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Welcome to the Golf Psychology Consultants web site! This is where you can find a wealth of information about the mental skills that are necessary to play your best golf. These skills also apply to various other sports and performance situations. Far too many golfers (and other athletes) work only on developing their physical skills, never realizing the importance of engaging in mental skills training. They may well spend hundreds or thousands of dollars each year on the latest equipment and newest training aids. Yet only a small handful of these athletes will invest any time, money, or effort on developing the necessary mental skills that will lead them to play their best golf.

Most serious golfers are highly motivated to improve. This is why they spend so much money on equipment, and so much time practicing. However, these golfers typically reach a point of diminishing returns, where their hard work seems to provide fewer and fewer dividends in terms of improvement in performance. I’ve even had golfers tell me that they actually experienced a decrease in performance, even though they practiced, and practiced, and practiced some more.

It’s a fact that virtually every golfer can benefit from mental skills training. Whether you are a long time professional, or a high handicap golfer, mental skills training can enhance your performance. And depending on how much effort you put into learning, applying, and perfecting your newly acquired mental skills, the degree of improvement in your game can be amazing! Throughout this site you’ll learn of many golfers and other athletes who have made significant improvements in their performance through the utilization of mental skills training. And as I mentioned earlier, the degree of improvement can be absolutely amazing!

So, if mental skills training is so beneficial, why do most golfers never put any effort into learning proper mental skills? I believe a big part of the answer to this question is that there is a lack of understanding about what mental skills training is all about. When I give seminars on the topic of mental skills training for athletes, I’ll often ask the audience what type of person they think should see a sport psychologist or mental game coach. The typical responses involve athletes that the audience considers to be “head cases”, those athletes that always seem to wilt under pressure, or those who can’t keep their emotions in check.

Indeed, these types of athletes could well use the services of a mental game coach or sport psychologist. Not many athletes, however, consider themselves to be “head cases.” And although I do occasionally work with these types of issues, the vast majority of my clients are very good athletes and competitors that really have no glaring “head case” issues. My typical client is much more likely to be an athlete who is already performing well, yet desires some specialized training to help them achieve an exceptional level of performance!

The Mental Skills Training I conduct with my clients begins with them completing a several page assessment questionnaire that helps to identify the specific areas in which they can improve. During the early sessions of our consultation we’ll review and clarify the issues to be addressed. I create a personalized summary of these issues, and based on the summary, I develop a customized Mental Game Plan for that particular athlete. Specific topics covered in our consultations have included the following:

  • The difference between a process orientation and an outcome orientation.
  • How to change internal demands about outcomes into positive, confident expectations.
  • Maintaining steady confidence even after a disappointing performance.
  • Techniques for self reinforcement.
  • Utilizing positive emotions to enhance future performance.
  • Using mistakes to immediately improve performance.
  • Dealing with internal and external distractions.
  • Proper goal setting that relates to improved performance.
  • Taking your practice game out into the competitive arena.
  • Improving the efficiency of practice.
  • Understanding how to challenge and change negative self labels.
  • Reducing anger during competition.
  • Reducing “bad” anxiety and utilizing “good” anxiety.
  • Overcoming beliefs that limit performance.
  • Developing consistent routines prior to, and during, competition.
  • Learning how to quickly refocus.
  • Developing a solid understanding of how thinking affects performance.
  • Taking responsibility for how and what you think, regardless of recent outcomes.
  • Techniques for staying grounded in the present moment.
  • I’ll bet that you have struggled with many of the topics listed above. So why not do something about it? If you want to reach your fullest potential in your sport, mental skills training is the way to go. The top competitors in most sports have three things in common: top-notch equipment, excellent physical skills, and specially developed mental skills. You can have the most advanced equipment and great technique, but if you haven’t worked on developing the necessary mental skills, it’s like trying to play competitive golf without your seven iron through your putter. Can you play golf under these circumstances? Of course you can. Can you engage in competition? Sure, if you choose to. Are you likely to defeat your fellow competitor? No offense to you, but if I were going to place a wager on this match, all of my money would be on the other guy!

    Whether you choose to do some reading about mental skills training, watch a mental skills training video, go to a presentation on the topic, or work one-on-one with a sport psychologist or mental game coach, do something that will begin to train your mind to allow you to compete at your absolute best! The fact that you are visiting my web site right now tells me that you are ready to address some of the mental game challenges that keep so many athletes from reaching their ultimate level of success. Good for you! So, continue to explore and enjoy this site. And let me know if you’re considering some one-on-one consultations, or if you’d like to discuss having a mental skills training presentation delivered to your group of athletes.

    Kevin J. Roby, Ph.D., MGCP, Golf Psychology Consultants (702) 395-2170

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