What Drives You in Golf?

What Drives You in Golf?

What Motivates You as a golfer? Trophies? Ranking?

Finding the best sources of motivation fuels peak performance, pursuit of potential, and longevity in the sport.

Two general forms of motivation exist in the realm of sports:

1. Intrinsic – Internal sources of motivation such as; exploring your potential, challenging yourself, honing your skill set, enjoying the experience, and pursuing personal goals.

2. Extrinsic – Extrinsic sources of motivation exist outside of ourselves, such as money, rankings, media recognition, accolades, and trophies.

All golfers go through bouts of low motivation. To continue growing in the sport and maintaining a competitive edge, you should understand how motivation works and the best ways to motivate yourself.

A golfer who responded to our Golf Mental Game Survey asked the following question:

“When I’m not playing my best, I lose heart and stop trying. How can I stay motivated during the down times?”

When you are winning tournaments, playing your best, or consistently improving, it is easy to stay motivated. However, motivation is needed most when you are going through tough times.

The question is which sources of motivation best improve performance.

Extrinsic sources of motivation are fleeting. It’s unrealistic to think you will shoot your best score every day or finish in the top ten in every tournament.

There is nothing wrong with external rewards. The key is that extrinsic rewards should not be your primary source of motivation.

On the other hand, intrinsic motivation keeps you moving forward for the long haul. While you can’t always win, you can pursue excellence every day.

You can challenge yourself to be better today than yesterday. It is intrinsic motivation that helps you persist through tough times or when you are off your game.

A steady diet of intrinsic motivation with a dash of extrinsic motivation will help push you forward daily.

LPGA golfer Ruoning Yin won the 2023 DIO Implant LA Open and the 2023 Women’s PGA Championship in her second year on the Tour.

When Yin played her first tournament as a child, she placed third. To Yin’s surprise, she won a trophy in her first competitive experience. The trophy, an extrinsic motivator, provided the initial incentive for Yin to start working on her game.

YIN: “I think that trophy motivated me to chasing my dream.”

After winning the PGA Championship, Yin revealed that she is intrinsically motivated to explore the depths of her potential.

YIN: “For me to be a major champion is pretty exciting, but that’s the past. I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Motivation is similar to car fuel or electric energy. To move forward, you have to replenish your motivational tank. Finding the right mix of motivators will help you go farther in the sport of golf.

Replenishing Your Motivational Tank

Make a top-five list of the reasons you play or compete in golf. These reasons are your primary motivators.

Make sure that intrinsic sources make up the majority of your list. Including 1-2 extrinsic sources provide a good mix that can help you stay motivated for the long haul.

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