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How Emotions Help and Hurt the Golfer (part 1)

Golf, like any sport, requires the ability to recall how to perform learned sequences of movement. When we play this game we rely on our minds and bodies to remember what is involved in a proper golf swing. Without having learned how to swing properly, or if one was unable to recall how to execute a proper swing, a golfer would be doomed to round after round of nothing but frustration and futility.

Process-Focus versus Outcome-Focus: A Crucial Distinction in Sports

For most of you involved in golf or other sports, the ultimate goal is to improve how well you perform. You strive to hit more fairways and sink more putts. You try to lower your scoring average and improve your handicap. You want to establish a new all-time best score. You work toward better finishes in your competitions. In any sport, the bottom line is that you are always working toward improving your outcomes.

Mental Skills (Or the Lack Thereof) and Recent Sporting Events: Golfer Ben Crane wins the 2010 Farmers Insurance Open

Ben Crane won The Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego without even realizing what he had just accomplished. After sinking his final putt on the 72nd hole, his fellow competitor, Ryuji Imada, turned toward Crane and said, “Congratulations.” Crane appeared somewhat surprised and responded by asking Imada, “Did I win? Did I win the tournament?” And indeed, Crane had come out on top, notching his third win on the PGA Tour.

How do you explain a guy who wins a pretty big tournament, yet he doesn’t even know what he has just achieved?

Mental Skills (Or the Lack Thereof) and Recent Sporting Events: John Cook Wins the 2009 Charles Schwab Cup Championship

After shooting four rounds in the 60s, including a final round 69, John Cook won the Charles Schwab Cup Championship by five strokes.  In the post-tournament press conference, Cook alluded to some specific mental strategies he used to pull off his second victory in the last three weeks.