Beyond the Golfer: Defining Your Identity

You Are More Than “A Golfer”

“I am a golfer.” Do you use this phrase to describe who you are? Many golfers define themselves by what they do and, that is, golf.

“A golfer” is what is referred to as your athletic identity, but it often bleeds over into your personal identity as well.

Unfortunately, identifying yourself primarily as a golfer has a big downside. When you identify yourself mostly in terms of being a golfer, you lose a sense of who you are when you are away from the golf course due to injury, retirement or circumstances beyond your control.

The coronavirus pandemic is one of those circumstances beyond your control. The coronavirus has turned the world upside down and presents a challenge to all people.

Golfers are searching for ways to make sense of the pandemic, occupy their time, be productive and maintain a sense of self. Many golfers are struggling with their identity as the coronavirus has run rampant through their communities.

Your identity answers the basic question, “Who am I?” Being away from competitive golf has left golfers feeling empty, isolated and lost.

In reality, your identity is much more complex… Think of it as your emotional portfolio. It is in your best interest to diversify or broaden your answer to “Who am I?”

Things to Consider about your Identity

1. Your self-concept is how you view yourself. By recognizing your personal strengths and assets, your self-esteem grows. What other things interest you? What are your strengths outside of golf? What other roles do you play besides golfer?

2. Your self-identity distinguishes you from everyone else. Your self-identity is the combination of all the characteristics that make you unique. What separates you from everyone else? What qualities do you possess that contribute to your uniqueness?

3. Your self-identity gives you a sense of purpose and the drive to accomplish all you can. Of course you have goals in golf. Goals are critical to drive you to achieve greater standards in golf. Outside of golf, what are your goals? What do you want to accomplish in life?

PGA and the Coronavirus

Golfers all the way up to Tour golfers are trying to navigate through these tough pandemic times.

Xander Schauffele, No. 12 in the World Rankings, is in the same boat as all other golfers dealing with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a recent interview, Schauffele’s comments have a tone of stress and uneasiness.

SCHAUFFELE: “Just trying to keep my thoughts in line, realizing this is a tough time and it’s a necessary time for us to stay indoors, and we’re doing the right thing by staying indoors. Maybe it’s not really mentally fit, it’s mentally sane, I guess. I’m so used to being outdoors, and this is the polar opposite.”

Schauffele also faces similar issues with self-identity.

SCHAUFFELE: “I’m trying to stay mentally fit, working out, but it’s been strange. I’ve lost a sense of purpose a little in terms of work, feeling unemployed, with no date of us coming back.”

By broadening your self-identity, you will be better capable to thrive during moments of disruption and cessation from competing.

Define Your Personal Identity

Brainstorm all the things that make you who you are: family member, student, hobbyist, environmentalist, etc. outside of the game of golf.

What makes you who you are when not golfing? How do others describe the person, not the golfer?

Defining your identity or self-concept will help you avoid feeling a loss when you are unable to compete in your sport.

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Golfer’s Mental Edge 2.0

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Do you suffer from fragile self-confidence after missed hitting shots or making mistakes, playing with strict or high expectations that undermine confidence, or the inability to play freely and relaxed on the course?

Successful golfers have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in competition, so we’ve developed The Golfer’s Mental Edge 2.0 Workbook and Audio program to help you do this! 

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