Golfers who are perfectionists can struggle with low confidence in both practice and in tournaments.
Perfectionists golfers demand a lot from themselves about the quality of their performance. They have high expectations which can lead to self-doubt when these players do not perform up to their high standards.
Perfectionists also have a hard time transferring the confidence they develop in practice to the course. For example, they might feel confident hitting on the range, but doubt themselves when on the course playing a round.
In addition, perfectionists often desire approval from others. They want to be accepted by parents, coaches, and friends. What wrong with that? If they don't think they are gaining approval from others, their confidence can sink.
Here's the good news about perfectionist ball players....
Perfectionists are very motivated, have a strong work ethic, are committed to their goals, and have a desire to learn and improve.
They have a good mindset for practice, which is their strength. They are willing to improve and take instruction.
But here's the bad news... Perfectionists:
- --Lose confidence quickly not performing well
- --Expect to perform perfectly (hit all shots perfectly)
- --Are very self-critical of their game
- --Tend to dwell on mistakes and missed chances
- --Are stuck in a practice mindset, which hurts them on course
What's the solution to the problems with perfectionism?
The answer is not easy. Many golfers fit into the category of perfectionists. I understand the challenges it presents, but perfectionist golfers do not admit it's a hindrance. They can be in denial.
The first step is to help golfers uncover the beliefs that underlie perfectionism (and keep them stuck). AND help them understand how it hurts their confidence (overcome denial).
For example, we find that players often believe they must be perfect to perform well:
"I should demand high expectations of myself because I work so hard to achieve my goals."
"I need to perform perfectly today and avoid making any bogies."
As you can see, these beliefs do not help players perform their best--when not at their best.
Here's the process for changing beliefs for perfectionists:
- Help golfers understand the disadvantages of perfectionism and agree these absolute beliefs get in the way of performance.
- Uncover the beliefs and behaviors that support perfectionism and hurt confidence.
- Replace the unhealthy beliefs that hurt confidence with a philosophy that helps confidence grow.
Here's an example of number 3 above:
"I can perform well even when my swing does not feel or look perfect."
If YOU are a perfectionists golfer, try to buy into this new way of viewing how you perform.
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