Are you a glass half-full, or a glass half-empty kind of person?
In other words, are you an optimist, or a pessimist? I certainly work hard at being an optimist, but that’s a difficult attitude to maintain as a golfer.
What brought this thought to mind was a recent interview I heard with 2018 Masters Champion, Patrick Reed. Reed was discussing his mindset as he heard the continuing roars for Jordan Spieth on the Back 9 of the final round of this year’s Masters.
As Reed’s lead continued to shrink, his mindset was focused on the fact that he still had more holes to play than those competitors that were catching up to his lead.
Rather than fear the possibility of making bogeys and losing the golf tournament, Reed instead focused on the fact that he could still make more birdies, if necessary.
This may not seem like a huge revelation, but I find it to be amazing.
Can you imagine having the ability to see the positive side of that situation, rather than the negative side?
Reed’s ability to remain optimistic during the most pressure packed moment of his professional career is what allowed him to win the Masters. As impressive as his ball striking and putting were throughout the tournament, they pale in comparison to the strength of his mind.
Golfer’s, perhaps more than any other type of athlete, are constantly dealing with thoughts running through our minds. Rather than seeing the green fairway in front of us, we instead see the blue water and white sand off to the sides.
Rather than focusing on making that short putt to win the match, we instead hope that we don’t miss it.
The power of optimism is stronger than any physical skill you can possess in golf. Learn to focus on what you want to accomplish, rather than dwell on what you don’t want to have happen.
You may not win the Masters the way Patrick Reed did, but you’ll definitely become a much better player.