Focus on What You Can Control as a Golfer

How to Keep Perspective During Closures

What are your concerns regarding the 2020 pandemic and the state of your golf game?

The pandemic is a difficult situation for everyone to wrap their heads around and it can really affect anxiety levels.

In your personal life, you have many thoughts to process:

  • Will I be healthy throughout this ordeal?
  • Will my family members be safe?
  • When will my life return to some level of normalcy?
  • When will social distancing end?
  • Will I be able to return to school?
  • How can I earn money for my expenses?

Golfers are faced with even more questions:

  • Will I play as well as I did before the coronavirus?
  • When will I be able to golf again?
  • What personal rules will be required on the golf course?
  • What tournaments will be scheduled?

One common thread runs through all these questions. The common denominator is that the concerns are uncontrollable… You can’t prevent them from happening and you can’t wish them away.

You cannot control certain circumstances in both your personal life and in the sport of golf.

For example, you could not stop the coronavirus from happening. You cannot make the virus go away by wishing or hoping nor can you end the social distancing mandate set forth by your governor. The coronavirus is fully outside of your control.

Likewise, you cannot control some circumstances on the golf course. You cannot control the scores from other golfers in the field nor can you prevent wind or rain from happening. The weather and performance of other golfers are completely outside of your control.

When you focus on uncontrollable events or circumstances, defeatist thoughts, doubts, and anxiety will follow.

Focusing on the controllables has helped No. 19 Lizette Salas maintain a positive perspective throughout the pandemic. Salas was playing her best golf over the past two years and had improved her standing on the
Tour prior to the lockdown.

Salas has kept her circumstances in perspective and steadfastly focuses on the aspects of her life that she can control.

SALAS: “I had big goals for 2020 and started out really strong. [The shutdown] is something that we can’t control and obviously it puts things into perspective. Our health is our No.1 priority and we want everyone staying safe. We’ll eventually get back out there and pick up where I left off.”

Similarly, Salas is focused on the little aspects of her golf game she can control.

SALAS: “Everything I need to work on comes back to the mental aspect of (the game). Being a little more confident, more organized in how I prepare, communicating with my team a little bit more: itís the fine details that really make a difference.”

When you focus on the “controllables,” you minimize anxiety and maintain confidence because you are focused on you and your preparation, not outside events.

Staying focused on what you can control opens the door to consistent top-level play.

Focus on What You Can Control

Make a list of all the things you have direct control over during these difficult pandemic times. You can include such things as: eating healthy, exercising, maintaining a positive attitude, being a helpful family member, making productive use of your time, etc.

Now make an extensive list of all the things you have direct control over in your golf game: putting practice, preparation, diet, attitude, mental training, flexibility, injury prevention, strength training, etc.

Focus on those things you have control rather than stress about the concerns that you can’t control.

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