How to Unlock Motivation in Golf

Learning to Overcome Motivation Challenges

Why is it that so many golfers are just not motivated to improve their game, even when they have the time to do so?

If practice leads to improvement, why do so many golfers lack the motivation to practice?

Motivation is the cornerstone of athletic excellence. Every golfer will, at some point, go through bouts when motivation is lacking.

Without motivation, bumps in the road become roadblocks.

Think of times when you dealt with a lack of motivation… What were the causes of your lack of motivation? Did you go through a string of bad rounds? Were you experiencing a bout of the yips? Did a back-injury sideline you for a prolonged period of time? Did you lose your passion for playing?

Challenging circumstances and poor play can drain your motivation.

One major cause of low levels of motivation is a lack of consistent results. Inconsistent results can be caused by nagging injuries, high expectations, over-focus on mistakes, perfectionism, excessive criticism, lack of recognition, failure to reach goals or adverse personal circumstances. etc.

Without motivation, you will be stuck at the same level of performance for a prolonged period.

When the coronavirus disrupted the PGA Tour, golf courses were shut down throughout the USA. Matthew Fitzpatrick, ranked No. 25 in the world, was forced to self-isolate and had limited access to work on his golf game for months.

At first, Fitzpatrick welcomed the break from playing a rigorous golf schedule. While stuck at home, Fitzpatrick set up a small net so he could continue to work on his swing instead of idly standing by.

Fitzpatrick still battled a lack of motivation as he waited for the PGA Tour to resume play.

FITZPATRICK: “Obviously, it wasn’t very fulfilling [practicing at home with a make-shift net]. Once I did that for awhile, I got fed up with it. It was like dragging myself two yards just to go out back. I didn’t have far to walk [to practice in my backyard], but it felt like a bit of a chore.”

Even if you feel like working on your game is a chore, a little bit of motivation will give you that mental boost to get out the door and focus on improving your game.

Improving your golf scores or taking your game to the next level starts with motivation.

Unlocking your Motivation

Motivation is not something that just happens, you need to take charge and build your motivation–no one can give you motivation–you must be self-motivated.

Identify the cause(s) of your lack of motivation. Consider all parts of the game from physical strength, flexibility, tactical planning, mental skills, swing technique, rest and recovery, etc.

Clearly determine how this challenge has affected your game. Ask yourself, “Can I overcome this obstacle?”

Chances are you can do something to overcome the obstacle or change your situation. Identify 2-3 goals to meet the challenges of your situation.

Sustained motivation will help you elevate your golf game, improve your mental toughness, and shoot much better scores as a result.

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