We hear the phrase “become mentally tougher” or similar a lot of times don’t we? In fact I read and hear about it so much I’m almost tired of it. Heck I probably use it myself too often, it’s become really clichéd hasn’t it?
The thing is, it may not be true.
What happens when someone says you need to become mentally tougher? Well for starters the first thing it implies is that you are mentally too weak to compete at that particular level. After all, if you are told you must become tougher to win on tour then it means you are currently too weak to win on tour, right?
Do you like being called mentally weak? I know I don’t! Perhaps we Sports Psychologists should think about that?
I really don’t like the inference that a person’s mind is weak. I doubt very much that the problem is a weak mind. The reason the golfer (or anyone) is underperforming in a certain area is probably just a matter of mind control.
Let’s rule out experience first and presume that’s not the issue. After all if you have no experience of being in a certain situation then you may well fail to achieve your best. That’s not mentally weak it’s just a lack of experiential knowledge.
Take Rory who blew the Masters. Was he mentally weak? No, he wasn’t ready, but he learned from that experience and came right back to claim his first major. Strength from experience.
So if we presume a player has experience but keeps blowing it, then it’s a matter of mind control. NOT WEAKNESS!
The mind and body are one system, they work together not as separate units. If your body is experiencing a problem, like poor nutrition or dehydration, then the mind will suffer and be unable to perform at peak levels. Severe enough nutritional deficiencies or dehydration will lead to a real breakdown in thinking.
If the body posture is one of defeat, anger, frustration or any other negative, this WILL HAVE AN IMPACT on your thinking and emotions.
If the mind is not controlled and allowed to think poorly, then it has a direct effect on emotions, mood and most certainly on physical performance.
You are not mentally weak. You must learn to control what you can, both body and mind. Feed your mind and body properly with good nutrition and hydration, control your body postures and keep them HEAD UP POSITIVE.
Be aware of what thoughts are running through your mind and if you know they are negative and unhelpful, CHANGE THEM! Distract yourself, and then think of things that get you balanced again.
As you learn and become more proficient at Mind and Body Control, people will begin to call you Mentally Tough, but that’s OK, we’ll excuse them as we practice Mind Control Golf.
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