The Mind Of The Tiger
Tiger may have everything you could ever want in a golf swing, but as he proved by winning the U.S. Open with "one leg tied behind his back", it's his huge heart and golfing mind that really separates him from everyone else.
In a recent article in Golf Magazine by Kevin Cook, Tiger revealed what he's thinking and how he approaches each shot to give himself the best chance to pull it off. You may be surprised by a few of them.
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What Tiger's Thinking. (and you should too!)
|Just hit a bad shot.||Get mad for 10 steps, forget it on the 11th. (Tiger's Dad's Tip)|
Tiger tries to focus on something other than golf between shots and maybe even enjoy a laugh or two. He tries not to think about the next shot until he gets to the ball. ("nice day today", "I wonder what my super model wife is doing about now", etc. You know, the same stuff we think about.)
|Loses Temper||Tiger uses anger as a motivator, "Allow yourself to get really mad for "a few seconds", then let it go. It helps him refocus.|
|Drops his club.||
After a bad shot Tiger will occasionally toss his club over his shoulder or to his bag. The act of tossing the club helps him "move on".
|Blame the course.||Tiger seldom gets down on himself. He'll blame "bad luck" for a poor outcome and look at it like "The Golf Gods owe me one." (That can be difficult to convince yourself of if you've ever seen a video of your swing.)|
|Make a fist.||
When things get rough you'll often see Tiger make a fist. This simple gesture can make you feel mentally and physically tougher.
|Cross your arms.||
Ever notice how Tiger stands arms folded and steely faced in big situations. The key is to act confident, even if you're not sure you really are! Purporting yourself in a confident manner will make you feel more confident and play better golf. Stride down the fairway, head up, chest out, you'll feel more powerful and will play better.
The Tiger fist pump is good for more than sending the gallery into a frenzy. Tiger allows himself to celebrate to "get it out", rather than bottle up that emotion and bring it to the next tee. Celebrate then refocus, that's the plan. (Fist pumps are fine, no moon-walking!, at least not on the green. Got kicked off Doral C. C. once for that.) ;0)
|Take a Picture||Tiger learned from his Dad early on (5 years old or so) to take mental pictures of his putts. (One "frame" for a short putt, 2 "frames" a little longer etc.). This allowed a very young Tiger to gauge distances in his mind even though he was too young to comprehend feet and inches. Tiger still does this today and also pictures where the ball will drop into the hole if he hits it perfectly. Not just in the hole, but what side of the hole he wants it to come in from.|
|Your Best Shot Ever.||When faced with a difficult or important shot Tiger always thinks of the best shot he's ever hit that was similar. Many of us picture the worst thing that can happen in these situations. Picture leaving the ball in the trap or hitting it O. B. and and it'll most likely turn out that way. Draw on the best shot you ever hit just like Tiger does! This doesn't mean ignore all danger and play reckless, but it does mean once you've decided on what shot to hit, focus only on the positive outcome, not the negative.|
We understand that success breeds confidence, and if you haven't really had a lot of success it may be hard to convince yourself that the next shot is going to be much better than the last 4 worm burners you hit. So blocking out all possible "negative waves" may be difficult or near impossible on every shot at this stage. However keep in mind that Tiger didn't pop out of the womb with his killer swing and the mental toughness already in place. At some point he was no better then the rest of us, and yet he was able to grow the confidence necessary to become the Champion he is today.
You can learn from Tiger by incorporating his techniques above into your own game. Draw confidence from small successes at the range, the putting green, and on the course. As your confidence grows and your game improves you'll become mentally tougher and learn that "Eye of the Tiger".