Self & Game Awareness – The Key to Great Golf
From looking online, in books, and in magazines there are just so many skills, techniques, and tools that will supposedly improve your mental game. It’s amazingly confusing as what to use, when and how, and really it only probably means that you will become even more cluttered with irrelevant thoughts which are the very things these techniques are meant to help with.
Building a strong mental game is difficult as ‘psychology’ is less tangible than coaching (i.e. you can change ball flight quite easily and actually feel and see it) or fitness training (flexibility, strength and endurance are all measurable) whereas a strong mental game is experienced as ….? It’s a tricky one, maybe more control, less emotional variability, increased enjoyment or less distractible? It really depends on the player but getting to that point is difficult as the mental game is just harder to grasp.
The first step is to stop looking at the plethora of skills and start looking at the game its self. All sports have different demands and the best players build and match the skills they need to these demands. For example, tennis has different demands to football which has different demands to running which is different again from cycling. They all have different formats, structures, rules and environments that makes building a set of mental techniques different for each sport. So what is it about golf that makes it so mentally demanding and what skills do you need to meet these demands?
Here is a simple pen and paper exercise to help you start, once completed try to think of ways in which you can meet these demands or use it as a template to research some skills that might be appropriate for that particular demand that you might struggle with.
How did that go? One of the most important ‘skills’ in golf is the ability to be self-aware – to understand you, the game, and your game. You cannot begin to build a strong mental game without first exploring the intricacies of you and the game that you play. So begin with you and work your way out.
Download Mental Resources Template