The One You Don’t Have Could Be Wrecking Your Game!
Find It …& Strengthen It …to Save Strokes!
by Dr. Deborah Graham
What you don’t know WILL hurt your game!
Did you know that golf might quite naturally be more difficult for you than it is for others? And we do not mean physically more difficult, we mean mentally more difficult. Well it can be, and in at least 8 important ways!
Learning the 8 key Mental Skills for golf can be very difficult if you do not naturally have the The 8 Champion Personality Traits… to support them. Knowing which of your personality traits is weakest, and then learning how to manage it, will be like finding the missing piece of the puzzle that will allow ALL your skills to come together for some great golf.
It’s like having a finely tuned engine with a missing or dirty spark plug. Your car will run, but not at its best. You can put in new belts, replace the oil, fill it with premium gas, and polish it nicely, and the car will look great but it still will not run at its best.
So now compare that to your golf. You can get lessons from a great pro, work out with a trainer, be fitted for the best clubs, practice hard, even learn great mental skills, like a great mental routine. But if your personality is low on confidence, or emotional stability, or decisiveness— any one of the 8 champion personality traits—you will not be able to play your best golf!
How do know if you have a personality weakness for golf?
First of all, “you do!” The question should really be “which one(s) do you have?”
How do we know? Because in all the many thousands of players—including over 380 Touring professionals, many of whom have been in the top 30 in the world—that have been tested by GolfPsych, no one has tested to have all 8 of the champion traits in perfect measure, just like no one has and keeps a perfect swing.
Every player comes to golf with some personality trait that can be better tuned or better managed for better play. Including Tiger!
Ready to see if you can find yours? Take a quick look at this 8 Traits Personality Assessment and Report that GolfPsych created for one of these prominent tour players.
While reviewing it, check out these three things:
- Where you think Tiger is the very stongest and the very weakest on the profile.
- What you think this Tour Pro has had to work on most to improve his play.
- Where you think you might score on each of these traits.
–Note that the dark green areas are the Champion Traits.
If you guessed “Focus” for Tiger’s tremendous strength and “Emotional Stability” for his challenge, you would be “batting 1,000”.
If you said this Tour pro has had to work most on Focus, Emotional Stability, and Self-Assurance you would be right on the mark.
This player did everything possible to keep from having to go back to school after 3 consecutive years of losing his card. He changed clubs, changed teachers, hired a trainer, changed his diet. His play got worse and he began a streak of missing cuts.
After being pushed by his brother for two months, as a last resort, he finally took the 45 minute on-line personality questionnaire to get his 8 Traits Personality Assessment and Report.
On first reviewing his profile he was shocked to see that he had a “perfect score” on only “one” of the eight champion traits and was “really close” on only a “couple”.
In studying the report he learned that he was naturally more extroverted than the statistical champion golfer and needed to learn to narrow his focus better over the ball, especially when under pressure.
He also learned that he was naturally more emotional than the statistical champion and needed to learn to manage his emotions better in competition.
And finally, he learned that he was much more apprehensive than the statistical champion and needed to learn ways to strengthen both his personal and performance confidence, to play his best.
He took some comfort in learning that if he worked on self-confidence (self-assured on the profile) alone to start, it would have a positive influence on all of the other champion personality traits.
So he started with self-confidence, which his report divided into two important areas:
Personal Confidence and Performance Confidence
Here is a summary of the steps he learned and used to strengthen each. See if your own self-confidence could use a boost with some of these steps!
1. Separate self-worth from golf!
Make a list of affirmations—things that make you a special person, like being honest, hard working, loyal, good friend, etc. Carry your list with you and look at it often, especially after poor play.
2. Accept compliments graciously!
Look forward to any compliment you get as an opportunity to practice accepting them graciously rather than deflecting it with an idle response.
For example, if someone says, “your look great today”. Instead of replying, “you must need glasses”, say “thank you, I feel great!”
1. Always look for the positive, then use the negative as a goal, not as a criticism!
Change the habit of only seeing what you did wrong, then dwelling on those mistakes. After any round, think of something you did well first!
If you had good mental routines but hit the ball poorly, acknowledge the good routines first.
If you were committed to the shots but your tempo was quick, first acknowledge the good commitment then simply challenge yourself to improve your tempo in your next round.
If your approach shots were good, but your putting off, acknowledge the good approach shots and set goals for quality putting practice.
2. Walk and talk with confidence!
Fake it until you make it! No matter what the result, give yourself no more than two seconds to react then:
- Pop the shoulders back
- Lift the chin
- Put a spring in your step
- Challenge yourself to smile as a symbol of shaking it off and starting anew.
3. Find something positive to say after every single shot or putt!
After any shot or putt you do not like, first and foremost, find something positive to say. For example, if you had the right club, but hit it off line, acknowledge the right club. Challenge yourself to do this for the entire round
This player went on to work on his 8 Traits Personality Assessment and Report recommendations for managing emotions, and on re-testing found all of his scores had moved closer to the champion measures, with 4 being in perfect measure.
Even better, he not only avoided a trip back to Q school, He Won and he had the pleasure of being one of the FIRST TIME WINNERS to play well in the TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP at the end of the year!
Now how about you?
Where do you think you would score on each of the 8 Champion Personality traits?