October 24, 2011

How Would You Define Your Trust And Commitment For Golf


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When speaking about the topics of trust and commitment, many people’s first impression is that we’re discussing one’s relationships with others.  The trust and commitment to which I’m referring here has to do with the relationship you have with your golf swing, your putt, or your shot selection. 

The ultimate place to be as a player is to be so confident in your game that you can simply “trust your swing” or “free it up” as many of my fellow mental game gurus would advocate.  That sounds good in theory, but how do you trust your swing if you’re struggling?  How do you trust you’re going to make this putt if you’ve missed four like it previously?  How do you trust that you’ve made the correct club selection?  The answer is that you don’t need to trust.  I’d like you to trust, and I’d love it if all the players with whom I work trusted their games completely.  This would make their mind less cluttered, create less worry, and probably inspire them to new heights of confidence.  However, virtually 100% of the players with whom I’ve worked over 18 years in the field of mental training have times when they don’t trust one aspect of their game or another.  That’s when commitment becomes important.  You see, committing to a plan of action, a shot selection, or a putting line, and actually striking the ball with authority helps develop trust.  Without commitment, there is the tendency to be mentally distracted, have doubts, and second-guess yourself prior to executing.  While the full trust that all will be well may not be achieved, with commitment you give yourself the best chance for something good to happen.  As Payne Stewart was quoted as saying, “better to commit to the wrong thing in golf than to be uncommitted to the correct thing”.  So, put in practical terms, how can you implement this notion into your game?

If you are in between clubs on a shot, pick one, be decisive,  and commit fully to that choice.

If you aren’t sure if the putt breaks six inches or ten inches left to right, choose one and make an authoritative stroke.

Begin to recognize how many times you’ve hit a shot without being committed, and challenge yourself to pull the trigger only after you’ve eliminated the other options out of your mind.

Every time you’re on the golf course is an opportunity for you to get feedback about yourself as a player, and the most accurate feedback you’ll receive is when you’ve made full commitments to the shots that you hit, and then make adjustments for the future.  Without that, you may never trust certain aspects of your game, no matter how regularly you practice or play.

Jeff Troesch is an internationally recognized expert in the field of mental skills training and performance enhancement and has been involved in training athletes and other elite performers for nearly 18 years.  Jeff served as Director of Mental Training for David Leadbetter’s Golf Academies, where he was instrumental in assisting in the development of the training programs and methodology that continues to produce golf champions around the world. He works with several touring professionals and amateur players – assisting them in the creation of optimal training plans and developmental strategies.  

Jeff’s work and his opinions have been featured in several media outlets, including: Golf Digest; Golf Week magazine; Asian Golf Magazine; Baseball America; Fox Sports’ “Going Deep”; Gillette Sports Week; Wide World of Sports; Tennis Magazine; and several international publications.  Jeff speaks annually at selected AJGA events and continues to be a regular columnist for Golf Extra, Scratch Golfer, Par Four, and Texas Junior Golfer magazines, as well as The Desert Sun newspaper.



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