Why Trust Is A Key Element In Playing Golf
Written by Tricia Kathleen
Tuesday, 17 March 2009 11:23
Author: Gail Smithwaite
A good client wrote to me saying that her problem is not so much thinking negative thoughts but ‘thinking at all!’.
How many of you can relate to that? She went onto say that if any sort of thought enters her head, even positive thoughts, she then starts trying too hard. If she just swings and hits without thinking then she gets much better results. She believes the problem lies with a deeper lack of trust within herself to play the shot well. I thought this was a great way to lead into this week’s newsletter and I hope that this will help to put into perspective how I believe a lot of you feel on this subject.Here is an invaluable tool to get you in the right frame of mind on the golf course. If you want to know more about to improve your game of golf then why not check out my CD series ‘Drive Your Way to Golfing Success’ – www.golfmindguru.com/cdseries Gail Smirthwaite GOLF MIND GURU www.golfmindguru.com
So what is trust? Simply put ‘trust’ means ‘confidence’. When you trust others it means that you have confidence in them; in their abilities and their integrity. If you do not trust someone it means you are suspicious of their motives, capabilities and their agenda!
We all know when a relationship is built on trust and when one is not. Communication is easy and flows and this is also true when you trust yourself. Personal trust is all about having a good relationship with YOU! Your self-talk will be positive and motivating and above all else your actions will effortless. Your mood will be good and any task a breeze.
I often talk about ‘playing in the zone’ a term you may have heard top athletes and golfers use; if you do not fully trust yourself to be capable of what you want to achieve, then it will be impossible to achieve this state.
Self-trust is also about credibility; it is all about developing integrity, intent and a capability to create the results that make you believable to yourself and to others. It is about delivering that great shot time and time again and giving it your best. This is where your trust can take a battering. If you play a series of poorly executed shots your trust in your ability will begin to waver. To maintain a good sense of trust in you ability then you need to have the facts to support this.
Well, I have news for you – even the best in the world do not hit perfect shots each and every time they step up to the ball! This is a game called GOLF - frustrating, fun and above all else it is challenging. If Tiger or Laura Davies have a few bad shots (of course their bad shots and ours are likely to be quite different) then losing trust in their ability to play is only going to compound the rest of their game. It is the same for golfers at any level.
If you go out and start a round of golf with the expectations that every swing and every putt has to be great and anything less will send you into a spiral of negative emotions and loss of confidence then maybe you should choose another hobby!
Golf is all about how you handle the ‘not so good stuff’ – the good stuff is of course easy to handle. It only takes one or two bad moments to throw your self-talk and mood into a place where making a good golf shot will be almost impossible. This also needs to be put into perspective because if golf was really easy and every shot was great then where would be the challenge to come back and try again?
Essentially, it all boils down to the question ‘Do I trust myself?’ When you step up to take a swing at that ball and you do not trust yourself to create the results you seek then your confidence will suffer and along with that so will the shot you take.
Whatever decision you make with regards to how you play your golf shot make sure you make your intention to yourself clear and always act with integrity. By that I mean if you do not fully trust yourself and make that commitment to your golf club choice, direction and your capability to execute a strong and confident swing then you will simply lose trust in your ability to follow through. When this happens you will lose confidence in your ability. Thus a downward spiral can begin as you start to create your own reality based on a lack of trust in yourself. It will then be difficult to restore trust in yourself that will give you the confidence you need to play well. It is very similar to when someone else lets you down and you lose trust in that person. It is hard to feel the same way about them again.
If you start to create this self-fulfilling prophecy as you step up to take that swing; a belief that you do not trust yourself to make a good shot will become a part of how you play your game of golf. Then when the result is a poor shot this can often be accompanied by self-talk such as ‘I am no good at this why do I bother’ etc. This in turn will affect your confidence and essentially take a lot of the enjoyment away from playing.
I often hear from my clients that they are unable to focus on every shot and that they find it difficult to put previous bad shots behind them; ultimately what will then happen is all this pent up frustration will be taken out on the next shot. The trust in your ability has gone along with your confidence to play well.
REMEMBER: The past does not define your future; unless you allow it! Losing trust in yourself which in turns affects your confidence is not a great plan when golf is ultimately a game of confidence! You are not giving yourself the best of starts to execute a natural and effortless swing if this is where your emotions and feelings are being guided!
The good news is that whatever level your lack of self-trust happens to take on board at any given moment during your game; that as a human being you have a great propensity to restore trust not only in others but in yourself. Humans really do want to think and feel the best of others and of themselves.
The key is in your ability to ‘forgive’. In the case of a poorly executed shot you can either berate yourself; which means losing trust in your ability and along with that the confidence needed to step up to the mark and take the next shot. This will also encourage you to buy into the belief that you are ‘no good’ which in turn will affect your trust and confidence.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO? You can look at every shot as a BRAND NEW OPPORTUNITY… A GIFT... and approach your swing with the knowledge that you have at some point in your golfing journey made (more than) a few really great swings and shots; so why not use EACH brand new opportunity as a new challenge to do your best? If for what ever reason your shot is not as good as you had hoped there’s always the next shot and the next BRAND NEW OPPORTUNITY! That is the game called golf J
You have the power within you to be your own ‘best-friend’ - it is just up to you to use that ability to support yourself when you need it the most. Give it your best and if that means picking yourself up after and dusting yourself off afterward and forgiving yourself – then DO IT. Remember it is just a game, a hobby, not a matter of life and death.
MAKE EVERY SWING AND EVERY SHOT COUNT AND WATCH WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR SCORE CARD and your confidence! Above all else put it in perspective and ENJOY YOURSELF!
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 March 2009 11:23 )