Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Give Yourself Power!

We had a great team meeting today!  Mostly, it was about MANAGEMENT.  As in, managing yourself, your game and the golf course when you play the game.
The Three Things You Manage on the Golf Course

We talked about how the top of this pyramid is the most important thing you manage:  YOU!  You are in complete control of your attitude and a big part of course management has to do with how you view yourself, your game and what is in your power.

How do you make choices?  If you feel pressured into making decisions based on fear, what you are avoiding or to prove a point, you are in the wrong frame of mind.  Do you have a fear of what lies over the green?  Does that cause you to under club?  Do you want to avoid the water on the right?  Does that cause you to tighten up and make a poor swing?  Do you want to prove you can hit a driver on a hole even though it sets up better for your 3 wood?

Every situation in golf is unique.  When you caddy, your job is to prepare your player to hit the best shot possible given the situation at hand.  You don't tell your player what you don't want her to do or mention how she didn't hit a very good iron on the last hole.  Instead, you paint the scene you want to see happen.  As a caddy, you also factor odds and help your player hit shots that will help her score as low as possible.  Caddies make their money from their player's scores.  They don't care how pretty a swing is if it doesn't make them any money.  They understand that "hero" shots will probably cost them $ at the end of the week.  They dole out a lot of medicine to their players and when the relationship is strong, both parties benefit.

Can you caddy for yourself when you play?  

What if you empowered yourself to make decisions on what is the best option right this moment?  Here is an example of someone who did:  Bill Haas on Winning at Riviera  If you go to 3:43 and watch, you will hear him explain how he aimed away from the hole in a playoff.  Instead of playing the hero, he took his medicine, as he describes it, and it paid off.  He didn't consider the playoff to be a factor forcing him to play an aggressive shot.  Instead, he did what he could to score as low as possible.

Bill Haas after winning the playoff with Phil Mickleson and Keegan Bradley at Riviera

The final thing we talked about today is the word and the emotion; frustration.  Frustration is a word that is powerless.  If you use it in a sentence, it serves to remove you from whatever problem you are facing.  For example, "I am frustrated that I can't read the greens at this golf course."  You have, in effect, closed the door on your ability.  Your frustration = powerlessness.

Here are the synonyms of frustration from thesaurus.com:
annoyance, bitter pill, blocking, blow, bummer, chagrin, circumvention, contravention, curbing, defeat, disgruntlement, dissatisfaction, downer, drag*, failure, fizzle, foiling, grievance, hindrance, impediment, irritation, letdown, nonfulfillment, nonsuccess, obstruction, old one-two, resentment, setback, unfulfillment, vexation.

Wow, these are the things your emotions pick up on when you mention to your self, your coach, your caddy or anyone else how frustrated you are about something on the golf course.    What if you turned your statement around said one of these things instead of "I am frustrated that I can't read the greens at this golf course."  "I am determined to figure out these greens." "I am motivated to learn to read these greens."  "I am positive I can read these greens."  Imagine the power you have just received from yourself!  You now have the green light to have determination, to learn something or to have a positive view of what you are doing on the greens.

As you manage yourself on the golf course, it is up to you to figure out what makes you tick when you play well and what patterns or spirals of thoughts or actions bring you down.  It would be great if you wrote in a journal all the stuff that helps you.

Here are some examples:

Feb. 12, 2012
"Today, I misread my first three putts, so I decided I was going to play everything within 10 feet inside the cup and see if that helped.  It did!  I was playing too much break for these greens.  I am really happy I made an adjustment and I am even happier it was the right adjustment."
Feb. 12, 2012
"I learned the hard way today that I can't think about my stroke when I putt.  I was really working on mechanics before I went out to play and I took it with me to the course.  I forgot about thinking about making putts and sometimes I even forgot about speed.  I left a 10 footer short.  From now on, I am going to focus on making putts on the course by rolling the ball on the line I want and the speed I want. PERIOD!  I am a great putter when I do this, so I need to make sure I do it all the time."

Enjoy your play on the course and remember to be your own best friend and caddy out there.  The game is a lot of fun when you harness the power of a positive and confident attitude!


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