I recently began reading a book given to me by one of my students.
The book is titled “Be a Player,” and it’s co-written by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott. Nilsson is widely recognized as Annika Sorenstam’s coach, so I had anticipated a great read. Thus far, the book has been both entertaining and highly informative.
The premise of the book is about helping players reach their full potential.
Many examples are provided of players looking great on the practice range, yet continuing to struggle on the golf course.
I’m sure many of you can relate. There is a name for this type of player: “Range Pro.”
But what is it that changes from the range to the course? More often than not, we all succumb to nerves and anticipation. However, this can be improved by focusing on the proper aspects of your golf game.
A word that is commonly used in the book is “awareness.” Awareness is significant because it helps to describe one’s ability to recognize their tendencies, both good and bad.
Some players tend to perform better under pressure because their focus becomes far greater with more at stake. However, the player who struggles under pressure is usually because they haven’t trained themselves to stay calm in the moment and not over think what is at stake.
The authors conducted an interesting experiment to better illustrate the idea of awareness during a competitive round of golf. Some players performed better while maintaining constant conversations with their playing partners, while others performed better while keeping more to themselves.
This may not seem significant on the surface, but this realization can go a long way in a player’s ability to reach their full potential.
Sorenstam described the process she went through while preparing to compete in the 2003 Colonial Invitation on the PGA Tour. She was given a sponsor’s exemption into a men’s tournament, and this became a media circus leading into the tournament.
While preparing to compete, Sorenstam began practicing from the men’s distances that she would be facing during the Colonial. However, it is the mental process she went through that was most interesting.
She focused on her own “awareness.”
Sorenstam was “aware” that her nerves would be going crazy on the first tee of the tournament. She was also “aware” that a few notable PGA players had elected to not play in the tournament because of her invitation to compete.
She was also “aware” that her ability to treat this tournament as just another tournament in her career would benefit her greatly. Her awareness helped her to best prepare for the tournament, and although she missed the cut by a couple of shots, she entered the week feeling prepared for success.
There are many fantastic golf books available for your enjoyment.
Some are primarily filled with golf tips, while others contain fun stories. “Be a Player” offers a bit of both, and I am looking forward to finishing it soon. The beautiful aspect of golf is that we can all find relatable stories and tips to follow.
I enjoyed reading about “awareness’” in this book, and I think you will to.