Performance is a Reflection of Training
Probably the most common complaint in golf, or sports in general, is that the player is better in practice than they are in competition. I have heard this over and over from players I first met over the years and sympothize with their pain because I was the same way. This pain and curiostiy is what sent me on my journey to understand performance and why some are better than most. Boy do I have a lot to share on this topic.
I learned something from Lanny Bassham in "With Winning in Mind". 5% of all people do 95% of all winning. I fist thought no way, like I am sure you are right now. Then I began thinking about it. NBA finals have consisted of either Kobe Bryant of Lebron James last 7 years. PGA Tour has an elite few that win the majority of the tournaments. The point is, why are these players better. The answer, their self image.
What is self image? Your self image makes you act like you. Pretty much any statement you can make about yourself is likely true. "I am great on the range and suck in competition". I can bet a lot of money you will not play well no matter what you do. "I love playing in competition, the more pressure, the better i play". I can make a solid bet that this player will have a good tournament. There is a kicker however. If it was as easy as just saying you will play well in tournaments then everyone would do that. The secret is.......you have to believe that so deeply that no one can alter that state of mind.
So how does that belief happen?
Its all about how your train!!
Golf is taught and coached in a fashion that hurts players belief in themselves and ultimately hurts performance or holds them back from reaching their potential. Yes, there are players out there that are really good and who knows how good they could REALLY be.
What about golf is coached poorly? That is a very long converstation but I will give you a few examples.
1. Golf is a game of random and is coached repetitive.
Think about how golf is played. Every situation is going to be different Every length of shot, type of shot, wind conditon, grass length, slope, etc. However golf is coached on a flat lie and having a guide on how to aim properly. More on why alignment rods don't help players learn to aim.There are no consequences and no pressure. There is no adversity or learning happening.
2. Golf is a game of decision making
Every coach I have ever been around makes all the decisions for the player or the parent makes the decision for the player. They are never forced to make decision and we wonder why they don't perform when they have to make A LOT of them on a golf course.
3. Golf is a game of controlling thoughts and emotions
Coaches try to make people feel good about themselves which is not bad but they tend to intervene and interrupt the most important part for a player which is learning how to overcome the struggle. Coaches will jump in and say "its ok" when we should be letting them figure this out. Learning what to do in the face of adversity is exactly how we start building the self image and perform at a high level. We can not rob players of this.
Those are a few examples of how coaching drops the ball. A player can really become a player when they train in a fashion that grows the self image. This is what we do here at Champion Ways. I design practices and one on one sessions with players to build their mentality and thus their performance.