It is that time of year… golf competitions start happening on a regular basis in the Northeast! The Master’s excitement has gotten you ready to go, the PGA Championship coming up in a couple of weeks, high school and collegiate golfers are nearing post season championships, your competitive juices are nearly at a boiling point! What an exciting time! Oh wait, I had this nightmare that these events got postponed or cancelled? WHAT, they did!! But wait, competitive golf is coming alive soon! Hang in there, you will get your chances!
So, when golf does return to your schedule, what will you do when disaster strikes, when you play and the game fails you, somehow at “the” most important time your game disappears! Well that is the challenge of competitive golf, you will not always have your “A” game or “B” game for that matter, so what do you do? You grind it out! You rely on your internal fortitude (grit) to keep you going, never giving up a shot or throwing in the towel!
How do you know you have “grit”? Here is one way you can find this out. How long can you sit alone, with no distractions, staring at a blank wall! If you want to test yourself for grit this is a simple way that can help you understand your endurance for patience, helping you fight against frustration and set back’s. Boredom is one of the strongest tests for internal fortitude. How committed are you? In a study done in 2012 on endurance runners for the book Endure, researchers had subjects stare at a computer screen for hours to test their mental capacity for endurance. To help runners break through the barriers of long distance running they found that it wasn’t the muscles that failed runners it was the mind controlling the muscles. What this study proved is how we as humans set limits to what we can endure. We set our “pain” tolerance before an activity. Frustration for golfers is that marker for pain. When golfers are pushing their limits to improve, frustration becomes the barrier. It becomes hard to stick with something when it becomes difficult, which is why each practice session you have you should push that limit. The more you practice or play into frustration the greater the tolerance, the more “grit” you build, and the improvements begin to compound! However, staying in the moment is hard, it is hard sticking to the process when things feel terrible or when you are having a tough practice session. It is easy to quit, to give up on practicing something hard, to make a change in behaviors. It takes an enormous effort to stick with something long enough. It will take all you have to stay with your process. We like to say at The Golf Performance Center, “simple is hard”. Doing the mundane is not sexy, it takes discipline, it sucks to stick with something that frustrates you.
As you move into your golf season, remember it will take all you have to stick with your process to improve, it will not happen because you have taken some sessions with your golf professional. It will take grit to deliver your best game. Work on developing your internal fortitude by challenging yourself each time you practice. If you practice and it is easy, you probably won’t improve! Stick to your process and challenge yourself to master the simple things and you will find that your game and life will grow to new heights! Be gritty!! Also, one other thing, check out our NEW 5 Elements of Success Player Development Series every Tuesday @12pm eastern and learn more about how to be a “grittier” player and develop into the player you want to be!
Enjoy Your Journey!