Excerpt 2 from Chapter 7: Practice Habits that Will
Revolutionize the Way You Play the Game
During practice, make a list of situations in which
you will have to deal with adversity during a round of golf. How would
you handle the following?
ball goes out of bounds on your first tee shot.
three putt the 17th green which allows your fiercest rival to
take the lead going into the final hole.
clunk a ball into the water hazard on the 10th after playing an
incredible front 9.
how you would emotionally handle each of these by coming up with
a 'problem execution plan.' The purpose of the plan is to consistently
put you in a state of mind that is most conducive to trusting performance
at that moment - to forget about the past mistake. This is done
by structuring a plan that quickly moves you from analysis to trust.
R's of Performance Cycles
Sports psychologist Dr. Ravizza has helped thousands of athletes by coming
up with a system called the 4 R's of Performance Cycles - Recognition,
Release, Refocus, and Ready. You can use it to quickly recover from mistakes
on the course as well.
First, you recognize the blown performance. That happens instantly. You
can see where the shot went. We're talking about recognizing where you
are emotionally after the poor shot has been hit. What happens to your
body in terms of heart rate, blood pressure, or muscle tension? What happens
in terms of your thoughts? Do you lose focus? Do you start doubting yourself?
What happens to your behavior - do you slow down or speed up? These are
all great questions to quickly recognize where you are emotionally.
Next, you have to release your emotions. How do you let go of the bad
shot or putt that just happened? The release may be picking up another
ball out of your bag, saying a favorite power word or phrase that gets
you back on track, and putting the ball back in your pocket. You may want
to grip your club very hard, squeeze and release to blow off some steam.
The bad shot is over. Nothing can be done. Look at a spot on the horizon
to get your mind ready to get back into action.
Now, ask yourself, what do I need to do right now? What's my plan? Once
I have my plan, I need to commit to it. If I'm going to hit a 5 iron the
next shot, I need to commit to using that club and then focus on the target.
Once I have my plan, it's time to get ready to hit the next shot. How
do you know that you are ready to hit the next shot? Breathe. Inhale,
exhale. It's called taking a few trusting breaths. Now, I'm committed
to the club I'm going to hit. Inhale, exhale once again. Do your pre-shot
routine and then execute. It's that simple.
Next excerpt -- Book
excerpt three from the Golf Tip Section
after Chapter 9: Ultimate Golf Psychology
Return to excerpt one -- Book
excerpt one from Chapter 1: The Overnight