We have all had opposing results from one 9 holes to the next. After the round, we are left wondering why? If only I played like that for both nines. Why does this happen? Do we miraculously find or lose our swing? This is a common belief, but if we really evaluate the results the only answer we can come to that caused this dip in performance was STRESS.
As a Mental Golf Type Coach, I would like to look at stress from facet 1 of Mental Golf Type which looks at how we manage our energy on the course. By taking the free assessment you will be able to determine what are your dominant traits. Facet 1 looks at energy, and this is linked to your introvert or extrovert tendencies. Now everyone shows both tendencies, we all have both introvert and extrovert sides. I’m currently awake at 5:30 am writing this article as I love this time of day to be alone and have some peace and quiet, but if you knew me it’s blaring obvious I’m a raging extrovert, to the point I’ve been accused of having verbal diarrhea.
After taking the assessment at MGT it confirmed that I was an extrovert, something I had never thought about and had no idea could impact my golf performance. During tournaments, I wanted to do well, and to do this it was obvious that I had to concentrate and be in my zone, to stop fooling around in the clubhouse or on the putting green. By doing this I was moving towards introverted tendencies, where I was closed off, in a bubble and rapidly entering my stress state. As an extrovert, I do my thinking verbally, and I process thoughts out loud, when I am quiet I still have a great deal of mental chatter, to make sense of this it needs to come out in words or it starts to get jumbled up inside my head.
Know this now it is clear to me now that I was activating my stress state during tournament play when I was a promising amateur playing in the NCAA Division 1. My golf coach would tell me to stop messing about on the putting green, and stop talking to my teammates and competitors. To focus and stay in my bubble, to take things seriously. All this at the time seemed good advice, but it’s no coincidence that my performance during tournaments took a significant dip to my free-flowing play with friends, while chatting and playing around. Simply put, my peak performance state is loud and confident, not quiet and composed.
So the simple tip, if you are an extrovert, is to keep talking. Set your gaze to the horizon, knock your shoulder back, take in your surroundings and get involved in the action. You’ve played with those people that seem like they don’t give a care in the world about the game, asking you how your friends are, what you are doing in the evening, seemingly totally unfocused on their score, while totally shooting the lights out. That’s an extrovert in their peak performance state, don’t be fooled that they lack concentration or commitment. Be a chatterbox and see your energy levels stay high for both 9s and start to be in your best state for the entire 18 holes.
Now the flip side is the introvert. If you have introvert tendencies then for you to conserve your energy and be in your peak performance state, it’s best for you to be quiet, away from the group, doing your own thing in total solitary concentration. An introvert will be entering their stressed state if they are showing a lot of body language, usually negative, or being expressive, banging clubs, and directing energy outwards. To regenerate your energy it’s important for you, to move away from the action and have some time alone, gaze down, and gain control. It’s ok to talk to your playing partners, but use open-ended questions so you can listen to the answers, and let the other generate the conversation so you don’t zap your energy.
So these are two approaches you can test on the course. I’d highly advise taking the free assessment at Mental Golf Type to confirm your golf type, but most of us will know just from reading this if we prefer to be extroverted or introverted. So next time you’re at the course try being a chatterbox or in a telephone box and see your enjoyment and energy levels on the course flourish and be more consistent from one 9 to the next.
Thanks for reading, to book an online performance coaching lesson click the link to find me on Skillest.com
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