"I try to have peace of mind. If you have that,
you are a mental millionaire. It doesn't cost anything."
Chi Chi Rodriguez, has 38 professional wins and an induction
into the World Golf Hall of Fame
"I was trying to get so far ahead I could choke and still win."
Lee Trevino, at the 1968 US Open, which he won over Jack Nicklaus
by four strokes
"Pressure is something every golfer feels at one time or another...Sometimes
when I putted, I looked like a monkey trying to wrestle a football."
Sam Snead, golfing legend
It's clear that top golf professionals know how important it is
to have a solid mental game. They should know. Of all the sports
in the world, pro golfers hire the most sports psychologists. It's
been estimated that over 80% of pro golfers, men and women, use
a sports psychologist or mental game coach.
Here are seven major ways you can utilize a sports psychologist to
help you improve faster, and create sustainable success in your
1. A Sports Psychologist Helps You Develop Mental Toughness.
Mental toughness is learned, not inborn. Mental toughness is partly
borne from superb physical conditioning and discipline, but there
is more that makes a champion. A sports psychologist can teach you
this critical skill.
2. A Sports Psychologist Helps You Build A Laser Focus. If
you are prone to being distracted, you may need a sports psychologist
who can teach you how to block out external and internal distractions.
They do this by teaching attentional control techniques. Learn those
and you will be able to maintain focus under any conditions.
3. A Sports Psychologist Helps You Create Calmness Under Pressure.
Stress and pressure can create mental blocks that disrupt performance.
A sports psychologist knows how to teach you to relax and handle
4. A Sports Psychologist Helps You Play One Shot At A Time.
Your best performances take place in the zone. The zone is in the
present, the here and now. A sports psychologist devises techniques
that help you stay in the now and play one shot at a time.
5. A Sports Psychologist Helps You Prepare Mentally. It's
critical that you have a mental readiness system before you practice,
take a lesson or compete. A sports psychologist helps you create
this psychological preparation process so you can get your game
face on, and control your mind and emotions.
6. A Sports Psychologist Helps You Shake Off Mistakes. If
you are prone to being thrown off when you make errors in a game,
you need a sports psychologist. He can help you refocus, relax and
get back into your mental groove quickly, using a mental trigger
7. A Sports Psychologist Helps You Reduce Your Mental Errors.
Mental errors usually come from poor focus. A sports psychologist
helps you gain and maintain focus on what is important, while you
let the rest go.
Now you know how a sports psychologist can help you. They are
either trained as a psychologist with a specialization in sports,
or come from the world of physical education with specialization
in psychology. They do this in an educational, rather than clinical
manner. A mental game coach can do everything discussed above as
If you are a coach who desires training and certification as a mental
game coach, you may be interested in the training program offered
by the International Mental Game Coaching Association. The IMGCA
certifies qualified individuals at four levels as Certified
Mental Game Practitioners.
about Bill's book, The
Mental Game of Golf, or purchase
the book from Amazon.com.
For a comprehensive overview of your mental abilities you need
an assessment instrument that identifies your complete mental strengths
and weaknesses. Here is a free, easy-to-take 65-item sport
psychology assessment tool> you can score right on the spot.
This assessment gives you a quick snapshot of your strengths and
weaknesses in your mental game. You can use this as a guide in creating
your own mental training program, or as the basis for a program
you undertake with mental game coach
Bill Cole, MS, MA to improve your mental game. This assessment
would be an excellent first step to help you get the big picture
about your mental game.
Copyright © 2010 Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on sports psychology, peak performance,
mental toughness and coaching, is founder and CEO of William
B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps sports teams and individuals
achieve more success. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association, an organization dedicated to advancing
the research, development, professionalism and growth of mental game coaching
worldwide. He is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published author of books and articles,
and has coached at the highest levels of major-league pro sports and big-time
Free Article Republishing Rights
You have our advance permission to republish this article, as long as you
do not sell it. The author's name, copyright notice (Copyright © Bill Cole,
MS, MA) and web address (SportsPsychologyCoaching.com)
must appear in all reprinted articles. If the article appears on a website or
in an e-zine, the article must include a link to a page in the
Sports Psychology Coaching website. We would also appreciate your including
the author's bio and full contact information in your article, although this
is not a requirement. For additional information, see our full article
republishing permission guidelines.