Have you ever had a poor warm-up, and in your disappointment thought to yourself, “Well, I guess I won’t be playing with my “A” game today.” And as a result of your lowered expectations your round is a less than joyous event? What do you do when you feel like your “A” game has vanished? The solution is simple — You need to check your thoughts against a set of rules that, when followed, will help you play with your “A” game every day.
Rule #1 – Playing with your “A” game is a choice.
Whether or not you play with your “A” game is a matter of mindset and determination, and not a result of swing mechanics. How you think about your game day by day is completely up to you. Choosing to focus on what’s working, over what you think isn’t, is always the way to play. On the days when your technical game feels a bit off is when you must make sure your mental game is ON.
Rule #2 – Golf is NOT a game of perfect.
If your measure of success solely dependent on how many “pure” or solid shots you hit during a round, then you are setting the bar in your game at an unrealistic level. Everyone’s swing can vary slightly from day to day, which makes it impossible to strike the ball the same way every time. Expecting to be able to reproduce perfect swing technique in order to feel like you have your “A” game is a rigid and unattainable standard to set.
Rule #3 – You control the process in your game, not the outcome.
Nothing is more potentially defeating than pinning all your hopes on shot outcomes, rather than investing every ounce of energy and attention to the quality of your shot process. Maximizing the version of your “A” game that you have in the bag each day is only possible when you have great routines, both pre-shot and post-shot, around every shot you play. With the right routines you can enhance what’s working, embrace and leverage the slight variances in your swing, and play efficiently from tee to green.
If you are struggling to consistently bring your “A” game to the course, consider developing the type of mental game that makes this possible every day.
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