The skill of confidence needs to be attended to as much as your golf swing. We spend about 86% of our time on the golf course either in self-talk or talking with our playing partners. Practice the art of positive talk as you walk along the fairways. This skill will improve both your game and your relationship with the people with whom you play golf. Who knows, it might even rub off on them and everyone wins!
I often hear the excuse “if I made more putts I would have more confidence.” The reality is you need to first believe you will make the putt. Thought precedes action. We must pay attention to our thoughts. Attention allows us to notice when we are off track and make the necessary adjustment. The more often we do this the quicker we will replace a negative habit with a positive one. This is an important skill in golf and paying attention to your thoughts should be practiced. The good news is that this is a skill you can practice anywhere or anytime.
Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can, or can’t ---you are right.” One of your goals this golf season must be to THINK YOU CAN. What we tell ourselves is a command sent to our brain that seeks compliance in our actions. Over time these messages become habits that we become very comfortable with and believe to be fact. We need to replace the habits of setting the bar low, accepting mediocrity & settling. As a general rule if what you are thinking limits your potential in any way it is time for a change. Habits are not like instincts that are hard wired for your survival. Yes, You Can, change a habit and replace it with a new one. It is never too late and your local PGA/LPGA Professional can help you if you need assistance.
No matter what your age, skill level or ability you have the potential for progress. I believe that is why golf is so appealing to such a vast number of people from very different skill sets and ages. There is always something to learn about the game, a vehicle for personal development throughout a lifetime. There is nothing better than learning a new skill, struggling through until completion and being able to utilize that skill to improve not only your performance but also your outlook on life. Notice I did not say “quick fix.” A quick fix is great for a flat tire but not for your self-esteem. You need to go through the process and attain your goal to create self-esteem; no one can do that for you. The choice is yours and you can begin today.
Whether you are deciding to take up the game of golf or want to improve your game, practicing filling in the blanks with positive “I think I can statements” will help you make great strides. Self-Limitation is a cage you place yourself in, leading to regret. Blast-open the door and experience your true potential in the great game of golf and life.