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How to train mental toughness


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#1 tiger1873

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 09:45 AM

I know many of us have the same problems with kids and attitudes. Does anyone do anything to train for mental toughness? I was thinking not only would it help with the mental aspect of golf  but also useful for other things in life as such taking tests in school.

I was thinking I should get a coach in this as it might be money spent but I was also wondering if there was other methods people used and what peoples thought are on this.

Edited by tiger1873, 14 September 2017 - 10:53 AM.


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#2 heavy_hitter

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 02:24 PM

View Posttiger1873, on 14 September 2017 - 09:45 AM, said:

I know many of us have the same problems with kids and attitudes. Does anyone do anything to train for mental toughness? I was thinking not only would it help with the mental aspect of golf  but also useful for other things in life as such taking tests in school.

I was thinking I should get a coach in this as it might be money spent but I was also wondering if there was other methods people used and what peoples thought are on this.

She is too young right now to worry about that.

I would stick to simple concentration exercises.

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#3 leezer99

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 05:30 PM

40% Rule

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#4 tiger1873

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 10:29 PM

I am pretty sure she is not too young for mental training. I was told by some guys who used to be in the NFL that psychologists are very important. In fact they suggest you should start them at 7. It is also. It just sports around here. Lot parents who have kids who excel in school use the same training and it really helps them take tests.

Not sure that I agree with that young but I do see value in attitude when it comes to dealing with pressures of competition.   I also think that the mental aspect of the game is very important and it has value beyond jut there golf game.





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#5 BNGL

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 10:15 AM

Check out Dave Rutherford's FrogLogic videos on YouTube...just something simple that I took and expanded upon to fit me. He also has a website. It really helped me...particularly with golf. The whole idea with mental training is to plant the seed and let the person grow it. Then the person says "I did that, now I can do this"



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#6 BeerPerHole

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 08:10 AM

I'll check out FrogLogic.

Years ago, long before I became a dad, I read Earl Tiger's book "Raising a Tiger" (or something like that) and got some insight on this topic. Come to find out Trump's methods have been similar with his kids.

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#7 EKELLY

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 02:23 PM

Mental toughness can't be taught, but it can be coached. Tiger had an insane level of concentration. If you want a competitor, they have to compete. They have to lose, and decide to work harder. Some do, some don't.....My teacher has a 14 year old student that shot 69 in a tournament a month ago, hasn't broke 80 since. Another shot 2 rounds in the 60's easily, shot 79 in the last round. They have the skill, not the mindset.......You can't teach it, it comes from within. You can coach it, and progress it along, but it isn't a book you can buy, or a cd you can listen to......Success that comes without failure will be short-lived......

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#8 Forged4ever

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 11:10 AM

EK said it Best!!

I really don’t like to see the emphasis with a child/early teen being on developing “mental toughness,” one, because I’ve found that most of the parents, and it’s usually the father who focuses on this, have little of it themselves, because if they did, they would understand exactly what EK is saying and they wouldn’t have been asking me.

That being said I am in no way inferring this of you because your post at least, is pretty mild and devoid of misguided thoughts and opinions, which is a good thing.

Whether it be a football field(this is where I developed and honed whatever “mental toughness” that I might have), a gymnastic mat or a golf course, as EK said, you put the child out there, let them get their feet wet so to speak, and see how they respond.

I call it a “flame,” though there are many descriptions for it and it is simply a will to perform, to improve and and to win.

This, as EK stated, a child either has or they do not.

However the contributing factors to “mental toughness,” ie., discipline, focus and drive, to name but a few, while children, much like their parents, can and will have varying degrees of each or all, can indeed be “coached.”

I am in IV’s now and it’s a day of musical chairs however if you are interested, I would be glad to do a more specific cohesive post later when I get back to my room regarding a program that I put together that I initially used for young football Players as a coach and then adapted it to young golfers, however the basic thought process is the same, regardless of sport or activity, because I’ve used the same process academically(for my MBA at age of 26-28yo) and in my professional life for decades. Madison and a few other Pros in town use the program with their kids.

Oh yea, I agree 💯% with HH, I wouldn’t spend the money on that at this stage. Find her a good Teacher who works with and develops children, and this is important because there is a lot more to Teaching a child than there is to Teaching an adult. There is much more than the swing and physical game to develop. That is why you want a Teacher who works with children.

Regardless, I wish ya the very best👊

Regards,
RP

Edited by Forged4ever, 23 October 2017 - 11:44 AM.

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#9 tiger1873

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 11:21 AM

To update this thread, My daughter started to read a lot inspirational biography books of famous athletes and books on the topic itself. It has help a lot,  I would say it has helped more in school then in golf but I have seen  big improvement. Her grades have also improved which is a big deal. I think all kids at this age need to learn that everyone has to work at things they want. To many kids I see just think things get handed to them or try to please there parents.

When it comes to her playing golf when she hit's a bad shot now she try's even harder and almost always comes back.  I even joke to her now she needs to do a bad shot to par a hole. In the past I used to see her almost give up.

She still has a long way to go but at least I am starting to see that burning fire you need.

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#10 farmer

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 12:13 PM

You are serious about trying to develop mental toughness in a 7 year old child?  Emphasis on "child".  That child needs to be learning to enjoy the game, to appreciate the challenges, rather than trying to fit your image of mental toughness.


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#11 Forged4ever

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 12:36 PM

View Postfarmer, on 23 October 2017 - 12:13 PM, said:

You are serious about trying to develop mental toughness in a 7 year old child?  Emphasis on "child".  That child needs to be learning to enjoy the game, to appreciate the challenges, rather than trying to fit your image of mental toughness.
LMAO, you’re a less attractive version(well, at least to me😜) of Madison, lol. This is exactly what she would say but I asked her to please stay the hell out of the thread, as she will do with me when there is a thread that hits my “trigger,” lolol.

I gave him credit for looking for a different word than “mental toughness” as just the improvement in her academics shows that it has nothing to do with “toughness,” mental or otherwise.

When parents will use that word with either myself or Madison, we will ask them to be more specific and give us an example and many more times than not, they are speaking to focus and discipline and the drive to improve and get better, which will or will not come down the road.

I believe that based on his daughter’s improvement academically that she is being exposed to “what it takes” to excel, succeed and win by her reading about Champions.

This is actually something that I will use with a youngster as far as picking an Individual, usually a Pro in their sport , though not always, and read their biography/autobiography and see the path that they took, the effort and work and sacrifices encountered, along with getting up off the ground when knocked down, doing poorly on a test, having a bad shot, round or tournament, whatever.

Anyhoo, I hope that you’re well and having a nice season🏌️

My Best,
RP
I Love Her Not For The Way That She Dances With My Angels~

But For The Way That The Sound Of Her Voice Can Silence My Demons....



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#12 tiger1873

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 12:40 PM

View Postfarmer, on 23 October 2017 - 12:13 PM, said:

You are serious about trying to develop mental toughness in a 7 year old child?  Emphasis on "child".  That child needs to be learning to enjoy the game, to appreciate the challenges, rather than trying to fit your image of mental toughness.

She's not 7 she is 11 years old which is a big difference.   But it does begin at younger age teaching them that they will not always win at things just for participating.

It's fine to make sure they have a medal when there younger but they have to learn how to lose just as much as they have to learn how to win. I see a lot young kids who have to win to keep happy.  I see way too many parents with kids under 12 who think that there kids will be discouraged if they don't win.  

Mental toughness is going out there and completing the tournament no matter how bad your doing.   Nothing is better for them mentally if they end up last place in a tournament tour and then a year later dominate it. Once they do that you need to age up. I truly believe the reason you see these young golf prodigies lose  when they get older is they simply can not take losing and they throw fits about it.

Edited by tiger1873, 23 October 2017 - 12:42 PM.


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#13 tiger1873

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 12:59 PM

Just to expand a little more since some people think this about being over bearing on a kid.

To me mental toughness  is more about focus and their ability to want to try harder when the chips are down.  A lot kids will panic and this is not a good thing when something goes wrong.  Teaching them to not panic and understand they need to focus and not worry is what I call mental toughness. These are lessons that can be applied in life not just sports.  It's the reason for kids to play sports in the first place.

Putting a 12 year old kid in the US open to make them sink or swim or having them play in high pressure tournaments before there ready is just idiotic or even making them practice 8 hours a day will simply not teach anything but make them hate playing. At least that is what I see.

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#14 CTgolf

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 07:40 AM

Kids can have very different levels and stages of mental/intellectual maturity, just as they can vary widely in physical growth

I have seen kids who are very serious and focused at an early age - they take a lesson and are listening to the instructor intently and can understand concepts quickly.  They are self-starters who don't need to be told to practice but want to on their own.

Others don't develop that until later if ever.

I don't think kids need to be coddled or held back if they demonstrate initiative and aptitude.

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#15 Petethreeput

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:01 AM

Over the years I have studied childhood development, and also coached for 20 years for some anecdotal ideas.

EKelly is correct, some kids have it, and some kids won't.  And some kids (like Tiger thrived on external pressure as kids), so stereotyping and generalizing, which we are forced to do not knowing your child I would suggest this.

The best way for children to learn a physical skill is through play.  Think Penick when Watson asked to hit a flop shot.  In play alone, a child is able to work through issues, rationalize failures without excuse, and build up positive memories on their own terms.  Athletically mental toughness is directly correlated to confidence, and confidence can only be built through success.  A coach can give a kid the tools, but the kid has to learn how to use those tools in a way that is positive for them in order to become exceptional.

Again, this is all based on the premise that mental toughness is the logical summation of confidence in one's self.

Again, your child may be like Tiger and only thrive on external pressure and constant corrections, but statistics say this is unlikely.  And, no one knows your daughter as well as you do, so there is no directive in this post.

Lastly, when you look at many of the greatest athletes to play their sport, they are great because of their creativity.  There is a better than average chance Tom Brady didn't learn to throw at a high level camp.  He probably learned to throw in the street, and also learned the limitations of his arm.  Gretzky played hockey in his back yard for hours practicing stuff that would have made his coach cringe.  Messi played on the streets against older kids and learned his shiftiness out of necessity.  I am sure Michael Jordan played on the playground to find out what he could/ couldn't do, because a coach would have come unglued on him as a youth (got cut from his varsity b-ball team as a sophomore). Coaches, by and large, take creativeness out of players to fit a "system."  But those kids learned on the streets and fields with their friends.

So, how would I coach mental toughness, i.e. confidence to get out of any situation?  Give her a shag bag, or take her to the course with her friends, and before the round recommend a limitation to make her learn something.  Maybe its, "you cant use your highest degree wedge today," or "every approach shot has to be a [fill in the blank here based on a self diagnosed weakness]."  Good luck, and I think fun will be the best way to get a child into a lifelong love.


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#16 Curt_

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 04:22 PM

being a very competitive junior golfer growing up, I would definitely advise in starting kids early with mental training. A lot of it is learning how to lose, and understanding that golf, just like life, can be incredibly miserable and heartbreaking at times. It's important that a junior golfer learns this quick, that way they develop a mentality of getting back up instead of folding over. just my opinion of course.

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#17 Forged4ever

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:58 PM

The other thing that I would recommend is to get a child involved in more sports than just golf when they are young and preferably a team sport, where one, they will learn about winning and losing and instead of it being solely on their shoulders, it will be divided amongst them and their teammates(unless of course they drop the game winning touchdown or get smoked to the corner for the game winning two-point conversion 😂😂), and more importantly, they will learn to put others’ needs, feelings and welfare above their own. Starting both golf and football at the same age(7yo), I really believe that football and everything that I picked up mentally helped me tremendously in competitive golf, as at times throughout my life I have Played way above my ability or cap, and the mentality that allowed me to do that was developed on a football field with teammates.

I also believe that a child’s athletic potential will be more full “tapped” by Playing more sports than just specializing in one sport, regardless of the sport, at a young age.

However I just think that a team sport will teach a child what no Golf Teacher or Mental Coach can~

How to win with grace, how to lose with dignity and how to sacrifice for others for a greater good than one’s self or one’s own glory.

As always, just my .03 worth😎

Stay well Gals & Gents🍻

My Best,
RP

Edited by Forged4ever, 26 October 2017 - 08:03 AM.

I Love Her Not For The Way That She Dances With My Angels~

But For The Way That The Sound Of Her Voice Can Silence My Demons....



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#18 Palmetto Golfer

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 12:35 PM

View PostForged4ever, on 24 October 2017 - 09:58 PM, said:

The other thing that I would recommend is to get a child involved in more sports than just golf when they are young and preferably a team sport, where one, they will learn about winning and losing and instead of it being solely on their shoulders, it will be divided amongst them and their teammates(unless of course they drop the game winning touchdown or get smoked to the corner for the game game winning two-point conversion ����), and more importantly, they will learn to put others' needs, feelings and welfare above their own. Starting both golf and football at the same age(7yo), I really believe that football and everything that I picked up mentally helped me tremendously in competitive golf, as at times throughout my life I have Played way above my ability or cap, and the mentality that allowed me to do that was developed on a football field with teammates.

I also believe that a child's athletic potential will be more full "tapped" by Playing more sports than just specializing in one sport, regardless of the sport, at a young age.

However I just think that a team sport will teach a child what no Golf Teacher or Mental Coach can~

How to win with grace, how to lose with dignity and how to sacrifice for others and a greater good than one's self or one's own glory.

As always, just my .03 worth��

Stay well Gals & Gents��

My Best,
RP

Hammer meets nail here!!!  Playing other sports has been a huge developmental tool for my son.  Golf is his love but he also is playing football and basketball.  He has learned so much playing these other sports. He is eleven now.  

First off, like Forged said, the team aspect is very important to me.  Learning how to play in that environment will do wonders for your kid's future.

Second, playing other sports will challenge your child in ways golf cannot.  In my son's latest football game, he got driven into the ground by the offensive tackle the first 2 plays of the game. My son plays defensive end.  I thought to myself that this was going to be a loooong game.  Well, he picked himself up and every play went back out it with this kid.  By the 3rd quarter my son had him whipped.  I could see him growing stronger and tougher with every play to match the toughness of his opponent.  There is no doubt in my mind that he learned from that experience and will be able to use that on the course.

I saw a similar instance on the basketball court. He was playing against a much bigger kid and they banged bodies in the paint the whole game.  This forced my son to increase his level of physical and mental toughness to match his opponent.  I think this is a tough lesson to learn on the golf course.

Plus, playing other sports will develop an all around athlete. To me, that is what you want.  A friend of my son is a very good soccer player.  He physically looks great and moves well.  All he does is play soccer. He couldn't catch a ball to save his life.  How can this be good thing for his future in sports?  His upper body and hand eye coordination are completely undeveloped compared to his lower body.

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#19 Forged4ever

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 05:00 PM

View PostPalmetto Golfer, on 25 October 2017 - 12:35 PM, said:

View PostForged4ever, on 24 October 2017 - 09:58 PM, said:

The other thing that I would recommend is to get a child involved in more sports than just golf when they are young and preferably a team sport, where one, they will learn about winning and losing and instead of it being solely on their shoulders, it will be divided amongst them and their teammates(unless of course they drop the game winning touchdown or get smoked to the corner for the game game winning two-point conversion😂😂) and more importantly, they will learn to put others' needs, feelings and welfare above their own. Starting both golf and football at the same age(7yo), I really believe that football and everything that I picked up mentally helped me tremendously in competitive golf, as at times throughout my life I have Played way above my ability or cap, and the mentality that allowed me to do that was developed on a football field with teammates.

I also believe that a child's athletic potential will be more full "tapped" by Playing more sports than just specializing in one sport, regardless of the sport, at a young age.

However I just think that a team sport will teach a child what no Golf Teacher or Mental Coach can~

How to win with grace, how to lose with dignity and how to sacrifice for others and a greater good than one's self or one's own glory.

As always, just my .03 worth😎

Stay well Gals & Gents🍻

My Best,
RP

Hammer meets nail here!!!  Playing other sports has been a huge developmental tool for my son.  Golf is his love but he also is playing football and basketball.  He has learned so much playing these other sports. He is eleven now.  

First off, like Forged said, the team aspect is very important to me.  Learning how to play in that environment will do wonders for your kid's future.

Second, playing other sports will challenge your child in ways golf cannot.  In my son's latest football game, he got driven into the ground by the offensive tackle the first 2 plays of the game. My son plays defensive end.  I thought to myself that this was going to be a loooong game.  Well, he picked himself up and every play went back out it with this kid.  By the 3rd quarter my son had him whipped.  I could see him growing stronger and tougher with every play to match the toughness of his opponent.  There is no doubt in my mind that he learned from that experience and will be able to use that on the course.

I saw a similar instance on the basketball court. He was playing against a much bigger kid and they banged bodies in the paint the whole game.  This forced my son to increase his level of physical and mental toughness to match his opponent.  I think this is a tough lesson to learn on the golf course.
GREAT Examples with your Boy PG!!

I had similar experiences and I Indeed drew on experiences on the football field to help me overcome obstacles on the golf course. Not to minimize it though bouncing back from a bad shot, bad hole or a poor round was nothing like getting my arse handed to me on a Play and having 10 guys depending on me to bounce back and not let it happen again. Just like your son or anyone’s who’s Played these sports and if they have excelled, one, they have to have the world’s shortest memory and two, they have to adjust tactically and strategically on the fly, not ever having the luxury of strolling up a gorgeous fairway with silence all around them while they gather their thoughts before the next shot, lol, not having to worry or think about the guy who just possibly physically hurt em along with humiliating them on the previous play and they gotta do something radically different to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself on the next play, series or game.

Actually, my mindset was laid in stone as a 14yo HS frosh Playing AAAA(state’s largest division)varsity, and while I was large for my age as a 205lb LB, I was 2-3 years younger and 30-50lbs lighter than the linemen in front of me. I remember in college having a few rough Plays and I always went back to my freshman games in my mind cuz that’s when I learned how to forget, adjust and show up for the next Play.

Showing up for the next shot??

Paleeeeze😂😂

Excellent Post Bro!!

The very best to your Boy👊

Stay well my Friend,
RP

Edited by Forged4ever, 26 October 2017 - 07:58 AM.

I Love Her Not For The Way That She Dances With My Angels~

But For The Way That The Sound Of Her Voice Can Silence My Demons....



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#20 heavy_hitter

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 08:24 PM

My daughter called my wife from college this afternoon.  She said,"I owe to dad for making me mentally tough.".   How did I do it?  By making her accountable for everything she did.  No excuses.  Flat out hard work.  She didn't agree with me then, but I approached golf just like when I coaches high school basketball and football.  Hard work, grit, and determination is what I taught her and in the end you will persevere.

Edited by heavy_hitter, 26 October 2017 - 08:21 AM.


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#21 Forged4ever

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 08:58 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 25 October 2017 - 08:24 PM, said:

BY MAKING HER ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVERYTHING SHE DID

Flat out hard work.  

Hard work, grit, and determination is what I taught her and in the end you will persevere.
GREAT STUFF!!

Accountability!!

Perseverance!!

I know some may ask what it has to do with “mental toughness” however it’s got everything to do with it.

It’s a mindset!!

It is terribly lacking today and one of the two primary reasons that I stepped away from coaching six years ago.

Great post HH👍

My Best,
RP

Edited by Forged4ever, 25 October 2017 - 08:59 PM.

I Love Her Not For The Way That She Dances With My Angels~

But For The Way That The Sound Of Her Voice Can Silence My Demons....



GHIN: Beefeater 24

21



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