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  • Writer's pictureCarol Alford

Improve your performance

I was reminded recently, about a book I read at least 20 years ago, which had a profound effect on me, called "The inner game of golf" by Timothy Gallwey. The book changed the way I played golf and set me off on a journey of exploration into the mental aspects of performance. I had forgotten how pivotal this book had been to my psyche, which actually resulted in me changing my career, to become a mental toughness coach. So this week I'm going to share one of the highlights from the book, known as the Performance Triangle.

To perform at your best, your performance triangle needs to be in balance - too much emphasis in one area will be detrimental to your overall performance. Let me explain further. 

Performance - all to often we focus our attention purely on our performance. Whilst we need to give performance our attention, it shouldn't be to the detriment of our enjoyment of the game and ability to learn. People who come to me for help, do so because they are struggling with their game. Regularly their focus in on their lack of performance. Like so many golfers out there, they go out to play and their focus is on the score. Unfortunately focusing on the score will not improve your performance, in fact it has the opposite effect, especially when your score is not going in the direction you want it to. Instead focus on one of your playing statistics. Did you know the best way to improve your game is to increase the number of greens hit in regulation (GIR). So next time you go out to play focus your attention in increasing your GIR score - this will keep you focused on one hole at a time and keep you focused throughout the game. The reality is if you are increasing your GIR score you are putting yourself in position to shoot a good score.

Enjoyment - next time you go out to play, or practice on the course, focus your attention on what impacts your enjoyment. Make a mental note of what gets your goat/makes you annoyed. Being aware of what affects your fun element will give you an insight into the triggers impacting your performance so that you can chose how to respond/react to these situations. (more on this next week)

Learning - Every time we play there should be an element of learning to our game to enhance our performance. For example you may find yourself out playing in a competition and the wind gets up. Take this as an opportunity to learn how to play shots to accommodate the conditions. There has always been a great debate around 'does the shot create the swing? or does the swing create the shot?" The conditions you find yourself playing in, will mean you have to adapt your shots to play accordingly. Going out with a learning mindset will develop your game resulting in an improved performance.

If you would like to learn more about the mental side of the game please get in touch or check out our other blogs, there's something in here for everyone.


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