Are You Fully Committed to Playing Your Best Golf?
After taking golf lessons and/or attempting to make changes in one's swing, many players have a difficult time fully committing to executing the new swing on the golf course. There are a variety of reasons for this. Some are concerned because of a fear of hitting the ball in a "bad" place- into a hazard, bunker, OB, etc. Others don't swing the club with full commitment because of a lack of faith in their ability to swing it well, and instead end up trying to guide the ball.
The trouble with making tentative swings is that regularly the shot ends up creating a poor result. Here is how the best players in the world handle this problem.
There are basically two ways to approach a shot, each with two basic results. A swing can either be committed or uncommitted, and the result of any swing can have a positive result or a negative result.
1. Commitment with Positive Result--------------2. Commitment with Negative Result
3. Lack of Commitment with Positive Result------4. Lack of Commitment with Negative Result
Situation 4 is the absolute worst feeling in golf. Swinging the club or executing a putt tentatively and/or without commitment and getting a poor result is a double whammy. Here the player is trying to protect against a feared consequence, hasn't really given himself a chance for something good to happen, and had the feared outcome happen anyway. This scenario scores a direct hit on the confidence because of the lack of courage and the poor result.
Situation 3 is only slightly better. In this instance, the player doesn't really "go after it", but gets a positive result anyway. Most golfers in their heart of hearts know when they've "gotten away with one" as opposed to when they've actually "gone after it". Most players don't feel very good even when they have hit a timid shot or made an unsure putt and had the ball go where they were hoping. Essentially, this feels good in the moment, but it has a negative impact on most players' confidence.
For the most part a lack of commitment, irrespective of result, sets up situations that ultimately hurt a player's confidence.
On the other hand, commitment inescapably does the opposite.
Situation 2, where a player makes a fully committed swing or putt and doesn't get the result he'd like, creates mild disappointment. While this is true, competitive golfers know that they've at least given themselves a chance for something good to happen, and have done what they could to create a positive golf shot. Most live well with this, knowing that over time these types of swings and putts will produce the rewards they seek. This is a net positive to the confidence.Situation 1 is the best feeling in golf. It is the situation where one makes a fully dedicated pass at the ball and gets exactly what one was looking for. These are the moments which generate ? even for the casual golfer- the kind of internal response that connect with one's love of the game. Getting a positive result in a situation where a challenge was confronted head on is high on the list of confidence boosters.
Confidence can be built one shot at a time if swings and putts are made with steadfast commitment!
Jeff served as Director of Mental Training for David Leadbetters Golf Academies, where he was instrumental in assisting in the development of the training programs and methodology that continues to produce golf champions around the world. Jeff works with several touring professionals and amateur players - assisting them in the creation of optimal training plans and developmental strategies. Jeff is the coauthor of a new book, http://www.golffitnessexperts.com.
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