Here we go again. With a New Year we have yet another opportunity to reevaluate our lives and our games. Perhaps 2018 brought broken clubs and broken dreams of better performance on the golf course. I’m hoping it brought you the opposite and you experienced a breakthrough of talent and performance. Here, I am going to give you some practical things to think about as you begin to feel the temptation to dream of playing the best golf of your life.
The idea of not measuring up to our hopes and dreams often times is the same thing that prevents us from growth. It’s called fear. Last Fall I went to an educational seminar for the Colorado PGA and Trevor Ragan founder of Train Ugly, was the keynote. Trevor has dedicated his career to helping others overcome fear and teaching us how to build a growth mindset. Deep in our brains we have something called an amygdala (most of us have two) and they are almond sized neuron centers where fear is developed and where fear thrives. Ever get sweaty palms before public speaking or has it felt like your heart is beating out of your chest when you see play through a group on the course? These emotions and responses come from our Amygdala. Ragan encourages us to think of this part of our brain as a lizard. This lizard (aka fear) pops up and controls our emotions even when we don’t want it to. Ragan encourages people to find the growth mindset by “dancing with the lizard”. We all have fear, but how many of us make our decisions based off of fear? Have your golf goals for 2019 been molded by fear? By memory of under-performing, embarrassment, frustration?? So freaking what. Tell me a golfer who doesn’t have fear and doesn’t come across these things. Tiger Woods is known for having one of the best mental games of any athlete on the planet. News flash, Tiger Woods has fear. Always has and always will. His ability to “dance with the lizard” is perhaps unparalleled though. Usually the best golfers, or performers in general, have a developed a skill for dancing with their own lizard.
If I asked you, “what would it take to play the best golf of your life in 2019?” How would you respond? Then I’d ask, “What is going to stop you from playing the best golf of your life in 2019?”. Again, how would you respond? I’m telling you, my friends, to take Trevor Ragan’s advice and dance with the lizard.
Golf is endlessly challenging and frustrating. But why can’t this be the year you crush it? Think about your fears and the obstacles that would keep you from doing so. If you’re brave enough I encourage you to fill out this worksheet to help you process these fears and develop a plan that will surely lead to better performance in 2019.
Leighton Smith Golf has developed programs to help you reach your potential. What we just discussed, above, is in fact huge part of your mental game. Its why we perform well or collapse under pressure. At Leighton Smith Golf we don’t just focus on the swing. We focus on performing. If you want to perform well and you want to dance with the lizard, consider The TRIBE, where you have a personal trainer to help you perform and kick ass in 2019.
I got your back and believe me...I'm dancing, too!
Leighton Smith, PGA