The Emotion Matrix
What feeling comes over you when you step to the first tee? For some it may be nervousness. Having to hit a tee shot with the rest of your group, the starter and possibly a few other golfers waiting for their tee time observing from a far. Others may have an aura of excitement. Possibly standing on the first tee of a golf trip with buddies, at a new course they’ve wanted to play, swinging a new golf club. Yet others will approach the first tee full of confidence. They have a mystique about them. It’s not about what score they will shoot today, it’s about how low of a score they will have.
All golfers will, at some point in time, feel all of the emotions on the golf course. It’s good to experience an emotional connection to what you are doing. It indicates that what you are doing is important to you. If the results of your actions aren’t important, why perform the action? You would just be going through the motions to get through another day.
To succeed in anything, you must place value in what you are doing. I’m sure that for all of you that have ever stood on the driving range, “practicing” your golf game, weren’t out there just to waste time. You purposely went to the range to improve. In developing your skills as a golfer, you are tweaking you swing to achieve a desired result. But what are you doing to mentally improve? As you begin to see the positive results in your physical efforts, you are also building a confidence in your ability. Knowing that you can produce that required shot when needed. Knowing that you can perform to a new standard of excellence.
In building that confidence, it is cautioned that you don’t become “cocky”. In an article recently written by Jim McCabe about Brandt Snedeker, he put into perspective the difference between being “cocky” and having confidence. It boils down to having trust in yourself and your abilities versus telling everyone how great you are. Remember actions speak louder than words.
To sum this up, I am suggesting that you need to have a blend of emotions every time that you play golf. The matrix of those emotions will vary depending on the round. Your nerves probably aren’t going to affect you as much on a Sunday morning with friends as they will in your club championship. The excitement you feel isn’t probably the same on a late afternoon 9 hole round by yourself, as it would be getting the opportunity to play at Augusta National. Finding a balance of emotion about your golf and learning to deal with those varying emotions will help make you a more complete player!