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
Performance Coach & Trainer at Golfing minds