Golfers who maintain very high expectations (demands) easily lose confidence when they don't perform up to their expectations.

Strict expectations also can lead to judgmental thinking and self-doubt. Even worse, golfers become frustrated when they fail to perform up to their expectations and lose focus altogether.

This week, I'd like to discuss How to manage these strict expectations. When you can manage strict expectations, your confidence will flourish...

A few players do resist my idea about expectations being harmful to performance. That's because they see confidence and expectation as one in the same. But they are not.

So how can you remove the problems of strict expectations?

Here's the plan:

1. Identify what expectations get in the way for you.

2. Throw expectations away--stop demanding you must reach them.

3. Replace them with more manageable goals or objectives.

Most golfers find it hard to stop focusing on to expectations because they have done it for so long

(and often adopt them from others).

So what's the solution?

The solution is to replace strict expectations with more manageable objectives or what we call process goals (mini goals).

Think of process goals as objectives or performance cues and not really goals you must achieve.

Remember that you strive for and focus on goals--you don't have to reach them.

What are the objectives you should focus on? Ask your one important question:

"What can I focus on that will help me execute or prepare for this shot?"

When you focus on small objective that help you execute in the moment, such as your target or committing to the shot, for example, your mind is locked into the present and not obsessed with obtaining results (a la expectations).

Here are a few more examples of objectives or mini goals:

--Putting: Commit to the initial read.

--Chipping: Focus on the landing area.

--Tee Shot: Pick smart targets.

--Iron Shot: Trust my swing. Keep it simple.

Obviously, you can select many objectives to help you focus on execution. But the key is to select an objective or performance cue that will help you prepare for or execute a good shot.

And keep it simple, don't over-complicate your shot-making!

Filed under: Golf Mental ArticlesGolf Tips

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