GOLF MENTAL GAME TRAINING TIPS BY DR. RICK SESSINGHAUS
I have to admit something. Sometimes I’ve been a hypocrite, and that’s one word I can’t stand. And to me that means I was not living a life of integrity, which basically means do what I actually say I’m going to do, and throughout the years, I’ve had those bouts where I got excited about something, told somebody I was going to do something, and it never happened. Or I profess a certain thing to do, and then I don’t even follow it myself.
And when I look in the mirror and know that I have lacked integrity, that one hurts very deep for me. And so in psychology, we call it congruence. Are we congruent with our thoughts and our actions?
And what I look at when I do coaching and training, I think one of the key areas is this idea of living in integrity, being honest with yourself and actually having the behaviors match what you say because all of us, for the most part, know what we should be doing, and we may even tell people what we are going to do, but when we’re living in a congruent way, in a high integrity way, that’s really where we’re walking our talk, aren’t we?
And so ways to help us be more congruent is first being clear with our intention of what is it that I want to actually do. Instead of just saying it, be very, very clear on that.
The other part is having a support system. Now, this is not a cheerleading type of support system, but it’s somebody that you now can share your intention with. For me, it’s my wife. Hey, I plan on doing this. Help me make sure I stay on task. It could be a team member at your career that helps you have some support so you can bounce ideas off, because sometimes when you say you’re going to do something and you don’t do it, there’s that disconnect, and having a support system there can help you get back on track.
Part of support, also, is accountability. This is a little bit different from support. This is you now being accountable to someone else, which can now help us be more clearer with how we’re going to show up on a day-by-day basis.
So when I talk about performance all the time, performance is action. What am I doing at the moment? What’s my behavior? Now, is that performance matching what you told people you were going to do? If not, we’re living in congruent, and that’s, I think, a form of not being in integrity as being a key part of it.
Performance in the business world, if you work with somebody who has a lot of integrity, you want to keep working with them, team members. But, with yourself, you want to keep going when you’re actually doing what you say.
So, be clear on what you want and why that’s important to you. Have a support system around you that’s going to remind you, nudge you a little bit, “Hey, you told me you were going to do this.” And then there’s an accountability partner to where somebody’s actually going to say, “Wait, you told me you were going to do this, and you didn’t do it.” And somebody that’s more than just support. They actually make you accountable.
When you’re accountable for your own actions, you become much better at the course that you, being more consistent on where you go. Having a good approach toward the mental game is an important part of your golf training regimen. But, if we say a lot of things and don’t do them, and we’re not held accountable, then we go down a different road.
Start today by first being clear on what you’re saying, and are you now willing to do the work and the behavior that you say? And when we do that, we now can perform for success.