Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Importance of Psychology

A lot has been made of psychology within the golf world in the past decade or so. The way a player thinks largely impacts the outcome of individual shots and, collectively, the final score of the round. I am surprised at the number of people who routinely work so hard on their physical golf games (hitting balls on the driving range, playing rounds, buying new equipment, etc.) yet rarely, if ever, devote any time to the mental aspect of the game. Dr. Bob Rotella, the world-renowned sports psychologist, says "A golfer has to train his swing on the practice tee, then trust it on the course." The first part of that quote is easy because it encourages the player to work on the physical aspects of the game, with which most players have no trouble. But it is the second part of the quote, and decidedly the most important, that separates the best players from the good players. The ability to think appropriately around the course requires attributes that many players do not naturally possess. Virtues such as patience, planning ahead, recovery from failure, or maintaining perpetual greatness often place the golfer in unfamiliar territory mentally. It is this transition of the mind that is required for the golfer to realize their true potential at that moment.

At the same time, however, it is incredibly important to prepare your body physically to merge with the thought processes of the mental game. For instance, the player can not expect to overcome poor conditioning or a lack of proper practice with an improved mental game. Undoubtedly, the physical and the mental aspects of golf must be improved upon individually and congruently.

So as you continue to strive for improved physical function through TPI, specific exercise programs, and golf practice, do not negate the mental aspect of the game. Dr. Bob Rotella's book "Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect" is a staple within the golf world. You can start to improve your mental game by reading it and applying some of the principles it teaches. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call Germantown Golf Fitness in Germantown, TN at (901) 590-1065.

All the best,

Dr. Nathan Williams

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