This previous Saturday in our classroom Mental Training session, our lesson covered the number one mental problem we encounter: over-trying. Within the quest of reaching a goal, trying too hard lessens the probability of reaching that goal. In golf, this phenomenon exists when we fixate too much on trying to make something happen using our conscious mind as opposed to trusting our skill set that resides in our subconscious. It also happens when we focus on an outcome instead of committing to the process of an action.
Your efforts differ between a push up competition and trying to fall asleep at night. There’s a sweet spot of the right amount of trying that moves on a sliding scale based on the goal at hand. We have to work to define this amount for the athletes on the golf course, but for all of our athletes, even our developmental students who have not begun to enter competition, the opportunity to over try exists in every situation away from our time with them. In other words, they have the capability to increase their golf capacity by making adjustments in other areas of their everyday lives.
For this reason, we had our athletes share examples where they experienced over trying in competition, at school, or a social situation. We heard incredible examples from athletes, where they nailed a situation they had put too much effort into — continuously interrupting a parent chatting with a colleague to get their attention, cramming for a test and not getting enough sleep the night before, attaining an early lead in a putting challenge then becoming nervous about losing, thinking too much about answers for a test and then running out of time before being able to complete — and they then explained a solution if they had faced the same scenario again.
Through this exercise, we were able to build self-awareness for the athletes by asking them to recount events from their own lives, imprint those corrections, and bridge gaps between what golf teaches and how it can be applied now and forever in various capacities of life.