As a performance coach I have had many conversations with students who think confidence is built through hours of practice and multiple repetitions. They believe they must fix problems in their swing and get it “right” before they’re able to see results. They want to see results before they believe in their ability. Though I understand and respect this view, it is my job to offer them an alternative perspective.
Many golfers assume by hitting enough good shots through repetitive practice they will develop confidence. Unfortunately, this commits the golfer to many hours of practice and frustration, often with minimal returns. In the short term, results may be apparent, but at the first sign of adversity old habits quickly reappear and sabotage any developing belief.
High performance — playing in “the zone” — occurs when we first develop belief in our ability; when we step outside of our comfort zone and maintain this belief despite the anxiety resulting from the unfamiliar surroundings. This requires an immense amount of self-confidence that must be developed over time, and not from the perspective of needing to see success first.
What if building self-confidence, emotional resilience, and belief in yourself is the answer to maximizing your performance? Though more challenging in the short term, this perspective is one that will yield long-term, sustainable results.
You can grind it out on the range waiting to see the results you’re looking for or you can let go of doubt and develop the perspective that believing is seeing.
Doug Hodges developed his expertise as a performance coach at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif. He now offers his ThinkWorkPlay programs at the Heritage Golf Club in Wake Forest and Grandover Resort in Greensboro. All golfers, from the Tour player to novice, now have the opportunity to develop the tools to unlock their potential, have more fun, and lower their scores. To learn more visit www.thinkworkplay.com.