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Personal Golf Review 2021.

Retrospective.


So this is Christmas, And what have you done, Another year over, And a new one just begun.

It's super cliché, I know, but the end of a season is good for reviews. Personal, professional assessment and why not golf assessment ?! A good record of your golf season gives you the clearest picture of the state of your game. Spoil yourself and break down every aspect of your game. If you've compiled some stats, now is the time to get them out. It's good to have a subjective view of the situation, but the more objective you are, the easier your progress will be to identify and track.


Are your expectations realistic?


From experience, I believe this is the crux of the matter. Many golfers, despite themselves, nourrir misconceptions which in turn create unrealistic expectations. No, it’s not true that because you don’t make 100% of your putts under 6 feet, you are stupid! Yes, it is very unrealistic to aim to reach an average of 16 greens in regulation strokes (GIR). If you scramble 50% of the time, well you're close to what the best in the business do!


Get out of wishful thinking and get started!


''Let's hope it's a good one, Without any fear.'' Do you want to improve? Ok, who doesn't? Do you want to have more fun? But still! To set good goals (and even better, achieve them), you need to follow a few basic rules. In short, set specific, measurable goals for yourself, with optimal difficulty (not too easy or difficult) and prioritize performance goals (hitting 50% of fairways) over success goals (winning the club championship).


Learn to learn. 10,000 range balls.

This last statement is so disheartening… but thankfully untrue. No, you don't have to hit 10,000 balls to incorporate a new element into your swing. Yes, the number of reps is important. But what's also important is the quality of those reps. Motor learning experts are clear: we learn (and unlearn our old motor pattern) by practicing the new movement in slow speed. The speed is only increased gradually. If you think you can change your swing by going full blast with 110% swings , but that won't work. Learn to ski in the summer, have you heard that before? In short, it says that you don't have to do the activity in question explicitly to learn and improve in it. The same principle applies to golf. Winter can be the most precious time to improve your golf. 3-4 sessions of shadow swinging (like shadow boxing, you swings in front of a mirror or your cell phone) of 10-15 minutes will be much more useful than 2 hours of hitting in a net once a week. This is the magic of what is called the spacing effect and repeated neural activation.


Slice of life. Self-compassion.


I have always been fascinated by the mental aspect of golf. A long time ago, I set out on a quest: to master this so important aspect of our shared passion.

I've read just about every book, seen every DVD, even bought every golf psycho audiocassettes! The principles conveyed in these works are very good and seem quite logical: stay in the present, the past is in the past, each shot is a new challenge, be positive, play your game, have fun (I barely caricature) !


That's all well and good, but in a practical way, when you miss a 3-foot putt on the first hole, you can repeat it to yourself over and over to the tune of We are the Champions, it doesn't really matter.

Two years ago, I discovered a book that changed the way I think about the game (and life in general). Self-Compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff, a psychologist specializing in self-compassion. In French, it's called S’aimer, how to reconcile with oneself. Translated like that, it sounds like it is an apology for self-pity, but it is far from it. In short, self-compassion comes in three themes:

  1. Kindness towards oneself: treating oneself as a loved one would towards us (would your mother shout at you "nasty # $ **% you're not good!'' hitting you with a putter grip in the forehead?)

  2. The universality of human suffering (no, you're not the only one missing pen-length putts!)

  3. Mindfulness: give all the importance to the present moment, without judgment (it's okay to be disappointed to have liped out!).


Interestingly, people with a high level of self-compassion are happier than those with high self-esteem. Unlike self-esteem which can take a hit when success is not there, self-compassion improves happiness, optimism, curiosity, connection to the world, and decreases self-esteem. anxiety, depression, fear of failure, ruminating regardless of the external circumstances. She values ​​motivation and initiative as self-esteem is linked to perfectionism with its corollary of performance anxiety and seeking social approval along with the fear of shame. I invite you to discover this approach which, in my opinion, has a lot to offer golfers. I even invite you to test your level of self-compassion.




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