Since the easing of lockdown measures due to Coronavirus have begun, I have received more calls than I can ever remember getting from golfers struggling with mental problems.
I’m pretty sure there has been an increase in anxiety in general terms and golfers are no exception it seems.
Very often the golfers that I speak to, whilst all being unique individuals, will have some common personality traits. However quite often they themselves aren’t aware of these traits.
A tendency to be Controlling – This is a common one. My clients may have achieved levels of success in golf or other areas of life and they believe that exerting more control is necessary in golf for better outcomes. This kind of thinking can lead to issues like the yips and certainly a loss of enjoyment.
This is where letting go comes into play. We often hear about letting go but what does it mean and what do we have to let go of?
Golf is a difficult game. If it were as simple as try harder and you will get better results then the route to success would be much simpler. Of course effort is required but the untangible element in success is the ability to let go and perform when it matters.
Let go of what?
The things which are out of our control.
- Let go of the score
Some people have real trouble understanding this concept.
“If I don’t care about the score then what is the point of me playing?” they say.
If we were in control of the score then we would simply write 65 on the scorecard before we went out. Truth is, we aren’t totally in control of our score but often the more we try to control it, the more tense we become and the more shots we drop.
- Let go of our problems
Letting go is a skill that can be developed with practice. We often cling on to our problems as they give us a sense of identity. Our judgment and dislike of our problems prevent us from seeing them clearly, something we must do if we are to overcome them. We replay our mistakes over and over in our heads allowing feelings of shame and regret to shape our actions in the present.
Accepting our problems is the first step towards letting go of them.
- Let go of worrying about other people’s opinions
Imagine that you really didn’t care what others thought of you? How free would this make you? Would it be easier to play and have fun on the golf course? It’s not just other people’s opinions that affect us. The biggest influence is how harshly we judge ourselves. What if you were caddying for a young, shy but talented golfer and your job was to encourage him or her for 18 holes. Now contrast how you might react to his/her poor shots compared to how you react to your own. Can you let go of this harsh judgment of yourself?
Often golfers leave work and go to the golf course and start to recreate their work mindset there, controlling as much as possible with expectations and over emphasise on results. The only result is a lack of enjoyment.
If you can start to let go then you will be free to explore, learn and enjoy your golf more often. Paradoxically your scores may also improve.
So what are you holding on to and where can you let go in golf and life? I understand that these concepts can be difficult to relate to golf, that is why my coaching is practical in it’s nature. Exercises for you to do on the range and on the golf course to explore this concept of letting go.
Face to face with me in person or over the telephone. Coaching sessions work.
email me firstname.lastname@example.org or call me +447850229722