It is that time of year! Competitions are starting to happen on a regular basis. The Master’s excitement has gotten you ready to go, the PGA Championship is coming up at Bethpage Black – your competitive juices are nearly at a boiling point! High school and collegiate golfers are nearing post season championships. It’s an exciting time! So, what happens when disaster strikes? You play and the game fails you. Somehow at the most important time your game disappears! Well that is the challenge of competitive golf, you will not always have your “A” game or even your “B” game for that matter. So, what do you do? You grind it out! You rely on your internal fortitude (grit) to keep you going and you never give up a shot or throw in the towel!
How do you know you have “grit?” Here is one way you can find this out. How long can you sit alone with no distractions staring at a blank wall? This is a simple way to test yourself to see how much you understand your endurance when it comes to patience and fighting against frustration and setbacks. Boredom is one of the strongest tests for internal fortitude. How committed are you?
In a study done in 2012 to help runners break through the barriers of long-distance running, Endure researchers had subjects stare at a computer screen for hours to test their mental capacity for endurance. They found that it wasn’t the muscles that failed runners, but rather it was the mind controlling the muscles. This study proves how humans set limits to what we can endure and often determine our “pain” tolerance long before an activity.
Frustration is that marker of pain for golfers. When golfers push their limits to improve, frustration becomes a barrier. It’s hard to stick with something when it becomes difficult which makes it important to push yourself to the limit each practice session. The more you practice or play into frustration, the greater your tolerance will be and the more “grit” you will build. From there, the improvements will begin to compound!
However, staying in the moment is hard. It’s easy to quit and give up on your process when things feel terrible or when you’re having a tough practice session. It takes enormous effort to stick with something long enough to make change. It will take all you have to stay with your process. At the Golf Performance Center, we like to say “simple is hard.” In other words, doing the mundane is not sexy, but it sucks to stick with something that frustrates you and takes tremendous discipline to battle through it.
As you move further into your golf season, remember that it will take all you have to stick with your process to improve. It will not happen because you have taken some sessions with your golf professional. It will take grit to deliver your best game. Work to develop your internal fortitude and challenge yourself every time you practice. If you practice and it’s easy, you probably didn’t improve! Stick to your process and challenge yourself to master the simple things and you will find that your game and life will grow to new heights! Be gritty!!
Enjoy Your Journey!
Founder – Golf Performance Center
& Junior Golf Hub