Here’s a question for you. What is your strategy for dealing with momentary lapses in self-confidence? If you are like many clients, you will answer, “I don’t have one.” I am as positive a person as you will ever meet and yet I am here to tell you that planning on melt downs along your way will ultimately launch you to fabulous levels of confidence.
That being said, there is an opportunity for you to create a confidence building strategy that will knock your socks off. Start playing golf. Before you run out of the room screaming, give me a chance to explain. Golf will take you on the emotional ride of your life. Learning to swing at the ball and actually hit it is only part of the challenge. By time you learn enough to play nine holes of golf confidently, you will face so many personal challenges and opportunities to show grace under fire, your whole life will be changed.
Here are five ways that golf develops and magnifies self-confidence like nothing else:
1. You are alone in the public eye doing something you can easily mess up. And we volunteer for this? This is why the first key to great Golf Esteem is to learn how to do it. People ask, “How do I know when I am ready to take my game to the course?” I have an easy answer. When you can hit seven out of ten shots reasonably well at the driving range, you are ready. I would go further to say that when you no longer whiff at the range, you are ready. *Winner’s Secret: Stretch yourself by committing to learning how to hit the ball. Even if you play once a month, learning to strike the ball consistently will bring great rewards.
2. Your success depends on you. Golf presents the rare chance to bring all of your focus and attention on yourself in a purposeful unselfish way. No one on the course gives a hoot about your success. Everyone is wrapped up in their OWN anxieties about the day and their performance. When you make a plan to improve your game so that you can play with confidence, the only thing in the way is YOU. *Winner’s Secret: Your singular focus will reap fantastic rewards and once you achieve this in golf, you will believe it is possible anywhere!
3. It is easy to track results. Golf is a game of numbers after all and so it is easy to create charts and graphs to record your improvements. When working with beginners, I suggest an entirely different way of scoring. I make games up for all stages. Game number one is “Ball Contact Is More Than Wishful Thinking.” In this game, you spend time at the range. When you are practicing, keep track of how many times you whiff. That is one number that we want to drop ASAP! Keep track in a small notebook you can keep in your bag. *Winner’s Secret: Never go to the course unless you are hitting the ball every time you swing.
4. You are in complete control of how fast your progress. Once you have committed to learning golf, the next logical step is to grow your skill set. Women on Course is an organization that will fully support you on your mission. There are wonderful group lessons available there that will show you exactly what to do to get ready for the course. If you practice what you learn and put in short but purposeful practice routines into your schedule, you will make quick progress. *Winner’s Secret: There are fantastic drills and exercises you can do right at home in ten minutes a day that will bring excellent results … ask your instructor for tips.
5. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment in golf. Whether you are sinking two foot putts (now come one, we can ALL learn to do that!) or hitting a lofted shot that lands on the green rather than a worm burner that rolls on to the green and keeps rolling off the back edge, when that shot does what it is supposed to do, it feels great. When you prove to yourself that you can learn a new physical skill, you will be open to what you can do next, in golf and in business. *Winner’s Secret: When connecting with people while networking, before you go in to the meeting, pull up a favorite golf accomplishment in your recent past and revel in it!
Golf is, indeed, the game of a lifetime. Do yourself a favor and learn the basic skills before you actually play a lot of on course golf. Your confidence will sky rocket and the pleasure you will receive from your golf accomplishments is worth all of your efforts.