Creating Your Mental Game Toolbox. Step One: ANALYZE

The great thing about sports is that you get to show off the results of your combination of ability, skills and practice. That's why it's so tough when you're stopped dead by your mental game AKA being in a slump, choking, having the yips, a hitch, meltdowns, etc. But, problems with the mental game can be fixed. Like with anything else, to fix something properly you need the right tools and know what to do with them.

So, what's in your mental game toolbox?

The first step to creating your own mental game toolbox is to ANALYZE.

Everyone is different (that's why I work one-on-one to solve serious problems with pressure in competition).

So, it really is all about you. Get out a pad of paper and start answering some questions.

1) Are you trying to solve a problem or improve your performance?
2) What are you trying to accomplish? Be specific. An example might be: I want to make four-to-six-foot putts to win tournaments under intense pressure.
3) What's your PAYOFF for solving your problem or improving your performance? In other words, what's in it for you? Often there can be a peripheral payoff - someone else benefits, but that will benefit you in some way. Write it down.
4) What's worked for you in the past?
5) What hasn't worked for you in the past?
6) How serious are you? In other words, is it worth taking the time and effort to fix your problem or improve your performance? Only you can answer this and you need to be brutally honest with yourself, otherwise you are just spinning your wheels. It may sound surprising to an intensely competitive person, but not everyone wants to win badly enough to put forth time and effort to make it happen and that's OK.

ANALYZE is a really important step. Bringing a business approach to solving problems with pressure in sports taught me that spending the time to thoroughly analyze what you want to accomplish, in lots of detail, is crucial and will help you succeed..

When you've done then, then you are ready to go to the second step: PICK YOUR TOOLS. We'll cover this in Creating Your Mental Game Toolbox - Step Two.

David Kenward - The Mental Coach

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