Mental Toughness in Golf
What is mental toughness in golf? Is it being able to grind out a good score when things aren't going so well on the course? Or is it the mental ability to stay strong and committed in spite of distractions and on course circumstances?
Of course it's both of these things and more. Yet mental toughness isn't something you simply acquire in the spur of the moment or when you "think you need it
". It's more of an overall mindset. A perspective on the game that allows you to tap another level within your mental game.
Mental toughness in golf is developed and built over time. Once you have a degree of mental toughness, access to it when it matters becomes easier and easier. Like any new skill it habituates over time. Your goal is to have an inner resolve that generates consistent, focused swings.
The mental toughness of a 14 year old girl
Seriously. Is your golfing mindset solid and committed in the many scenarios that unfold in your game? Do you have as strong a mind as Mackinzie Kline, the 14 year old golfer? She is incredibly mentally tough.
She was born with only 3 valves in her heart and her kidney was on the wrong side of her body. Having to go through several operations in her life she built a remarkable mental toughness. She went on to qualify for the 2006 Women's US Amateur at such a young age.
Yet as she was playing she began to feel extremely short of breath. She was forced to take an oxygen tank with her as she played and use it between holes. Nothing would stop her from competing.
Concerned, the doctors investigated what might be causing her shortness of breath and discovered she had a hole in her heart which they had missed some time before that. So she underwent another operation.
Model the mental toughness of Mackinzie Kline
You can develop a mental toughness in golf that keeps you in your game and completely centered in each moment. Regardless of the circumstances. Your decision to play with a mindset that says "I determine how I feel and how I'll perform, not the other player or what might be happening around me."
When you're in a tournament or match notice the moments where you tend to get off track or have mental lapses. These can be as simple as merely "falling asleep" mentally, or of being mentally lazy which causes a loss of focus.
Mental toughness is a state of mind that keeps your attention on each task. Each shot. Each moment. Your connection with your gameplan generates this inner resolve.
Make sure you spend some time determining what your game plan is prior to your round. Then monitor your decisions and mindset against this gameplan during your round.
Did you stick to it? If not, when did you feel you lost connection with your outcome? What caused it? Did you accept responsibility for your situation or place blame outside of you?
This is critical since there's no way you can be mentally tough if you don't accept complete responsibility for how you perform. For how you experience yourself on the golf course.
Mental toughness is a decision. A mindset. You must choose to either accept ownership of your internal state and how you perform or to play without this inner resolve.
Make the choice and learn how to build on your mental toughness in golf.
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