Golf Mental Toughness: Attaining Mental Toughness in Golf

golfer planning a shotDo you ever wonder how you can attain the level of mental toughness that golfers, professional sports stars and the celebrities alike have reached?

The answer is surprisingly simple…

Patience!

Patience is something that professional golfers and (no I’m not kidding) great gamblers have in abundance.

Successful gamblers win by waiting out the casino. If they lose a spin on the roulette table they double their last bet. The odds are in their favour. You see if they continue to bet, doubling their existing stake, eventually the statistics will always work out for them.

So, what they do is they wait until their numbers hit, beating the casino and beating the odds. This is patience at its best, considering large amounts are at stake for the professional gambler.

The guys who can wait for glory are the guys who can cut it as professional gamblers. But those who can’t stomach the inevitability of losing some money cannot and will not succeed. Those people, who have become skilled at the fear of losing, continuously win!

Keep your Head Up!

The professional gambler isn’t easily upset. They don’t get upset when they don’t win. They don’t get upset about the win not being enough. They don’t get upset when they don’t hit the jackpot. They don’t get upset over winning the secondary jackpot over the actual jackpot. And when they hit the jackpot, they don’t bitch and moan about not being able to hit it sooner.

Great golfers are a lot like great gamblers.

When the eventual dip in form occurs like in any sport, they keep their head high and the minds firmly on the goal. Patience is key!

Golfers don’t expect to birdie or par every single hole. When a round doesn’t go well or when their game consistency is constantly fluctuating, they don’t feel sorry for themselves. They understand that golf is all about inconsistency, one round could be outstanding and the next could be a +10. It’s just the way golf is.

Jack Nicklaus aka The Golden Bear

Follow the Great Jack Nicklaus

This method of thought was a tactic employed by the great Jack Nicklaus. “The Golden Bear” went on a well publicised slump at the end of the 60’s. He had previously won 9 major championship titles only to go on a 3 year drought after his last victory in 1967 with no majors to speak of.

His slump in form was well publicised in the press, but what did the bear have to say on the issue?

“I believed when I turned pro that I should be able to attain optimum form then hold onto it for long periods, maybe forever.

Reality gradually hit home once I joined the tour, forcing me to recognize and accept golf’s eternal inconstancy.”

Jack believed that once he’d turned professional that he could maintain his optimum form for the rest of his career, never feeling frustrated at his game again. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

By expecting this level of consistency, when things went badly Jack obliterated his confidence in himself as a professional golfer.

The thing that saved him from the path of self destruction was patience. Yes I know I keep on mentioning this, but it really is important! Jack realized that golf would always serve up inconsistencies from time to time. All he had to do was double his bets, eventually the law of averages will work in his favour too.

Recommended Mental Game Learning Material

If you’re reading this now and you’re wondering how you can overcome your mental demons on the course, you should check out Amazing Golf Mind. It’s a series of audios put together by golf mental game professional Andrew Scott. Which I personally think is a great idea and very simple. Stick them on a CD or on your iPod, and listen to them on the way to the course. Seems like a great way to learn to me.

If you’re looking to increase your overall fitness for golf as a means of improving your game significantly, I suggest you also check out Mike Pedersen’s Ultimate Golf Fitness Guide. Mike Pedersen is a world renowned golf fitness expert. He’s taught 1000’s of people like you how to use fitness training as a way of increasing their potential on the golf course. He’s the kind of guy that I recommend you listen to.

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