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Confidence in Sports (part 1): How to develop confidence

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re likely to prove yourself correct.”

Golf's Damning Demands Versus Beneficial Beliefs

Small and sometimes subtle differences in the way a person thinks about a particular situation, or challenge, can have a significant impact not only on how that situation turns out, but also on the type of emotional response that is associated with that outcome. This is true in golf, as it is in much of life. Allow me explain what I mean, and let me give you some examples to clarify these subtle differences in ways of thinking.

Mental Skills (Or the Lack Thereof) and Recent Sporting Events: Ryan Moore wins the 2009 Wyndham Championship

The wait for that elusive first PGA Tour win is finally over for Ryan Moore. After having had such an incredible amateur career, it must have been wickedly frustrating to have to wait for five years before scoring that first Tour victory. Who knew it would take so long? And what a win considering the circumstances! The competition was delayed more than once by rain and darkness, and even after the final putt was holed by the final group on the 72nd hole, the competition still wasn’t over. Moore had to endure three holes of sudden death before he was able to claim the trophy as his own.

Mental Skills (Or the Lack Thereof) and Recent Sporting Events: Padraig Harrington Discusses Confidence after Shooting a 64 at Bridgestone

It’s no secret that three-time major winner Padraig Harrington has been struggling for several months. His performance so far this year has left him outside of the group of golfers who will qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs. How do you suppose his lackluster level of play would impact on his degree of confidence?

Mental Skills (Or the Lack Thereof) and Recent Sporting Events: Tom Watson at the 72nd Hole of the 2009 British Open

What a great performance by Tom Watson during the 2009 British Open! Was there really anybody (except perhaps Stewart Cink) who didn’t want to see Watson win his sixth Claret Jug? How stirring it was to see him perform at such an exceptional level for four straight days! His performance during this tournament, and his professional record, prove that he is indeed one of the mentally toughest competitors in the sport of golf. It was simply inspiring to watch him compete and maintain his composure and focus over those four days.