In competitive sports, an athlete’s mental game is as important as physical prowess.
Take golf, for instance. Leading sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella changed the game with his insight that a high confidence level and a calm attitude are the keys to elite play.
As with many other sports, golf instructors tend to focus on mechanics: optimal movements and physical technique. That’s helpful advice when you’re learning, but once you get to a certain level of competence, intuition and muscle memory should take over. Thinking about technique too much can just mess you up.
It’s common to let the first few holes set the tone for how you’ll perform for the rest of the round. Dr. Rotella says the difference between good golfers and great ones is their ability to brush off bad shots, especially early in the game. For more advice on golf and life, check out our Instaread on Golf Is Not a Perfect Game.