Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Justin Rose shows power of golf mental game self talk

Justin Rose (and his ailing shoulder) was featured in an article written by Rex Hoggard on In that article was a CRUCIAL aspect of the mental game - what we say to ourselves (AKA self talk) and whether we take ownership of what's negative in our lives.

Here's what I mean. How many times have you heard a golfer (or anyone) talk about "their" slump or yips, "their" problem with their swing, etc. Or they say something like, "I always bogey on the XX hole at XX golf course"

What that self talk does is reinforce to their belief system that they have a problem - that they own it - and we are taught as a society NOT to give up what belongs to us. That kind of self talk makes it really hard to let the problem go, even if we want to.

The article referred to Justin Rose's "ailing shoulder" but Rose was quoted as referring to it as "a little something."

That reinforces, to him, that it is just a bump in the road he'll get past, not a roadblock.

You can do this, too. Be aware of your language, and even one simple change: "my" to "the" can send a powerful message to yourself, because our mind is always listening. That's an important part of the mental game and it's easy to do.
Here's the link to the article

Please comment to tell me what you think or contact me with any questions.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Did Peyton Manning Lose His Mental Game?

Peyton Manning and the Bronco's were ready to play an awesome Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks, but then something happened. Manning missed the first snap of the game.

As Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today Sports noted, "...the bad snap was the moment that seemed to change so much for Manning, who on Saturday night received his fifth NFL MVP award."

From a mental game perspective, I totally agree. A player can build themselves up, can psych themselves up, and their confidence can spread like a wave, affecting the other players on the team, as well.

But, when something unexpected happens (like a bad snap that costs the team), unless the player is able to dump that negative experience, it can derail them.

I believe that's what happened. It's kind of like a stack of cans, you pull out the right one, they all fall down. And the quarterback's attitude drives the team. If he starts second-guessing himself, or makes mistake after mistake, the team expects that it will all roll downhill and they will suffer, also.

Since it's impossible to anticipate every negative event, what *can* be done is to build a mechanism to let go of the emotional effect of mistakes, bad luck and anything else that's not directly related to moving the ball forward and scoring.

Then the player is in charge of their mental game and is not subject to being controlled by it.