Justin Thomas shot a final round 62 at the Mexico WGC and said his mindset was that he really didn’t care. That may sound strange to some of you but if you think about it for a moment you might find a mindset that is really useful for you in competition. How do you play in competitions? Does your game stay as free as in rounds with your friends? I’m guessing not.
Do you ever play poorly in competitions and head straight for the driving range only to find that you are hitting it fine. Or do you hit it fine on the range before a competition and then lose your swing when it matters? Do you then scratch your head and not know where to look for the answers? Well perhaps you should look inside yourself for the answers.
Whenever the golf your playing matters more than a casual round, you will have some nervous tension, first in your thoughts, then in your body. Thoughts such as “I need to get off to a good start” or “don’t blow it”. You know what I mean. In response to these thoughts, your body gets tense. Maybe not a lot. Maybe it’s so little that you are unaware of it and this leaves you scratching your head wondering why you cannot swing the golf club the same way as you did on the range earlier. Your reaction to these thoughts from your Ego about wanting to look good, not wanting to mess up, keeping out of trouble, not blowing up and of shooting a good score is the problem.
Justin Thomas decided before he teed it up that he wasn’t going to care about his score.
When you really want to play well it is easy to forget that you play your best when you are relaxed and prepared to go for your shots and enjoy yourself. When you obsess over the score some of the enjoyment goes.
“It’s just not that easy to let go of the score!” I hear you say. Well it certainly is a choice that takes courage. In order to let go you have to be prepared to raise the bar but you must also be prepared to lower the floor. By that I mean that you must be willing to shoot a high score in order for you to shoot a low score. Accept the possibility of playing poorly to enable yourself to be free enough to play well.
If you find this concept is too much of a leap then your ego is attached to the score and you are in trouble!
Letting go of the outcome and managing nervous tension is a skill that can be developed through practice. Who knows how well you could play golf with Justin Thomas’s ” I don’t give a F**k” attitude.
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