I used to panic, get nervous and generally stuff things up. No matter how hard I tried, how much I practised or how much I wanted to succeed, I could never get my body to do what I wanted.
It’s bloody frustrating and I’m sure your golf game has delivered similar results.
This is the 7th year I’ve been writing about the golf learning process and the thing I’m absolutely certain of is a golfing breakthrough is certainly possible. But for the most part, we’re all looking in the wrong place. So much of the golf instruction world is focused on a part of your swing or some sort of quick fix. These things offer only short-term relief at best. Most are nothing more than hot air.
Yesterday’s post touched on expanding your comfort zone – to alter your attitude and not be afraid of following your gut and playing the game in a way that suits you. This takes a level of courage that many won’t be comfortable with and as a result won’t go to the edge.
24 hours later I think this is a huge and vitally important lesson. When you start going to the edge of your comfort zone you slowly expand it. And it’s here that you will have a breakthrough worth talking about.
It’s worth mentioning again that this is not some sort of quick fix or miracle cure. Learning to expand your comfort zone won’t happen overnight – you’ll probably struggle, make mistakes and feel like quitting. This is normal and a sign you’re on the right track.
In my case I’d get so nervous before any sort of competition I’d feel like vomiting. My scores were horrendous and I never played close to my scoring potential. I’d be envious of other golfers and would wonder what magical gift they had. How come they could play well and I couldn’t?
But bit by bit I started getting somewhere,
– I could swing freely without worrying about making mistakes
– I could calm my mind and focus on what I wanted to achieve
– The game seemed much simpler. I was just hitting a small ball to a target
– My swing felt like it belonged to me and not someone else
– I started playing better when the pressure was on and not worse
– I started to truly enjoy hitting the ball and playing the game
– Confidence made an appearance
And all this NOT because I improved my swing, but because I stood up to the fear and realised that it’s just a silly game and there’s nothing to worry about. What used to scare the pants off me started to feel normal and I could play the game how I wanted.