We’re all working on something we want achieve or improve and not always getting the results we want, so running out of ‘GAS’ may just be what you need to turn things around.
Whether that is our fitness, our swing, our tempo, our thoughts, our overall game or it could be something else outside of golf that affects our performance.
It’s not always something inside the game that affects our results. It’s no different in the business world and we take our personal lives to the office and vice versa.
Life goes on.
We can’t always just switch things on and off when it suits us.
Or can we?
I remember years ago a guy I worked with had this innate ability to switch off from work as soon as he left the office. When everyone else was scurrying around worried about what may or may not happen, always looking at their mobiles, checking emails and sending reports they thought clients ‘may’ want at 9pm, this guy simply shut off from the office when he left and focused on his family life.
He had the same ability on the golf course.
“That’s just not possible” ….. “Ridiculous” I can hear many of you cry.
I’ve heard it many times over the years. I even used to say it myself!
But I can certainly say from experience, he was right. He did it and so can we if we choose to. The problem is we don’t know how to switch off.
Sure, it’s ok for someone to simply say “Switch off and forget about it” but doing it is another thing.
Because we’ve been trained to do things in a certain way that it’s become habitual. We are creatures of habit as the saying goes and for good reason. We build many habits whether we’re aware of them or not.
Only be recognising them as habits can we choose to do something about them, intentionally. They won’t change by chance.
Which means making a conscious decision to change them and replacing them with new habits. Simple yes, easy not so much.
Which leads me to my point. Sometimes we need to run out of ‘GAS’ to actually get us there.
What I mean is to stop ‘Giving A S*@t ‘ to coin the phrase as it’s usually known.
We often spend so much time focused on and paying attention to what might happen, rather than simply doing our best and not getting so fixated about the result.
In golfing terms this means not reacting to where your ball ends up. It may take a sharp kick left or right into a hazard. You cannot control it and it doesn’t mean that you don’t care, more simply that you’re not letting it affect you.
So, if you find yourself getting angry when you see your ball hop into a bunker or a lake, remember to think about running out of ‘gas’ and change your reaction, as you cannot change what has happened.
It takes time and effort to change things, they don’t happen by themselves or overnight, but with some dedication they will and I’m sure you’ll see some improvement, now just in how you feel, but in your game overall.
After all, who wants to come off the course feeling frustrated all the time?
If you like the sound of this and want to dive into learn more about your mental game, why not look at the 7 Keys to Improve Your Mental Golf Game by clicking HERE
It had been touted recently as potentially the best line up in The Masters modern history, with so many really good players coming into form at a similar time.
There was plenty of talk centred around Rory McIroy and the elusive ‘slam, Francesco Molinari’s amazing 2018 and his impressive start to 2019 with his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month in his first outing after signing with new clubs.
If anyone had any doubts about what golf is about or whether or not to get their kids involved in the game, this years tournament was in my humble opinion, the greatest show of sportsmanship, skill and mental strength, as well as the greatest comeback of all time.
Sorry Muhammed Ali, I grew up watching you throughout your career and you were amazing, but Tiger has this one.
I believe we can all learn something from yesterday and these are my reasons why we should get more kids involved in the game of golf.
Humility. It’s been well documented over the last 8-9 years about his personal life, but things have moved on and it shows. He looks a completely different character and his recent playfulness was evident at The Players on the 17th when having fun with Kevin Na. Something the world has seen little of previously. The game has a way of making us all human.
Resilience. The ability to bounce back and come back when the odds and everything else seemed to be against you. Personal agonies and injuries which many would have given up because of long ago, the doubters and at times I’m sure, your own self-doubt tested you to the limit.
Attitude. It’s the thing that makes people top salesmen or not so good salesmen, the thing that makes top performers or average performers. It’s contagious and you can’t buy it but you can always see it.
Persistence. It’s intangible. Having the ability to keep going is something that only comes from a deep desire and intention to do so. It comes from having a strong enough reason “Why”. I think we saw the reason why when he walked off the 18th to his waiting family.
Patience. So often we get sucked into having to get everything now, before it’s too late. Tiger’s no spring chicken in this game at the age of 43, but he has shown incredible patience in his quest to get fit, work on what is required to get to where he wants to be and that’s at the top of his game. During the round yesterday, we saw absolute composure as he waited for his chance to move forward and didn’t re-act when he missed golden opportunities, choosing instead to be patient and bide his time.
Belief. We all question our beliefs at times when we’re faced with difficult situations and challenges, both in life and on the golf course. His self-belief and his attitude all stem from when he was being mentored by his father. Belief is where the magic happens and it all stemmed from his father believing in him,
This all adds up to what Like many, I feel is the greatest comeback in modern sporting history and the greatest display of mental strength I’ve ever seen in sports. I don’t wish to take anything away from Francesco Molinari, who in the last few years and in particular the last 18 months, has shown what an amazing golfer he has developed into, working with several coaches on his physical side, his swing and his mental approach, but yesterday he simply got swept aside by the phenomenon that is Tiger.
It’s been said many times, that Tiger Woods is good, no, Tiger Woods is great for golf and with what happened on Masters' Sunday, will no doubt help to bring even more young people into the game of golf and learn from him and the others what the game is really all about.
Watching the press conference yesterday with Rory was quite refreshing in a way and also quite scary.
Refreshing to see how he has moved his game up after some more changes in his personal routines, not just the golf ones. He talks differently and is open about how he has been meditating, changed his diet to exclude some things that may not be helping him perform and changed his thought processes to name a few.
It was quite scary too as I recalled ten years ago when I went through a similar transition after I discovered how serious a lower back injury was and I had to change many things to help improve, what was at the time thought to be a life changing situation, starting with physical health.
I started to change what I ate, dove into nutrition because as I discovered the computer analogy rings true…. “Crap in… crap out”. As a natural part of the transition and healing, it further led to the same thing with the mind and the way we think.
This was about improving the situation I was in at the time and believe me it was pretty dire, but the choices weren’t exactly thrilling.
What I discovered was that the mind doesn’t like change (nor do the taste buds) but it wasn’t all woo-woo, pixie dust and unicorns. Which is why it was a struggle to start with and on the food side, they put sugar and all sorts of other rubbish into so many things so it tastes ‘good’.
Now before your mind goes into a tailspin thinking “Oh no, not another one of those veggie new age vegan weirdo guys”, as I’ve already mentioned the computer analogy applies here too and is the same with the cars we drive.
Try putting the wrong fuel in your lovely Porsche or Beamer and see how far you get. Sugar laden, dyed liquids claiming to be sports drinks are not good for your physical or mental game.
And once you start to change the things you eat, the body reacts in a positive way and it wants more of the good stuff. Oh and the taste buds start to come alive when you put real food in your mouth!
A similar thing happens with the mind.
If you want to improve something, you have to change, it’s as simple as that. But there are some key factors to look at in order to make sure you have the best chance of success when you work with the mind and implement new strategies.
It’s more a case of keep putting the right things in so there isn’t room for the bad stuff and eventually you improve how you think, feel and act.
Here’s some of those factors:
How it is introduced. If you implement a completely new routine or regimen in one go, the mind can often reject the idea or make it seem like an uphill struggle. Start with baby steps, to make small successes along the way. For example, meditation. For me it was a challenge as I tried it once, diving in for what seemed like hours but was in fact a torrid 10 minutes where my mind was still going at 100 mph and the mind couldn’t sit still so to speak and so I stopped.
Start with one minute, then two minutes then three and building it up from there, so you can get upto 20-30 minutes a day if you so wish. It really helps relax and focus the mind.
In the book ‘From Couch to 5K’, they have a similar principle by starting to move yourself from the couch to running a short period to start with and building on it each day, you will eventually get to 5k.
Starting out at 5k isn’t going to work for many people.
Having a desire and an intention to actually improve things. Simply wanting to improve will not make it happen. Having an intention sets the ball rolling but the real driver behind this is to have a reason “Why”.
I don’t mean motivation, because I believe motivation is usually driven by someone else’s wishes not your own. You have to be inspired to do something, inspired or driven by something deep inside yourself.
As Rory eluded to in his press conference at the Masters yesterday, he wants to win and to do that he has to be the best he can be, but he doesn’t have to win. That’s a huge difference mentally.
It’s a process. It doesn’t happen overnight and it takes commitment to the process. Often we want instant results and if we don’t get them, we think it’s not working rather than trusting the process and allowing it to take shape.
Just listening to him at the conference you can see the work he has been doing over the last seven months has started to pay off, not just on the golf course, but in his personal life, the way he speaks, how controlled he is and his outlook.
It’s changed and so has his golf.
We haven’t seen the best of Rory yet, I’m sure of that.
Well done Rory, you are a true sportsman and inspiration to so many people, not simply golfers and I will certainly be rooting for you this week at the Masters.
If you'd like to know more about improving your mental game, get started with my 7 Keys to Improve Your Mental Golf Game. Get your complementary copy by clicking here
Like many golfers, I imagine you can’t wait for Saturday to Arrive.
Especially if you’ve been cooped up in an office all week. The lure of the fairways is so tempting after a long winter if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere.
But with all the excitement, expectations and eagerness to get out and play, do you know who will turn actually up on the day?
This is a big problem for many golfers. They’re never quite sure if it’s going to be Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde.
“Where did that come from?” I remember a friend saying several times when we were was sat in the 19th after after a particularly good round.
The truth was he wasn’t ever sure who would actually turn up. He didn’t know his own game or the likely cause of his performance.
Once he discovered it wasn’t simply one thing, but a combination of things that made a real difference, things started to click.
Here’s a few things that helped transform his game:
Preparation is key for anyone who wants to improve or perform at a high level. He was used to turning up 15-20 minutes before a tee time, after rushing around all morning, grab his things and head off to the first tee expecting to be on top form.
This includes preparing the mind for the game, focusing on what you want to achieve and getting yourself into the right mindset. Feel good about yourself and your game before you even get to the course. If you don’t, you’re only setting yourself up for tough time.
Quality thinking is vitally important. Most people call it positive thinking, but It’s not all hot air. If you don’t believe me, try playing a round focusing on all the negatives: missed putts, three or four putts you’ve had, bunkers and mishits and see how well you play.
I’m sure it won’t give you the results you desire.
Play within yourself. We often get carried away with the occasion and our emotions can affect us both negatively and positively if we aren’t careful. Don’t be suckered into chasing score and going for shots that are really out of your reach or playing level.
Unless you are Rory McIlroy, you aren’t going to hit a drive like Rory McIlroy.
Have a process and stick to it. Don’t be tempted to start chasing scores and focusing on getting shots back. Develop processes for each part of your game and scores will follow.
Start using these as part of your game and in your preparations and see if you know who will turn actually up each week. I’m sure you’ll start to feel more confident and improve your scores.
If you like the sound of these, try my 7 Keys to Improving Your Mental Golf Game by clicking here to get your copy.
Performance Coach & Trainer at Golfing minds