Develop Stable Confidence In Golf
Confidence is necessary to play great golf, but confidence doesn’t guarantee winning or even shooting your best score.
This is an important distinction to make… If you believe confidence guarantees success, a few unsuccessful shots, bad breaks, or unlucky bounces might cause you to question your abilities.
The “confidence guarantees success” mindset is merely fair-weathered confidence… When things are not going perfect, your confidence level plummets.
For example, when you had a good warm up and feel ready on the first tee, you might feel confident. You jump ahead and think, “I’m going to win this tournament…”
Then, that one shot happens (the tee-to-tree drive, the flub shot or the three-foot missed putt), you become tremendously hard on yourself and you slip back to that dark world of doubt.
What confidence does for golfers is it puts them in position to play their best golf during a round.
True, stable confidence allows you to focus on the process and puts you in position to play your best golf.
Confidence is a pathway to optimal golf, not a promise.
Sergio Garcia has seen ups and downs throughout his 18-year Tour career.
There are three things that many commentators point to as evidence that Garcia has low confidence:
- He hasn’t notched a PGA Tour victory since 2012.
- He has been known to have occasional outbursts after poor shots during tournaments.
- He can’t close out tournaments. Garcia second place finishes in the last three years including his recent runner-up finish at the 2016 Honda Classic.
But does this mean that Garcia hasn’t had confidence for the last four years?
On the positive side, Garcia succeeded in pulling out six second place finishes and owns the longest streak of consecutive major championships at 66.
You could make a case that Garcia doesn’t have the confidence to pull out close victories but there is another alternative…
In recent years, a slew of young guns have been dominating the Tour and Garcia’s confidence has kept him competitive in battling the best in the world.
Confidence is not an all-or-nothing proposition as the “confidence guarantees success” mindset would suggest.
GARCIA: “It’s just confidence. It’s feeling comfortable with what you’re doing and feeling comfortable with feeling fluid when you do the swing, and it’s just as simple as that. It comes and goes. I’ve had my moments where I’ve felt like I could hit any shot I wanted, and then I’ve gone through stretches where I’ve struggled a little bit more, but I think it happens to everyone.”
Confidence requires diligence in your thinking, attention in your preparation, trust in your ability, and an understanding that perfection is unattainable.
Tip for Developing an Effective Confidence Mindset:
Thinking makes it so – How you view your game and what you say to yourself influences your emotions, determines your level of confidence, and impacts your performance on the course.
You can stabilize your confidence by understanding that you will make some mistakes, get some bad bounces, and others might just play better than you.
Understand that confidence puts you in position to succeed but is not a promissory note that guarantees winning.
- Golf confidence is about celebrating your talents and success instead of holding onto your shortcomings.
- Golf confidence is focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t have compared to other players.
- Golf confidence is about staying on the steady wave of self-confidence instead of losing it with every bad break or missed green.
Want more ideas to improve your golf confidence?
- Check out my golf psychology programs are peaksports.com.
- Subscribe to my golf psychology podcast at iTunes.
- Watch my golf confidence videos on YouTube.
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