Make prac­tice fun and suc­cess­ful

Inside Golf - - Front Page - Steve­bann

IN my ex­pe­ri­ence, the sin­gle most important men­tal skill for a golfer to have is con­fi­dence. The fun­da­men­tal rea­son a golfer should ven­ture to the prac­tice range and short game area is to prac­tise for the pur­pose of find­ing and build­ing con­fi­dence, or to main­tain pre-ex­ist­ing con­fi­dence in their abil­ity to hit shots in all shot type cat­e­gories from putting through to the driver.

What ex­actly is con­fi­dence? And why does it come and go seem­ingly for no ap­par­ent rea­son? Why is it that many golfers can hit the ball well or chip and putt well when they prac­tise, but when they go out on the course it all falls apart and they don’t feel any con­fi­dence in their abil­ity to play?

I be­lieve con­fi­dence is a di­rect re­sult of prepa­ra­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence. Con­fi­dence is not some mys­ti­cal be­lief that can­not be sub­stan­ti­ated by tan­gi­ble ev­i­dence that it ex­ists. Con­fi­dence is know­ing you can do some­thing be­cause you have done it be­fore, or at least you have sim­u­lated do­ing it in prac­tice enough times that you just know you can do it again in com­pe­ti­tion. Once a golfer has ex­e­cuted a shot suc­cess­fully in com­pe­ti­tion they then have a real and pow­er­ful ex­pe­ri­ence to re­call for fu­ture shot con­fi­dence.

All this I am sure you have heard be­fore, but you still may have not have been taught “ The Con­fi­dence Cy­cle” and a strat­egy of how to im­ple­ment it into your own prac­tice pro­gram. My first ex­pe­ri­ence with learn­ing about the Con­fi­dence Cy­cle came about when I at­tended coach­ing sem­i­nars at the Vic­to­rian In­sti­tute of Sport back when I was the Head Coach for golf in the early 1990’s. What I soon re­alised was that all suc­cess­ful golfers and sport­ing peo­ple prac­tise this way — whether it is struc­tured in a for­mal ap­proach or quite in­stinc­tive. Without ex­cep­tion, un­suc­cess­ful golfers fail to prac­tise us­ing the Con­fi­dence Cy­cle.

There are four steps to the Con­fi­dence Cy­cle and as you read this you may re­alise that you never get past the first step when you prac­tise. If this is the case, with a bit of dis­ci­pline and a new ap­proach, a whole new world of play­ing the game is about to open up to you.

Some golfers may al­ready un­der­stand that they are prac­tis­ing tech­nique or prac­tis­ing golf. There­fore they at least get to step two of the four steps (and play golf well) but never ex­pe­ri­ence ab­so­lute con­fi­dence with their shot ex­e­cu­tion.

The four steps be­low will seem very fa­mil­iar to any busi­ness per­son, be­cause the rea­son they are suc­cess­ful and con­fi­dent with their prod­uct or ser­vice is be­cause they have fol­lowed the four steps of the Con­fi­dence Cy­cle. These same busi­ness peo­ple may also very soon re­alise that they don’t pre­pare to play golf the same way as they run their busi­ness.

The four steps to com­pet­ing with con­fi­dence: Step one. Tech­nique ( Learn the cor­rect tech­nique.)

Many golfers prac­tise tech­nique ex­clu­sively. They are con­stantly work­ing on po­si­tions, moves, piv­ots or the lat­est trend of swing style — mostly based on who is winning cur­rently on the tour or the new fad ad­ver­tised on The Golf Chan­nel.

Good tech­nique is an ab­so­lute if you are go­ing to play golf with con­fi­dence con­sis­tently, so your tech­nique must be at­tended to in ev­ery prac­tice ses­sion. Tech­nique by it­self will give you some

De­vel­op­ing (and prac­tis­ing) the proper tech­nique is crit­i­cal to de­vel­op­ing con­fi­dence

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