I was going through some reading material this week and came across an article by Dr. Bhrett McCabe entitled Five Keys Before Teeing Off. In a past life I was a Professional Amateur golfer. The term describes someone who treated what they did like a professional, but was an amateur. In the golf world that means you pay for everything and get no financial reward. Your reward was the lifelong friendships, access to great golf courses by playing high profile events, and competing with some great players. Some of whom are in the Hall of Fame and others who have outstanding careers outside the golf world.
As I read through the list I made mental notes of whether I did them or not. I managed to check all the boxes but it took me a few years to get to that point, but I did get there. Looking back I am happy that I did. However, what I am not pleased about is that I missed an opportunity pass this along to the many players that I coached in the game of hockey. I had the knowledge, but did nothing with it. In the 1990’s and the early 2000’s the mental side of hockey was rarely spoken about and if it was half-heartedly received. It was something that I believed in but did have the courage to bring it up. Fast forward 20 years, it is now a part of my everyday life and even the NHL are beginning to use mental coaches.
I‘ll wrap this up with a great quote by author Wright Thompson from a podcast that I recently listened to, it describes athletes that fail due to their dependence on talent rather than developing the internal talent that lives inside of us.
“Talent is talent, but the direction that it goes in is determined by our interior lives.”
Until Next time!
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Five Keys Before Teeing Off
- Make a plan for the first Hole: Build a strategy to hit the first green you play in regulation. Whatever your regulation is. Use your strengths from the start.
- Prepare for the unexpected: Your expectations are elevated before starting. If adversity happens early, do not let frustration set in. Remind yourself to meet the demands of the moment are better than predicting your score.
- Determine your mental intent: Establish a thought as you work through your round. I.e. Think process not outcome.
- Ninety second retreat: Take a moment to escape from the pre-game preparation and reconnect to the present moment.
- Eat: Eat to fuel your mind as you would fuel your body. Energy is required to perform at a competitive level.