Manage Your Mindset and Expectations
How often do you play a competitive round fearing you may let down your coach, team, or parents?
You can be easily distracted by the expectations of others, especially those of your parents, whether those expectations are expressed verbally.
Both verbal and implied expectations can make you feel increased pressure and hurt your play.
Another category of damaging expectations are the ones you perceive as true.
Of course, you want to impress your coach and you want your parents to be proud of you but carrying those perceived expectations with you hurt your focus on the course.
Think for a moment how expectations divide your focus. You are facing a 10-foot putt on the 18th hole. You start by focusing on routine…. You read the greens and decide to play the shot slightly to the right side of the hole.
Your focus drifts and you start thinking about how your coach or parents will react if you miss the putt. You attempt to regain your focus by engaging in your pre-shot routine but thoughts keep entering your mind about blowing the shot and disappointing your parents.
You try to regain your focus and you grip the putter tighter and tighter. You are tense and distracted and push the ball too far right and miss the putt by a foot.
When you think about living up to expectations, your mind is racing ahead to future outcomes. The added distractions of expectations, anxious thoughts, and tense muscles prevent you from swinging the club freely.
About others’ expectations for you:
understand it may be more in your head than true–about others’ expectations. Reminding yourself of this can lessen the pressure while you play.
Start by writing out your expectations for yourself and what you think others expect of your game. Next, commit to discarding those expectations. Replace those expectations with task-relevant thinking, such as having a plan for each shot.
You don’t want to take on the expectations of others. Be more selfish with your game when you play. It should not be about making others happy or reaching for others’ expectations!
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- Playing Golf One Shot at a Time
- Your Expectation Affects Your Golf Game
- How Short-term Goals Helps You Focus
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