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Confidence is an inside job

Golfers who win the green jacket at the Masters tournament do not need to be a specific height, weight or strength. It does not matter whether they are 6’5” or 5’9”, weigh 70kg or 100kg, bench press 50kg or 100kg – they simply keep their heads when all about them are losing theirs. Successful golfers win when it matters. But how do they prepare to win? Golf comprises different parts: physical, mental, technical, tactical, and lifestyle. The precise blend depends on the golfer’s needs. Regrettably, golfers wishing to win often get this blend of ingredients wrong. When I meet golfers for the first time, we start where we are. We learn how they spend their time in golf and decide which changes might be in their best interests if improvement and success are their goals. When I work with professional golfers, I work as part of a team. I work to improve the golfer’s psychological game. While the swing coach works on what the golfer does to the golf ball, I work on what the golf ball does to the golfer. All golfers seek confidence. Confidence means believing you can achieve what you set out to do. Therefore, confidence is an inside job. We need to make sense of what we do to learn how to be confident. One golfer will hit 20 pitches and feel confident about her pitching while another golfer will hit 200 pitches and feel the same or even less confident about her pitching. One reason for such different responses is how the golfer interprets what she does. The successful golfer makes the most of her mistakes and then ignores them. Mistakes are information to help us to learn not a stick to beat us. But when we constantly compare our shots against unreasonable standards and fall short, we despair. Low self-confidence seems rooted to poor habits of punishing ourselves for our mistakes and rarely seeking or seeing rewards around us. To build confidence, you might:

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