Reset your Thinking
Last weekend I won a major competition at my club, after playing several knockout rounds to reach the final. The competition comprises of the top 16 players from the previous year's club championship. It's a great competition, played over several months. The lady who I played in the final was off the same handicap as me, so no shots were given, making it an exciting match. We both played extremely good golf, parring holes where we would normally get a shot. It was only after we finished, that I realised I had played 10 shots under my handicap.
Being a coach I naturally started to wonder how could it be possible to play so much better in matchplay. I came to the conclusion I was willing to let go; let go of the score and to let go of protecting what had been scored. I've always known, to play my best, is to play intuitively and to trust my ability. When playing strokeplay, I had not always gone out with this mentality, especially if I'd had a bad hole, my focus would be on the score and my handicap going up 0.1. In coaching terms, I was afraid of failure. When playing matchplay, however my mindset is different, with no score to consider I have the freedom to take on the shots to win the hole. Having this freedom allows me to focus purely on the shot which proved to enhance my performance.
Concerning myself about the score will not give me the results I desire. In future I'm going to change my way of thinking in strokeplay, I'm going out with the mindset that I'm playing matchplay, the opponent will be the course. Where I have a shot on a hole, I will consider the course as giving me a shot, so that to win the hole I need to par, if I bogey I half. Making this change will allow me to let go of fear of failure and embrace the challenge.
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