Earlier today I was giving a 9 hole playing lesson with a very talented up and coming junior. Whilst we were walking in between shots he asked me a very good question... He said "Katie, sometimes I go out and play really well and then the next week really bad. It makes me very disheartened and the more down I get the worse I play. How do I stop that?"
I wanted to take the time to write a blog on this very question to help anyone who understands that same feeling.
Something that I have only just started to realise is that being sad or down about your game is a true sign that you really care - its a good thing. If you hit a bad shot and not care about it in a competition then do you really care about golf? I know we all try to hold back from saying things aloud, control the emotions inside us and put on a brave face, but we can all feel it internally and this can really affect our game. Its the same feeling knowing that your doing really well as you walk to the 18th hole, it means your doing well. Having these feelings shows passion and dedication ... embrace them.
Everyone has bad days on the golf course. Its just how we cope with it. If your experiencing a bad day just do the best you can and get it round, then after hit that practice ground or call your coach and find out whats going on. Sometimes its just fractions. Its easy to have these days if you've been studying hard at school all week or working overtime in the office. Sometimes outside factors can get to us. I remember practicing straight after school and my first tee shot was always my worst. Rushing from school, still in uniform just to play 5 holes before it gets dark, its great but it can be difficult, but just remember, every practice session is a session closer to your goals.
Then suddenly during the playing lesson a bad shot happened and his heart sunk. I said "take a step back, take time inside to be annoyed over what just happened, but the moment you walk past that shot you have just broken through the barrier and your on to your next best shot. Think about your swing thoughts that we've discussed and think about some of your best ever shots you've hit." Like said in the previous paragraph, it okay to be annoyed over it, it shows you care, but you can't dwell on it and thats exactly what we worked on.
My client went on to complete 7 holes in +5 gross. He currently has a handicap of 33 and has been playing for less than a year. Thats the best he has scored within his golfing career to date.