It’s a new year.  A time for resolutions, new goals, and excitement.  I plan on doing a future post on goal-setting and making sure you carry out those golf-related resolutions, but before I do that I want to cover another topic that I am sure will help your game.  I want to talk about EXPECTATIONS and making sure yours aren’t affecting your game in a negative way.  I am currently reading Golf is not a Game of Perfect by Dr. Bob Rotella.  In Dr. Rotella’s book, he discusses players accepting the results of their shots and evaluating them with reasonable and realistic expectations.  This is great insight and something I see lots of players (including myself) struggle with every time they touch a golf club.

What do I mean by reasonable and realistic expectations?  I certainly do not mean that you should limit your ceiling and only expect the very least from yourself.  I have never and will never subscribe to the mentality that if you set your goals low, you will never be disappointed.  I believe the exact opposite, that the higher the goals the more motivated you can be.  If you are a 20 handicap and want to make the PGA Tour, then I say “GREAT, let’s get to work.”  Does that mean that when this same 20 handicap is playing a round of golf I think he should get upset if he misses a green?  Absolutely not!  That individual does not have reasonable and realistic expectations.  He is a 20 handicap and at his very best can hit 5 greens in any given round.  Unfortunately, most of us are guilty of being this ridiculous.  Let’s be honest with ourselves and evaluate the expectations of our next shot with the real-time status of our golf games.  That doesn’t mean you can’t hit all 18 greens, but in the scenario with the 20 handicap, let’s first work on hitting 6 greens in a round.  The worst thing anyone can do is berate themselves and deflate their confidence by expecting things that are not possible at the current time.

Personally, I have come to this realization about unrealistic expectations by coaching varsity girls’ golf at Canal Winchester.  The players on my teams create this superstar image of themselves by boasting about the scores they shoot in practice and what they plan to shoot in our next tournament.  The problem with this is that when they are early in a round and not playing their best, they panic.  They start to worry about what everyone will think and it only makes things worse.  The problem is their expectations aren’t realistic.  They don’t understand that it’s extremely hard to shoot those low scores when the pressure’s on.  The only way to do this is to be patient and not panic.  Be reasonable with what you expect and the results will follow.

To conclude, I challenge you to make this your first golf resolution of 2013.  Set reasonable expectations before your round and before every shot.  This will help your mental preparation and allow you to improve your course management.  You will start to only hit shots of which you are capable, and most importantly, you will not let a poor shot ruin your round or your score.  The best part is that you can adjust those expectations as your game improves, while you are on your way to reaching those lofty goals.  I encourage you to share by using the buttons below.  Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing you on the lesson tee!!!

Posted in Mental Game

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