I was listening to Julie Inkster commentate upon the LPGA LOTTE Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii this weekend. One very interesting point that she brought up was that she herself would compete very differently had she progressed through her career in the opposite order.
I.e. If she had been a commentator first and then a tour player second, she would have played differently. How so?
As a player you get incredibly tied up in your own game. Your focus is on your own game, your own strategy and attempting to hit perfect shots. As a commentator you see the bigger picture, the wider field and become aware of many different strategies and approaches. You also become more aware of the number of shots that are not in fact perfect.
I seem to recall mentioned sometime in the past that even a tour player on average only hits seven perfect shots per round. Needless to say, a tour player’s perception of the perfect shot is likely to be very different to yours or mine!
One of the main mental challenges in golf is to go through the process of accepting the last shot and moving on to the next one, without dragging a negative emotion forwards with you.
This is easier for a person who is less fixated upon perfection. Golf is not a game where one should expect perfection. It’s just not going to happen very often, and you will end up in a state of acute frustration!
This does not mean to say that one shouldn’t strive to hit his or her best shot or to try to be as good as you can be. It just means that on the golf course, you cannot change the past. The last shot cannot be replayed. You have to live with it, and it is easier to deal with in a positive mind-frame than in a negative one.
A solid post-shot routine is key. You observe what happened, learn from it in an open and receptive manner and move on. In addition a solid pre-shot routine is also necessary to re-set your mind upon the current objective.
Roseanna Leaton, golf addict and specialist in golf hypnosis mp3s and author of the GolferWithin golf mind training system.
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