If you are not where you think you should be with your game, perhaps it is time to step back or step forward and ask the question, why? Why am I so inconsistent, especially in tournament situations? Or why am I not getting better with simple mechanical improvements, this can’t be that hard. Continuing with negative self-talk is surely not the answer for improvement!
Why you “suck” may not have anything to do with your game or mechanics. Life, school, work, peers, and even lack of preparation could be getting in the way. When was the last time you assessed your game and knew where your skills are? When was the last time you assessed your physical literacy? When was the last time you practiced or prepared for your round or event with the sole purpose of performing at your best? Did you take the time to prepare your mind, body and swing properly? It is easy to blame your coach, or others for your lack of performance. However, when you take a few moments and reflect on what is happening, you may realize that you did not prepare yourself to have your best performance and the frustration is taken out on yourself and others.
I would recommend spending time to understand how you can have better performances,
1. Prior to your tournament, make sure you play a practice round on the course to understand the landscape. Familiarity helps you feel more comfortable. If you are unable to physically get in a practice, take the time to mentally play a practice round. You can do this by seeing the course on your phone or computer to help visualize your round.
2. Learn how to manage your time off the course leading up to events, this may lead to less mind distractions while on the course.
3. How you prepare for an event prior will certainly influence your outcomes in the event. If you are in the mindset of just hitting balls on the range to get into a “groove” and to pump up confidence, this may mislead you to think your skills are better than they are, leading to the philosophy of skill vs challenge ratio; you perceive your skills to be better than they are and the challenge to be easier. This is a pitfall for many amateur golfers and is often the reason so many golfers give up during rounds, and even quit the game.
4. Be kind to yourself, speak to yourself like you would if you were helping a friend.
Remember, all the time you spend playing, practicing, working out, and working with your coaches is “studying” and helping you accumulate the nuggets of knowledge that will build up to help your future performances. You don’t suck, you are just learning to be better!