Does Phil Mickelson have a problem with the mental game?

If you define the mental game as pressure, and how a person reacts under pressure, than my take on it is that Phil Mickelson does have a problem with the mental game. I say this for several reasons.


First, he's been chasing Tiger Woods for a long time, with some heartbreaking losses. That can set up a lot of negative self talk with negative self-fulfilling prophecies. I believe that's what's going on.

Second, he had a great opportunity at the Deutsche Bank to knock Woods off of number one and take his place but, although Mickelson has the skills, ability and potential (and certainly the talent), that opportunity slipped away.

Third, and most distressing, is that Mickelson is fighting psoriatic arthritis, which came on, according to news reports, days before the US OPEN. This type of arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means the body's immune system is attacking itself.

When I work with people who are having issues with an autoimmune disease, I always ask - when did it start, what was the trigger? My opinion is that there is something going on in Mickelson's belief system that is resulting in his body attacking itself. The timing of the onset and the fact that the symptoms mean Mickelson has less chance of being the number one player, is a huge red flag. When you work with the mind/body connection, those are the things you look for.

My conclusion is that Phil Mickelson has a huge problem with the mental game - how his mind (and body) are reacting to pressure. I hope he is able to overcome it.

David Kenward - The Mental Coach

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have hoped for a long time he would work with a sports pschologist, mental coach, or someone of similar capacity. Hopefully some close friends or others in his camp can make the needed suggestion. Whether to responds positively to that is another thing.