a is for Attitude

By: Gail Smirthwaite

A? is for 'ATTITUDE'

If you think of the sports person you most admire, how would you describe them? Possibly focused, driven, motivated, dedicated, ambitious - all these skills are not to do with technique or talent but everything to do with ATTITUDE.

If you make the choice to learn to be more aware, you can create a positive and winning mindset. In this A to Z series of articles we are beginning with A for Attitude and this is a great place to start -not least because it begins with 'A' J

The A could easily have stood for AWARENESS too because everything I coach is to help you to become more aware of how you tick. If you spend the time to find out what works for you and what does not, only then can you begin to change and create the success you seek on a regular basis. Once you have sorted this out you stand every chance of not only creating the golf game you want to achieve but success in the life you want as well.

Much has been written about top sports performers' ability to perform 'in the zone'. It is in this 'state' where the best results are achieved most easily. You can liken the zone to that feeling of everything being so easy on every level, when you are operating without conscious thought and without effort.

To give you an everyday example, remember what it was like when you were learning to drive a car? It was awkward trying to remember everything in the correct order, but after time you learnt to drive without any conscious thought for the process. University of Chicago psychologist Mihalyi Csikzentmihalyi has studied the equivalent state in the workplace, a state which he refers to as being 'in flow'. This is the feeling when you are fully motivated, inspired and passionate about what you are doing and when time flies by and the results just seem to happen.

There are a number of feelings that potentially will threaten you whilst performing 'in flow', and your attitude has a big role to play in this process. If you are disengaged, bored, unfocused, full of self-doubt and fear, or distracted then this will be how you play golf. It is up to you to choose the right attitude in order to play great golf.

When we follow our path - the one that offers least resistance - and begin to play the game we most naturally play, on and off the golf course, we begin to excel. We will find that we are having fun because it is 'effortless', we are in the 'flow' because we are doing what we 'love' to do. To be in the 'zone' you need above all else to have the right attitude and for that you need to take full responsibility.

If you are feeling negative before you even start your game and your self talk is telling you that you are not going to play well then this is how you will play.

My final thought on the subject of ATTITUDE this week is my tip -

TIP OF THE WEEK: Make up a compilation CD of all the songs that motivate you, make you smile, make you sing out loud, make you think of summer and create happy feelings and play it on the way to your game of golf. It will be difficult for you to not have the right attitude when you arrive.

REMEMBER: You create your own reality and above all else - the you you see is the you you'll be so check in with your attitude and make sure you are feeling happy and positive and in a winning mood before you go out to play.

Next week is B for 'BELIEFS' and we will look more at the beliefs you have created about yourself as a golfer!

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