Lessons to be taken away from Mr. Tiger Woods
Tiger has won four times on the PGA TOUR since making swing change with “new” coach Sean Foley.
Like Tiger or not, there are many things any golfer can learn from the man who now has 75 career PGA Tour victories. Today, I want to talk about his commitment and patience while in the process of making a swing change. In the midst of personal turmoil that began a few years ago, Tiger also decided to totally change his swing. During this time period, Tiger has often heard from the media, other tour players, and other swing coaches, that making this swing change was a big mistake. Tiger knew better than to listen to the critics.
After all, this was not the first time Tiger has faced this type of criticism in his career. After winning the Masters by a record 12 shots in 1997, Tiger decided that he wanted to become more consistent. This is when he began working with his second of now four swing coaches in order to achieve those goals. With each swing overhaul, Tiger knew that it would probably take a year and a half to two years in order for the changes to feel natural and become second nature. It worked that way in the past, and if you haven’t noticed, it is beginning to happen again with this new swing change.
Understanding The Process Of Improving Your Golf Game
It is important to understand that there are three phases to every change you make with your swing. The first stage begins when you don’t know what you are doing wrong, and you do not know how to fix it (this is referred to as being unconsciously incompetent). This is a great time to go and get a lesson.
After receiving your lesson, you should know exactly what changes you have to make in your swing. In most cases, the changes will not feel comfortable because they are different. This is where it is essential to go to the driving range, do drills, practice swings, or whatever you can to get comfortable with the new changes. At this stage, you have the information to improve your swing, but you have to think about it in order to make it happen. The change is not yet natural, and it is still easy to fall into your old habits if you are not extremely aware. This stage of the swing change refers to the golfer as being consciously competent.
Don’t Give Up Yet!
Where many golfers get stuck and potentially give up on themselves is at stage two in the swing change process. Let’s take the example of a golfer who typically shoots around 85 before he or she has taken a lesson. After the lesson, they could potentially have a hard time breaking 95 until the new change or changes feel natural. This is often the time when your playing partners will ask you- “Why did you make the change?” Or, they may give you some advice that you didn’t ask for and tell you – “You shouldn’t have changed anything”. Doesn’t this sound very similar to what Tiger has been dealing with over the last couple of years?
It is at this time that it is most important to stay committed to the changes. After all, you did make this change so you could reach a new level in your game. The point to be made here is that you must have the ability to be comfortable with the change process even if it feels uncomfortable. Certain changes can create some struggle in the short term, but with commitment, they will pay off in the long term. This is something Tiger Woods has clearly recognized and dealt with so well time and again throughout his career.
Surround Yourself With The Right People
If improving your game is something that is important to you, make sure that you have supportive people around you. Having someone around who believes in you, and also understands the nature of this process is extremely valuable. It could be your spouse, your swing coach, or a good friend. It really doesn’t matter! The more time you spend with people who encourage you and support you, the easier and more natural it is to maintain a great mindset and perspective.
Have A Blast!
Golf is a great game. The process of improvement is one of ups and downs, but with true understanding and perspective, it can be a lot of fun! So, when you get that unwanted advice, or you hit a bad shot when you were giving it your best, learn to cultivate the ability to laugh it off and enjoy the challenge the game brings to you! With this type of attitude you will learn to enjoy the process, and you will achieve what you and your coach set out to accomplish!
All and all, it has been a lot of fun to watch Tiger Woods go through all of these changes at different points in his career. To me it is very funny how every time he goes through these changes the same thing happens… HE WINS! It will be interesting to see how good of a 2013 he will have!
For more information on how I can help you become the best golfer you can be click on http://www.davemahoneygolf.com/instruction/mind.