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Golf - Get Your Head in the Game

Dr. Bob Rotella, well respected Sports Psychologist and mental performance coach to many pro and amateur golfers, has written extensively on how important an athlete's mind is to contributing to their overall performance and enjoyment of competition.

Athletes in all sports should be working on their mental game as well as their physical skills in their sport. It is extremely challenging to measure the importance of the mind in any sport, let alone the game of golf. Many of us on the golf course leave a lot "on the table" as it were, because we are not cultivating the best version of ourselves by leaving the mental game by the wayside.

Dr. Rotella outlines some key points, in developing your mental game as a golfer, in an article in Golf Digest.

Play to play great. Don't play not to play poorly.

Get over the tee and play for the great drive, not to just stay out of the rough. Look forward to the challenge of the putt instead of trying not to three putt. Think to play your best instead of playing to "not play poorly."

Get out of results and get into process.

Instead of outcomes, "I need to birdie this hole," "I've got shoot under 75 today," etc., think process. "I will trust my swing on this shot." "I will perform my pre-shot routine on every shot." "I will commit to each shot."

This is a process of patience and playing in the moment. We are not looking three holes ahead. We stay in the moment, in the shot.

Believe in yourself to play freely.

Believe in what you want to happen on the course, not what you don't want to happen. Big difference. One is coming from an area of self-confidence and a positive belief system. The latter is coming from a negative ("I hope I don't screw this shot up") belief system.

Developing your mental game for golfers, and for any performer for that matter, is crucial to getting the most out of your skillset. Leaving the mental game to chance or hope is leaving too much on the table that can add to your game.

See the rest of Dr. Rotella's article here in Golf Digest:

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