Junior Golf: It’s Mental

imageIn today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at the mental part of junior golf. It’s mental, yes, a big part of the game is mental and the sooner you address the mental part of the game with your son, the better.

Please keep in mind that I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, nor is Linda. We are parents who have 16 years of junior golf and now, college golf experiences with our son, Sam III or S3 as we call him. During these years we have studied numerous books on the mental aspects of the game, been in courses to help S3 develop his mental golf game and studied top golfers and top athletes in various sports. (Jason Duffner photo golfdigest.com)

Guess what? Athletes who have won championships at the world-class level think differently than the rest of their competitors. And when you ask them, in any sport from golf to soccer to shooting, they will almost all tell you, when you ask, “What percentage of your sport is mental?” Take a stab at the answer: yes, it’s 90%. Absolutely astounding, amazing and revealing!

What does this mean for you and your son? Well, those same athletes when asked if they would have done anything differently during their years of competition said they wish they had started on the mental part much earlier in their career. Why, well because it’s the toughest part of any sport and the sooner you develop good mental habits, the faster your game improves. Most athletes can master the physical skills required of their sport. The mental game is where events are won.

How can you apply this today to your son? Not too tough, actually. It’s simple, very simple, but not too easy. It will take a conscious effort or both your parts for at least 3 weeks to make it a habit: remove negative words from your vocabulary with your son. This means everywhere, not just with golf talk. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t break your wrists on the takeaway,” say “You’ll get better results when you keep your wrists straight on your takeaway.” Or instead of “Don’t dip your right knee,” say “You’ll hit better shots when you keep your knees quiet during your swing.” You get the drift, remove no, don’t, never and other negative words and replace them with positive input that will result in better shots. (photo O.s3.novato.com)image

Folks, there are hundreds of books and millions of words written on this subject and all we’re doing here is giving you 1 pointer that is proven. It’s a start and a doggone good one. You will find that once you start doing this, it will become a habit that will manifest itself in all aspects of your life. The rest of your family will want to start doing this and your family dynamics have a great potential to change in a very positive way.

More mental input next time. See you on #1 tee…with a positive attitude… Sam

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