Normally this is time of year we would be talking about keeping up your fitness plan during the season, how to eat when you play, appropriate practice schedule or how to hit with more power. Today is not that day. Today we are going on a different journey, into the mind to do some recon and analysis that will pay off tenfold more than any lesson or new driver ever will. We are taking a look inside at how we identify ourselves as golfers, athletes and as people. In the constant fight to better ourselves, we often rely heavily on external forces, such as equipment, gym memberships, lessons, or hiring a trainer. Those are important, but we must also searching internally.
Are you a low handicapper, high handicapper or so new you don’t even attempt to track scores? Are we happy with how we identify ourselves in this regard? If you are a low handicap player wanting to get better, do you sometimes still identify with your game as a high handicap player? If so, this could be a huge limiting factor in shaving the last few strokes to get to where you want to be! Let’s say you shoot high 70s, but just a year or two ago you couldn’t break 90. You are much better now, but every once in awhile that 90+ player mindset clicks in and your old misses come back. Maybe for one shot, one hole, or an entire nine. By hanging onto the past identity of a player who was once happy to play “bogey golf”, you could be negatively impacting your performance to the tune of a lot of strokes.
Are you a high handicap player and because of successes in other areas you tell yourself you should be able to do things a low handicap player does? I tend to fall into this category. This creates a mindset where we think we are better than we really are, and can lead to so much frustration that it caps your ability to actually perform and be that low handicap player you want to be!
How you identify as a golfer will impact how you perform; mindset is a very powerful thing. A high handicap player may shank a tee shot and get so angry with themselves for messing up once because of their unrealistic expectations, they totally mess up the rest of their round. At the same time, a low handicap player may be capable of hitting 9 greens in a row, but after hitting 3 greens in a row, they start thinking about the fact that they have never hit more than 3. Inevitably, they will miss the 4th because of their mindset.
Let go of the player you used to be, and be honest about the player you are today. If you can do these things, you can allow yourself to move forward, and take the next step in getting better. When you enter with the right mindset and and put in the time to go where you want to be, it is amazing what can happen.