by Michael Riggs, M.Ed.
You will never be able to play golf better than you actually see yourself playing.
The concept of self-image simply applies to the way that you see yourself as a golfer. If your image of yourself is that of a great player with a smooth swing, soft touch around the greens, and wielding a deadly putter, well, be confident that you are headed toward that reality. While it may not mean that you will be a scratch player any time soon, or even claiming a single-digit handicap, but it does mean that you have placed the correct image of being a quality player in your own mind — giving yourself a chance at becoming that image.
On the other hand, if you see yourself as a hack that can’t hit a fairway to save his life, a poor wedge player, or a choke unable to make a pressure-filled putt, you’re right. The mind works in a painfully funny way.
Your mind will not allow you to be, on a consistent basis, anything more than you suggest to it. The best players see themselves as great players, first. Not the other way around. From early on, the best players at all levels have dreamt and imagined playing golf at a very high level. They see themselves making key putts and hitting stiff wedges time and time again. They see themselves staying cool and calm under pressure while their opponents melt down. They see themselves wearing green jackets and hoisting golden trophies. They see themselves as winners. As a result, each of the small steps required to become their best were attacked with energy, enthusiasm and confidence – knowing that each was a vital ingredient for a perfect pie.
Do your best to regularly see yourself hitting great shots in big matches against your key rivals. Make the most of the opportunity to see yourself as a quality player. See it first. Be it second.
Never swing the club until you have seen yourself successfully hitting the shot at hand.
Senior Wyndham Clark of Valor Christian HS in Highlands Ranch Colorado proceeded to rip up the course at the 2011 state championship with a casual 64,64 (16 under par) with no bogeys or worse. WOW! Wyndham is off to Oklahoma State University to play for the Cowboys next fall.
In Another’s Words…
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first seeking to win.”
– Sun-Tzu, military strategist