If you play the sport, you’ve heard that the game of golf is 90 percent mental.
Being a daughter of a pro-PGA golfer, this game has been in my life since I can remember.
It’s a sport where your physical talents only create potential but it’s how you apply yourself and effectively execute that determines your game. I’ve spoken to many golfers who agree that how you golf speaks volumes on your perspective and approach on life. For me personally, I have a tendency to look too far ahead or dwell on the holes I’ve played wrong, which then clogs my brain with too many distracting thoughts. Does that sound familiar?
I remembered the first time I was tasked with delivering a short pitch to a potential client. It was my first real job and public speaking wasn’t my thing yet. So there I sat directly across from the CEO, CFO, and a few other executives who made it clear they had better things to do with their time. Earlier, I had rehearsed my pitch several times but sitting there in that tense environment I was overwrought with orbiting thoughts of negativity…what if we lost this pitch, if I looked too junior, if I didn’t seem intelligent enough… And so when the presentation called for me to explain the value of our firm’s research reports, I completely blanked. My throat dried up and I stammered the only words that I could at that time…”Research….is good.”
It was my Anchorman, “I love lamp” moment and it was a defining one. I learned not to trip up with “what ifs” and to stay in control of thoughts as they can drastically change the outcome of events.
Much like golf, a good way to stay in the present is to focus on the shot at hand. Being laser focus is essential in both golf and business. So when facing a tough drive, I concentrate on the mechanics of my body, pick a target and then in one fluid motion follow through on the shot. Once the shot is made, the only thing I can do is let it go and move on to the next.
Positive constructive thoughts always generate better performance and that’s par for the course.