the tests, but they will also be able to prescribe you the most effective means to move closer to 300 yards from where you are right now.  

If you have a problem with your car not accelerating as fast as you would like or not being able to reach top end speed on the highway, I hope you take it to the mechanic and don’t just look up quick fixes on YouTube to see what you can do on your own. The reason you pay the mechanic to fix your car is because that is what they do all day. They will get it done as quickly as possible. More importantly, they’ll get correctly so that the problem doesn’t pop up again in 2 weeks.

A golf fitness expert is no different. Use them for their expertise and knowledge. Once you have a diagnosis of what is holding you back and a plan to correct it, you are on your way and won’t have to waste any more time or money trying silly quick fixes that never stick.

The three statistics mentioned earlier represent numbers measured across the globe by industry leaders and at our facility 3-4 times per year on hundreds of golfers each time. Our facility has thousands of data points. With this much data comes the ability to draw conclusions from objective assessments. These conclusions drive the intelligent implementation of successful solutions directed at the root causes of problems for thousands of golfers around the globe.

The first three statistics have an R-value of over 0.85 in correlation to clubhead speed. Translation: if you perform well in the first three tests with high numbers, you are very likely to have a high club speed. Further, if you improve in any of those three tests relative to where you started, you are almost assured to have a higher club speed than when you began (assuming swing technique and equipment is relatively unchanged).  

Keep in mind that in statistics, correlation is not the same as cause and effect. But when the R-value is that close to 1 and anecdotally you have seen the results and changes we have, you put some weight behind these three tests. So:

  • See how high you can jump
  • See how far you can shot put a 6-pound medicine ball
  • See how far you can chest pass a 6-pound medicine ball from a seated position

Doing so will give you an idea of how much power you have in your lower body, total rotary system and upper body respectively. Train whichever one is the worst, or train them all if you want. Rest assured that if you improve one of them, you will more than likely increase your swing speed.  

By doing these assessments and addressing the one or two weak areas, you will improve with the least work possible. Sounds about what you were looking for, right? If you are able to identify where you need to improve BEFORE you buy whatever is claiming to fix your problems, you will save lots of money and time. You will actually start to improve with the least amount of work possible and in the least amount of time possible.  

What’s next? After completing the assessment tests, start working to improve them.

  • Coming Soon: Lower Body Power for Golf
  • Coming Soon: Upper Body Power for Golf
  • Coming Soon: Rotary Power for Golf
Your Reaction?
  • 91
  • LEGIT20
  • WOW4
  • LOL8
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP7
  • OB1
  • SHANK82

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending